Jar of Hearts

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

I was kind of hesitant at first but about chapter 3 I couldn’t put it down!!! It kept me up at night wondering what will happen next!? The plot is amazing! I cannot wait for this book to come out, it needs to be read!!! Definitely best book I’ve read this year.
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Three high school friends, 2 girls and 1 boy; one girl ends of dead and the other girl ends up in prison for 5 years some 14 years later.  The boy subsequently becomes a detective who has been in love with the surviving girl since 9th grade and is still carrying the torch.   Hidden secrets, twists and turns, hope and guilt combine to make this one of the best books I have read so far this year.  This book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.  If you love a good psychological thriller, this is the book for you.
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Jar of Hearts is a riveting, pulse-pounding page turner that asks the questions: just how much do our choices define us? Does one horrible choice make you a horrible person? At 16, Geo falls in love with an older boy and like many teenagers, her feelings are crazy intense. She is consumed by the relationship even at the expense of her school work, cheer team, and her relationships with her best friends, including her closest friend, Angela Wong. When something goes horribly wrong, Geo makes a choice that will define her and change the rest of her life. For fourteen years, the world believes that Angela disappeared. But then Geo's secret comes out. Angela has been dead all along. At the start of the novel, Geo is testifying against her old boyfriend, Calvin Harris, now known as the Sweetbay Strangler, during his trial for Angela's murder. For fourteen long years, Geo has kept the secret of what happened to Angela that terrible night, including her role in Angela's murder which has earned her five years in prison. Geo heads off to prison but for the reader, the story is only beginning and there are many, many more secrets to be found out in this powerful, poignant, dark, twisty thriller. This novel is really thought-provoking. It's one that is going to stay with me for a long time and one that I will definitely re-read on many occasions. Hillier does an excellent job holding back the twist until the very end, meting out information to keep you guessing but also leaving clues with a masterful subtlety that will take your breath away. This is my new favorite Hillier book which is saying a lot because they are all incredible. Jar of Hearts is being made into a movie and I can't wait to see this exquisitely crafted story play out on the big screen. Hillier is a powerhouse, without question one of the best thriller writers out there right now. Get this book and then clear your calendar for the next 24 to 48 hours. You'll be begging for more.
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Maybe I should just give up on reading thrillers. Yet again I found myself not enjoying one of them. The people in this one were too twisted for me. I need someone I can actually like in the books I read, and there was absolutely no one in this book that I could like. I wanted to like and sympathize with Geo, the main character, and Kaiser, her former friend turned police detective, but they were both too messed up for me. Kaiser less so than Geo. Kaiser is mainly guilty of not being able to get over his high school love - an unrequited love I might add - which happens to be Geo. I will never understand people who can't get past their high school love interest. I doubt many people at 35 would still be pining over someone from high school, but it happens way too often in novels, and that's the case here in this one. Kaiser makes some poor life choices because of this stupid fixation he has always had on Geo, including having an affair with a married woman.

The title of the book comes from a mason jar that was filled with cinnamon hearts - a gift to Geo from her 21 year old boyfriend, Calvin. It was an apology for hitting her. To Geo that jar symbolized the end of her teen innocence, but in reality her teen innocence ended before that. It wasn't the moment the jar was given to her, or the reason it was given to her. It wasn't the moment the jar was emptied of candy, or the events that occurred at that time. It was the moment Geo, a 16 year old, chose to dial the number a 21 year old man wrote on the back of her hand. She dated a 21 year old man behind her father's back and got sexually involved with him. I get that she was only 16 years old and she really wasn't equipped to handle the situation she found herself in, but she still made the choice in the first place to date someone she knew wasn't good for her. She still made the choice to hide the relationship from her father who loved her and whom she had a good relationship with, and it all began partly because she wanted to one up her best friend - because she felt like she was always in her shadow - and partly because he was just plain hot. That's stupid teen girl logic for you.

We go back and forth from past to present in the book and I didn't like Geo any more as an adult than I did as a teen. I honestly didn't care what happened to her, especially by the end of the book after we find out all the horrible little details of what happened that night when her best friend Angela disappeared. I can't say that I liked Angela either though. She was pretty unlikable herself, so nothing that happened to her or any of the other characters bothered me all that much. And when I stop to think about the fact that this book involves three rapes and an abusive relationship, among other things that would normally be difficult to read about in a book, I think that says a lot about how unlikable I found these characters. There was one attempted rape near the end of the book that I found really disturbing, because of the persons involved (that was just sick) and that's all I can say so that I don't spoil anything.

