Jar of Hearts

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

I have read a lot of adult psychological thrillers and crime novels. It's one of my all time favorite genres, and it's exploded in the past couple of years to my delight. And Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier is hands down THE BEST thriller I have ever read. And I have read some really good ones. The main character is Georgina Shaw who is harboring a dark secret. In the first chapter we are thrust into her life-- she has become super successful in her career and of course that is the moment she is arrested for the murder of her best friend, Angela Wong, who disappeared when they were teenagers. Turns out Georgina's boyfriend at the time has since become a serial killer and Georgina helped him cover up his crime. The story shifts to prison, where Georgina serves her time, and feels in many ways like Orange is the New Black. But the story evolves from there and her relationships with those from in her past and now in the present as the two come together and crescendo with reveals coming first slowly then more quickly and evenly until the story ends in the only way it can. The pacing is terrific, the setting and viewpoints are moody and mature, and I had to stay up to find out what happened in the end. While some may have figured out the ending ahead of time, for the most part, I closed my mind because the story, the characters, and the prose were so damned good, and I gasped at each new reveal, and everything synthesized perfectly and made sense with what came before. I urge anyone who loves even a good book to pick this one up. You won't regret it.
Was this review helpful?
What a mind thriller. There were so many twists and turns and I loved it. I couldn’t put it down and got so mad when I would fall asleep without finishing. I loved hearing the twisted love stories and the terrible things that happened.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advancement is copy and exchange for an honest review. I love this book. This is one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in 2018. All of it was completely unexpected, I Slow Burn from an author I never heard of, but the story and the twists took over me and I could not put it down. Definitely recommend it
Was this review helpful?
Totally twisted book in a very good way. 
Lots of hidden secrets and surprises, I figured out a bunch of it before the twists were revealed, but that didn't make it a bad thing, it just made me anticipate how the author would write the scenes to reveal them. 
I liked the scenes in prison at the beginning, they helped to give Geo more depth and made her more interesting. The ultimate conclusion is satisfying.
Hillier is an imaginative writer, and the Seattle setting is perfect for the story. 
Highly recommended for mystery/suspense/thriller readers.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read Jar of Hearts! 
WOW. This was insane and I loved it. Tons of twists and turns.
Was this review helpful?
This is a unique story of a woman that had been sent to prison for assisting a serial killer in the death of her best friend.  She is just getting out and there are bodies found with messages to her and it seems the serial killer is back.

This is my first read by Hillier.  I really enjoyed the characters because they were real, imperfect.  I would be interested in reading more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a dark and twisty ride this one was!  Jennifer Hillier slowly exposes this story of murders past and present by switching back and forth between the present and the past.  Is there a plot hole or two?  Probably, but I’m okay with that because the overall story was so interesting and so well-told.  Hillier gives just enough clues to give the reader an inkling of what may have happened in the past, and what’s happening in the present, yet also pulls off a big surprise or two.  Overall, one of my most enjoyable reads in 2018.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books who provided a copy for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Easily Hillier's best effort yet!  I loved this book so much, three weeks later and I'm still in a serious book hangover and can't find anything worthy of reading.
Was this review helpful?
"But monsters, like everyone else, can evolve." Wow. Jar of Hearts is a heavy, heavy book. It is truly about dark and twisted people. Georgina has lived for years haunted by her best friend's disappearance during their senior year of high school. Tried to pretend it didn't happen, tried to push all the feelings down and tried to live a "normal" life. She's not surprised when she's arrested in 10+ plus years, but she is surprised it's by her former best friend, once a geek and now a detective. Hillier takes us through Georgina's first few months of prison "It's the daily bickering and drama between women that are too old to live in a sorority house, which is exactly what it feels like here, doesn't it? Minus the cute clothes and the boyfriends?", as well as back to high school and her relationship with Calvin, which changes her and her future trajectory forever. These people are ugly and full of drama and hate, and pain, and Jar of Hearts concludes that "Hurt people will always hurt people, and the wounds gouged into...over the years can never heal" - my only complaint might be that the ending wraps up a little too pat, I don't know that Georgina deserves her fate, either way. Still, I was yanked in, from the beginning, and it was impossible to look away. Clever title, too.

