Saturday, June 23, 2018
Book Review: "Jar of Hearts" by Jennifer Hillier
That's the feeling I get when a book that everyone else has been raving about turns out to be as amazing as you hoped. In this case, believe the hypeJennifer Hillier's Jar of Hearts is pretty fantastic!!
"The past is always with you, whether you choose to think about it or not, whether you take responsibility for it or not. You carry the past with you because it transforms you. You can try to bury it and pretend it never happened, but that doesn't work. Geo knows that from experience. Because buried things can, and do, come back."
Georgina Shaw and her two best friends, Angela Wong and Kaiser Brody, were pretty much inseparable in high school. But one night everything changed. Angela went missing one night after a party, and Geo and Kaiser's friendship was never the same. No one knew, or even suspected, the secret that was weighing her down. Who could imagine that she could have anything to do with Angela's disappearance?
Fourteen years later, Geo is an executive on the fast track at a pharmaceutical company in Seattle, engaged to the firm's CEO. She's poised to have it all, and then Angela's remains are found buried in the woods not far from where Geo grew up. The Seattle police department, where Kaiser now works as a detective, has discovered that Angela was an early victim of Calvin James, a serial killer responsible for at least three other murders, who has been dubbed the Sweetbay Strangler.
While the police view Calvin as a cold-blooded killer, he was Geo's first boyfriend when she was in high school. A few years older than she was, Calvin was sexy, volatile, and controlling, and while their relationship was far from perfect given his temper, she couldn't get enough of him, and he was just as obsessed with her. But the night Angela died, everything changed.
Geo carried the secret of what really happened to Angela for 14 years, and when it is finally exposed, and she winds up in prison, her carefully planned life is turned upside down. But as she takes the punishment she deserves, sheand her hometownare once again shattered by the discovery of more murders, similar to those of the Sweetbay Strangler. It is only then that Geo realizes just how dangerous secrets and lies can be.
I tried to be really careful with my plot description, because Hillier lets her plot unfold slowly, teasing out details, and she had me hooked on this book from start to finish. Geo is a fascinating character, and I kept hoping there would be reasons to continue rooting for her. I also loved Kaiser's character, and really loved the dynamics of the two of them interacting after so long apart.
I wasn't completely surprised by the plot, but I still loved this book. Hillier did a great job with keeping the story moving and not getting too bogged down in reminiscences, since so much of the plot was driven by modern-day events. This is a terrific thriller, full of suspense as well as the realization that what happens in your youth can never be put completely behind you.
Grab this one before they turn it into a movie or television miniseries!!
Labels: book reviews, crime, family, fear, fiction, friendship, grief, growing up, guilt, love, mystery/thriller, parenthood, regret, relationships, secrets
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