Overall this book reminded me of one of those true crime shows on the ID channel where the teen gets involved with an older guy who manipulates and abuses her, and her good judgment goes out the door from the moment she meets him. I've seen a few that could actually be this book. I prefer to spend my reading time with characters that are redeemable; that I can sympathize with.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for giving me a copy of this book for review.
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Jar of Hearts was an amazing thriller! It chilled me to the core! So many twists and turns!! I couldn’t get enough! 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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This is one of the best books i have rad in a long. It will keep you guessing and wondering until the very end.

it was a little predictable at times.
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What a tremendous thriller, and enjoyable read.  I can’t wait to read the backlist titles.  So creepy, clever, and psychologically complex and clever.  Happy to spread word of mouth. For sure!  Really enjoyed it.
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This story is one of those great ones. The ones that grab us hard on the first page. The one us readers live for. This one will  have you holding on for dear life till the very end. You will want to read this in one sitting so set aside time. And as an aside, may I note it has a perfect title. Titles are important to me. They are what grabs me first when I'm browsing. Then the cover. Then description. This book has everything.

In the tradition of many books, it goes back and forth from the past to the present.  Geo is a very likeable character.  The victim, Angela, not so much. Geo made a real bad decision as we will while teenagers. Being a teenager is nothing but a ball of bad decisions. But this one is REAL bad. At close to the end, I was a little disappointed as I saw an ending I've read a few times now. Oh silly, silly girl. The last two chapters richocheted on me and snapped that idea right out of me. 

You will want to read this in one sitting so set aside time. 

This is my first Jennifer Hillier book. I have no idea how she got by me. I just ordered more and look forward to future ones. In ny crime/suspense/thriller reading, I have noticed its always the women who are most gruesome.   Be forewarned. Jennifer more than fits into that category. 

Thank you #NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the copy of #JarofHearts
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Georgina, Angela, and Kaiser are the best of friends and are juniors in high school. Until Calvin James comes along and Geo falls head over heels in love with him. He was 21, dangerous,  and not the nicest person. Their relationship drives a wedge between the three friends. Angela is jealous because she saw him first and Kaiser hates him because he is not so secretly in love with Geo. The trio's friendship comes to an abrupt end when Angela goes missing one night after a party and is never found...until many years later. Her remains are found in the woods behind Geo's childhood home. Calvin James has been arrested recently for being the Sweet Bay Strangler serial killer. His DNA is found on Angela's remains. Geo is also implicated and they both are found guilty at trial. Geo is sentenced to 5 years in prison. Right before she is released Calvin escapes from prison and it isn't long until more bodies start piling up.  Bodies are being found in areas that connect Geo and Calvin.  And Kaiser, Geo's former best friend, is now a homicide detective investigating the murders. Jar of Hearts covers a lot of ground. It goes over Geo's time in prison, her teen years and what really happened to Angela, and present day. Jar of Hearts is by far Jennifer Hillier's greatest work. This book drew  me in and was so hard to put down. I love Geo even though she has a lot of flaws and may or may not be good person. The conclusion was satisfying and thrilling. This is one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time.  I received a free ARC from Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you Net Galley!
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Absolutely amazing!  This book starts off so different than your usual thriller, but it's the best ride I've ridden in a while.  The author leads you directions and keeps you gripping your chair, and holding your breathe.  When the ride ends, your head will spin and you will crawl under the covers and wonder how you will ever enjoy another book, and feel so hungover but yet enthralled.  If you are a thriller fan, this book is not just for you, it's one you cannot skip and still be considered a true thriller fan.
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Wow! This book is CRAZY and yes that is absolutely a compliment. I'm not surprised at all that this has already been optioned by a film company. I think it will be big. Definitely recommended.
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This was incredibly well written. I really loved this book and would recommend this to anyone.
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I love thrillers with twists. And this one IS full of twists. Parts are hard to follow,  though, and i often had to scroll back. Some jaw-dropping moments. 
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A compelling opening scene sets up the tension in this riveting novel of a youthful mistake that reverberates through the lives of those left behind by the victims of the Sweetbay Strangler, the notorious serial killer who was Georgina  Shaw's first love. She was also the only witness to the events that caused the death of her best friend Angela. fourteen long years ago. Now, in the courtroom where Calvin James is on trial not just for Angela's murder but for the spree of killings that followed it, Georgina admits her complicity in the crime,and mutely accepts the five year sentence handed down by the judge.
The prison term is the beginning of a different life for Georgina, who had been a successful pharmaceutical executive before the trial. Geo, a nickname that aptly suits this flawed but fascinating character, doesn't look back on  the luxurious life she led before her incarceration, but Kaiser, the high school friend who's still working the case as a Seattle homicide detective, is sure she knows more about Calvin than she's telling, and even the fact that he's falling a little bit on love with her doesn't dissuade him from continuing to find out what it is.
Geo is a complex, multidimensional character, and her journey to understand what complicity really is and the price to be paid for redemptiion is a well-told tale.  The secrets that imprisoned her long before the prison gates closed behind her are revealed bit by bit, culminating in a bloody denouement most readers won't see coming..
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“It was almost like she was deep inside herself, away from the chaos, all the way into that place everyone has inside them but hardly ever taps into.“

I would like to say thank you Jennifer Hillier for sharing your talent with us. This was the first book in a long time that I truly felt connected to the main character. I cried for Geo. I felt bad for her. I was rooting for her with all my heart. I thought I knew where the story was going. And just like that, everything changed. #Twisty 
Then I hated Geo. I was so mad at her. I felt betrayed by her. How dare she?! 
One of the greatest moments in this book for me was when I realized the symbolic meaning of “Jar of Hearts”. I don’t want to ruin it with a spoiler but it was an AHA moment for me and Jennifer did an amazing job of interweaving that meaning from middle to end on so many levels. 