P. S. Thanks to #netgalley for the advance reader copy.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advance copy of this book from #NetGalley for an honest review.  This book had me hooked at the very beginning.   Geo is sentenced to 5 years in prison, after a plea bargain, for helping her boyfriend bury her best friend.  We are given flashbacks to what really happened the night Angela Wong died.  This would be a great book club read to analyze the dynamic between Geo and her dad,  the Wong family and Ella and her kids.  Great summer read
Was this review helpful?
This book...
Geo is a young VP on her way to bigger and better things, until she is arrested during a boardroom meeting.
14 years ago Geo's best friend Angela went missing. No one know why or how this popular girl just disappeared. Geo and Angela had a falling out over a boy, Calvin, but otherwise the girls were normal 16 year olds.
The story starts in the trial for Calvin. He is "the Sweetbay Strangler" that was caught when Angela's body was discovered. A camera has photos of Angela, Geo and Calvin in Angela's last few moments.
Geo is sent to prison for 5 years, upon her release she learns that Calvin has escaped and more dead bodies are turning up in the woods. 
This book was gripping and thrilling and I loved every twisted horrific moment. The pacing was a little off. I would figure the twist just as it was hinted at and then it would take a while to actually reveal. That being said, I still highly enjoyed the story and its twists.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first time I've ever read anything by this author and I Have to say Wow , it did start out a little slow but the more you read the more it picks up and the more of the dark secrets come out ,it pulls you in as well and once that happens your hooked , can't wait to read more by this author ,with that said thanks Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this author ,now I want to read more of her stuff.
Was this review helpful?
“Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier is in my opinion the best psychological thriller of the year. I’m hoping this book is being considered for a movie. I’ll be the first in line. She knocked this one out of the park. 
     Angela Wong, at the tender age of sixteen, vanished without a trace. Georgina Shaw, her best friend and Vice President of SHIPP Pharmaceuticals, was not one you would suspect to have involvement in Angela’s disappearance. 
   You also wouldn’t  suspect, Kaiser Brody who was their high school friend. 
    Without giving away too much of the plot... it’s 14 years later that Angela’s body is discovered. The suspect was Calvin James... a killer that murdered three women & possibly more. The kicker is...Calvin was Georgina’s first love. Their relationship was intense and borderline obsessive. What’s the connection? Is there one?
     Georgina, AKA Geo kept a secret~ she knew what happened to Angela. She kept this deep dark secret until her arrest and incarceration. 
     This book is intense and never lets up. From start to finish you will be invested in this story. 
     This book is also creepy, dark and chilling to the bone. 
     I hope my fingerprints return~ I believe I wore them off from turning the pages so quickly. 
     Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review. 
     Most of all~ thank you Jennifer Hillier. Your amazing!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the ARC of Jar of Hearts

First off WOW!  Jennifer Hilllier did an amazing job at keeping me on my toes the entire book.  I read so many suspense and mystery novels that most times I can figure out what is going to happen, not with this book!  
The twists and turns of Georgina Shaw made my jaw drop at least once every few chapters.  
This is definitely a must read.  I can’t wait for Jennifer’s next book!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier.

Geo lives a life of prestige, wealth and luxery.  She is young, her career is thriving, and she is engaged to be married to a financial mogul.  But everything comes crashing down when she is arrested as an accomplice in murder when she was sixteen, an arrest that she had been waiting for her whole adult life.

This is a story about Geo, her murdered best friend in HS and the events that lead to the murder.  It's a twisty tale with an ending that isn't completely surprising, but gripping all the same.  I loved the chronological back-and-forth, the complex characters, and the readability of the story.  It contains highly disturbing content, so beware.
Was this review helpful?
Blown. Away.  I went into this book blindly, knowing it was a crime story but that was it.  This book has so many layers of creepiness, angst, love and a touch of Orange is the New Black.  If you are a fan of crime fiction, or suspense then I highly recommend this book.  I read it in a single day, I couldn’t put it down!!
Was this review helpful?
I really liked this book.  It is twisted but I found Geo to be likable and empathized with her.  I know her secret disturbed many but I found it helped make all of her guilt make sense to me.   This is my first book by this author.  I will look for more.
Was this review helpful?
4.1 - oh wow, this one was messed-up (in a good way!); definitely enjoyed the dramatic twist near the end - highly recommended for those who want a psychological thriller
Was this review helpful?
Look at me! Reviewing a NetGalley title within the same year the book was released! Yeah, baby, I'm pretty pleased. It definitely helps that I was able to convince my Cocktail Hour co-hosts to pick this title for our August show. And that it's available in audio. 

Here's the Goodreads blurb, even though it's sort of long: [Removed for NetGalley post]


Despite the bad grammar in the blurb - which if I'd read before getting the book might have prevented me from trying it - the writing is good and the story kept me hooked from start to finish. The audio narration by January LaVoy was damn near perfect. Maybe even absolutely perfect. I liked it enough to actually google her and check out her website. Not many narrators inspire that level of curiosity in me.

So back to the book... I love that I didn't guess the big reveal until I was supposed to - nearly at the end of the book. It wasn't outlandish or bullshitty like some plot twists authors will use to foil all of us readers who start noting their guesses about the bad guy or plot twist very early in a book. It felt totally plausible to me and the actual reveal seemed timed perfectly. I didn't feel cheated but, instead, wished the story had gone on just a bit longer once I had that last bit of info.

For me, the book was really about the revealing of what happened when Geo was 16 and how the present-day case was playing out instead of the relationships of the people involved. Reflecting on it now, I didn't really care that much about Kaiser or anyone else besides Geo. Really, I don't think I cared much about Geo either. I enjoyed getting to know her through witnessing the bits and pieces of her life and experiences but I didn't really care about her. I was curious about her. I don't think that's a bad thing. 

Ok, I'm rambling now and my mind is moving into different directions so I'll wrap this up. If you enjoy mysteries with slow reveals and don't mind some flashbacks, give Jar of Hearts a shot. If you like audio books, definitely go for January LaVoy's narration.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for the ebook ARC because it put the book on my radar.
Was this review helpful?
Fourteen years after he disapperance, the remains of Angela Wong are found and it turns out her best friend knew she had been murdered and never told anyone. She now has to leave her high-powered job and serve time in prison--but that might not be the only secret she's been hiding.

Good writing, engaging characters and some interesting twists. A good, page-turning read.
Was this review helpful?