Saturday, July 28, 2018

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier is set in Seattle, Washington.  Fourteen years ago, Angela Wong disappeared without a trace and now her dismembered body has been found in the woods near Georgina “Geo” Shaw’s home.  Detective Kaiser Brody, Geo’s best friend in high school, never suspected Geo was involved in such a heinous crime.  They learn that Calvin James, Geo’s high school boyfriend, killed Angela and has since murdered three more women.  Geo has kept the events of the night Angela was killed a secret, but, after reaching a plea deal, she testifies against Calvin at his trial.  Geo is sentenced to five years at Hazelwood Correctional Institute.  Towards the end of her stay she is visited by Kaiser and told that Calvin has escaped.  Then new bodies start turning up in the woods killed in the exact manner at Angela.  Geo is released, and she returns to her childhood home much to the neighbors’ dismay.  As the body count rises, Geo recalls the events that led up to that fateful night. What really happened the night Angela died?

Jar of Hearts had a good beginning that drew me in (the first third).  After a while, though, the story took a downhill turn.  The pace became slow and the story felt flat.  I thought the story lacked depth and I found it to be predictable (reminded me of many other books that I have read). I wanted twists and turns that would surprise me and give me an OMG moment.  The back and forth from the present to the past did not help. The characters lacked development and were one dimensional.  I never felt the characters emotions (there should be hatred, anger, love, joy).  I also wanted to know why Geo did the things she did.  Geo is an unlikeable and unsympathetic character as were most of the individuals in the Jar of Hearts.  I wanted to know why Geo was obsessed with Calvin (just one of my questions).  Teenage naivete is an excuse that will only take a person so far.  If a four-year-old knows the difference between right and wrong so should a teenager.  I also felt Geo should have grown more as a person.  One would hope that she would learn from her bad decisions and time in prison.  The romance was unnecessary and did not add to the story.  The ending was incomplete and anticlimactic.  We are not given satisfactory answers that would wrap up the book and epilogue was unbelievable.   I want to warn readers that the Jar of Hearts is a graphic story that contains extreme violence, crude comments, rape and foul language.  Jar of Hearts was not the right book for me (I am in the minority on my opinion).  Obtain a sample of the Jar of Hearts to see if it is it appeals to you.  The cover for Jar of Hearts is beautiful and it is what drew me to the book.  My rating for Jar of Hearts is 2 out of 5 stars. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my review.  If you find my reviews helpful, please consider following my blog (upper right--by email or Google). Tomorrow I will be sharing my thoughts on Forests, Fishing and Forgery by Tonya Kappes.  It is the third installment in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series.  I hope that you have a pleasing day.  Take care, stay cool and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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