And the cover...5 stars. Beautiful. It caught my attention on Goodreads when I first saw it and having finished the book now, the cover is both beautiful and sad. 

Thank you #NetGalley and #StMartinsPress for my ARC. I was offered this ARC for an honest review and I’m so proud to give it. 

All the stars. This book gets every star. A jar full of them. ⭐️ Put #JarOfHearts on your TBR shelf now. ♥️
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The cover of the book first caught my eye and then I couldn't stop singing Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. The song actually fits the book perfectly.

Geo's best friend, Angela, disappeared when they were sixteen years old. Now at thirty, Geo is an executive at a pharmaceutical company and engaged to marry the CEO of the company. Geo is also being arrested her other high school best friend, Kaiser, for helping her then boyfriend, Calvin, hide the body of Angela after her death. To make matters worse, Calvin turns out to be a serial killer, dubbed the Sweetbay Strangler. After being released from prison, Geo moves back into her dad's house. Murders also start happening around the same time as Geo's release and they look to be the work of Sweetbay Strangler. Kaiser is concerned that Calvin is coming after Geo. 

The book is definitely full of secrets. Geo finally reveals what happened to Angela and how her relationship with Calvin ended. The book held my interest and I found it hard to put down. There were some twists and turns. I had a feeling of what was going to happen when the end drew near. I loved the story line, characters and writing style. I look forward to reading more books by the author. I definitely recommend the book!! 

Thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and the author, Jennifer Hillier, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review.  While I often read into the night, with this book, I also snuck little portions of the day to finish it.  Truly a page turner.  Geo was a success by all current measures...great job, handsome fiancé, and on the rise in her company.  She has a secret, though, which has finally come to call.  After paying her dues, she's left to put the pieces back together in her home town.  I love an alternating timeline narrative, and this one is no exception.  Her childhood friend is now on the police force, trying to solve a new mystery that links them.  The characters are well done.  I highly recommend this.
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Wow! I read a little about this book on a random website and knew right away I had to read it. When Caroline Kepnes gives an author a front cover quote, you know it’s going to be good and IT IS. I started it on the 14th and have been glued to it when I have free time. This will be published in June so add it to your Goodreads To-Read list immediately.

If you like books such as Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive, The Good Samaritan, The Woman in the Window…you know, creepy thriller suspense type stories, you will love Jar of Hearts.

I’m a  little over halfway through and am eager to continue reading. I think I’m a pretty fickle reader, often not finishing books if they don’t grab me but when I find one I like, I become an obsessive reader, most times reading well into the night.

Here’s what you need to know:

At 30 years old, Georgina, known as Geo, is a rising executive when her world comes crashing down. Her high school boyfriend has been identified and arrested for a series of serial murders, including Angela, Geo’s best friend in high school. Angela disappeared without a trace at 16 and her body has just been found. Now Geo is under arrest for helping her then-boyfriend hide her best friend’s body. And it’s one of her other close friends in high school, Kaiser Brody, who arrests her. 

While Geo is sent to prison for her part, Calvin escapes from custody and is on the run. At 35 years old, Geo is about to be released from prison to try and start over. But someone has started killing people and dumping their bodies in her old neighborhood, with some of the markers of the missing Sweetbay Strangler—her old boyfriend Calvin. Is these killings some kind of message from Calvin? Are they some of revenge? Is she herself now in danger?

Everything turns on what really happened that tragic night back when Geo and Angela were 16 years old. Everyone thinks they know the truth, but there are dark secrets buried deep within other secrets, and it may be too late for anyone to survive the truth.

The author, Jennifer Hillier, is LIVING MY DREAM because Jar of Hearts is being made into a movie! Very excited and deserved!
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I didn't realize I had read this author's previous books until I finished this one.  It was SO good!  Kept you guessing until the end.  Well written with dimensional characters that are likable and sympathetic.  I think this is the author's best work yet
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When this story opens, Georgina (Geo) Shaw is being arrested from her high-end Seattle job for concealing the murder of her best friend 14 years earlier. Geo works out a deal with prosecutors that will give her a reduced five-year sentence for covering up the murder, dismemberment and burial of her friend, Angela, who was murdered by Geos’ then boyfriend. Calvin Jones has been arrested for a series of murders and dismemberments, Geo’s testimony helps put him away for good. But half way through Geo’s prison term, Calvin escapes and it soon appears he’s off on another killing spree. He’s also interested in picking up where he left off with Geo when she’s released from prison. The question is… why? Geo still has a secret about the terrible night when Angela died and Calvin knows what it is. Don’t plan on doing anything else once you start this book because you won’t be able to stop. One of the best thrillers I’ve  read this year
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