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Jar of Hearts

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This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

311 pages, Hardcover

First published June 12, 2018

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About the author

Jennifer Hillier

11 books9,367 followers
Jennifer Hillier imagines the worst about people, and then writes about it.

She’s the USA Today, Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail bestselling author of Things We Do in the Dark, described as “an intoxicating thrill ride” by the New York Times and “propulsive and chilling” by People magazine. It was a Book of the Month Club selection, an Indigo Top Ten Best Book of the Year, an Amazon Editor’s Spotlight Pick, a Goodreads Choice Award nominee, a Loan Stars pick, and a her third consecutive novel to be honored as a LibraryReads pick, which places her in their Hall of Fame.

Jennifer is also the author of six other psychological thrillers. Her USA Today bestselling novel Little Secrets is currently being adapted for Peacock by Tish Cyrus’s Hopetown Entertainment, writer Melissa Scrivner Love and Universal Television, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Anthony Award. Jar of Hearts won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel and was also shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards. Her earlier novels are Creep, Freak, The Butcher, and Wonderland, the last of which will be published in mass market paperback and audiobook for the very first time in April 2023. Her books have been published in twenty-three languages so far.

Jennifer is Filipino-Canadian, born and raised in Toronto. She spent eight amazing years in Seattle which is where she first became a published writer. She’s a Seahawks fan who married to a Packers guy. They have a young son who looks most like her when he’s crying. She’s afraid of the dark and can’t sleep unless she’s checked the locks on the doors several times. She loves writing when it’s raining, sleeping when it’s sunny, and reading after everyone else has gone to bed. She cherishes her family (those who read, and those who don’t), and her friends (those who write, and those who don’t). She’s a cat person without a cat, which makes her sad. But she’s now back in the Toronto area permanently with her family, which makes her happy.

Her next novel is coming in 2024.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,639 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
September 28, 2022
This book was all kinds of messed up, and I loved it. I'm not sure what it says about me that I like all kinds of gratuitous nasty in my thrillers. Could it be that I have become so desensitized to violence, gore, and all other forms of disturbing nature that I have to keep "one upping" my reads? Possibly. Deep down, I feel like the gritty, explicit thrillers make me ponder the unsettling aspects of life more. When a book talks about some of the darkest violence you can imagine, it makes me think about instances in real life that have occurred in a similar manner, and I start to wonder about the motives behind such monstrous and cruel behavior. Weird? Totally, but there you have it.

Jar Of Hearts is one of those explicit novels. You know it's as bad for you as the cinnamon candy hearts portrayed in the story; there's a sickly sweet undertone mixed with a plot that has desperate, compulsive pacing. It's one of those books that once you pick it up you don't want to put it down until you're finished. I give a nod to the author and my respect; regardless of the fact that this is a story that has been done before in various ways, she puts her own flair on it and sells it to us like it's a brand new, shiny idea. Even though I saw all the plot twists before they arrived (I chalk this up to reading so many thrillers already), I was STILL head over heels in love with this book. Guys, that's the sign of engaging writing.

I think my only complaint here was that the ending felt a bit rushed and that I wanted a little more. More interaction during the final reunion between the characters, and maybe just a little more detail, characterization, and story in general. I could have easily gobbled up another 50-75 pages of this book! After reading the author's note in the back I now know that she connects her books via an invented PNW town and crossover characters. Obviously this is a standalone novel, but I'm always impressed when books are given that extra layer of complex connection and detail.

Highly recommended for a fun summer read; you'll fly through this stunning suspense in record time, I assure you.

Content warning

Review copy furnished via publisher.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,301 reviews43.9k followers
October 22, 2022

If you’re looking for a flawless, innocent hero or heroine to empathize with their stories you chose the wrong book because even the victims are not so innocent at this mind blowing journey. Keep your eyes open not to be fooled because nothing as it seems. The worst monster could be prey, hiding a lamb’s heart inside his/her chest and hypothetically naive ones could be the real violent monsters. You see what you want to see!

The story starts at the court room, Georgina Shaw, successful business woman, rising star of Seattle pharmaceutical company sentenced to 5 years prison time because as her ex- boyfriend cut her best friend Angela into pieces and buried her into the ground 14 years ago, she didn’t do something to stop him and she didn’t tell anyone what she’d seen. And guess what! Kaiser Brody who was one of her best friend and always had a crush on her was the police officer put her behind the bars. But wait a second, her ex-boyfriend/ convicted serial killer Calvin gives a note says “You’re welcome with a heart drawing” after the trial. So what is going on? What is she hiding? Could she be the real killer or was she protecting someone?

And the worst part is when she was behind the bars to pay for her sins, the letters from ex-crazy boyfriend kept coming to her. We don’t know what these are about. But we learn that Calvin already escaped from the prison!

Holly hell! And it’s getting more interesting at the last days of Geo’s prison time, he strikes back and Kaiser and his team started to find more corpses around the place where the first victim had found. (Yes, you got it right, it’s close to Geo’s teenage house where she lived with her father and where she will return back after her prison time!)

So as soon as Geo goes back to the civilization and is being rejected by her own neighbors, banks, hair salons (yes, once upon a time she was promising business woman who made six digit salary and now she is persona non grata), and her father’s house walls and her car was being vandalized several times, she barely collect the broken pieces of her f**ked up life! And this is just the beginning of the nightmare because officers find more corpses belong to mother and their little biological children they’d adopted before. All of them related to Calvin (yes: Calvin left so many fatherless kids behind!) and there is a note at the bodies: “See me”

So here’s the deal: Did Calvin kill them and try to send a message to his ex-love indicating he’s coming home like Ozzy Osbourne style who sings “mamma I’m coming home” and bites a bat’s head off, spitting blood at the concerts. Yes, some sick messages and momma and child corpses are out there to be found. But you gotta solve what they mean and trust me you barely understand what happens till the end.

Especially last quarter of the book is the craziest train ride I’ve ever had for a long time which made me keep repeating: “WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF?!!!!!!!!!!”
I think I started to get addicted to Jennifer Hillier’s books. I also loved her upcoming “Little Secrets” book too much. But this book…. Oh boy…. This is sick, mind bending, dark, smart, stunning, riveting! You cannot stop reading because it makes you slave, captivates your mind, it’s really good one!

So let’s sing with Christina Perri, sipping more Chardonnay and enjoy every word, every sentence, every page of this book: “Who do you think you are? Runnin’ round leaving scars, collecting jar of hearts and tearing love apart”

Don’t forget to stay away from cinnamon heart candies! But never stay away this kind of remarkable stories if you are real die-hard fan of the creepy, spooky thrillers.

Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
March 20, 2022
If you're in the mood for something crazy and chilling, well, look no further.

Angela, Geo, and Kai were best friends in high school. They were inseparable until Geo fell in love with bad boy Calvin. Then one night, Angela mysteriously disappears. Geo carries the secret of what really happened for 14 years, until the day Angela's remains are discovered in the woods outside Geo's childhood home. What follows is the unraveling of what really happened on that fateful night all those years ago, and what is still to come for all involved.

This book is so darn entertaining. I was riveted from the very beginning, holding my metaphoric bowl of popcorn and turning the pages as fast I could. The writing is fast-paced and the atmosphere is deliciously suspenseful. I did find the first half to be more thrilling because I didn't know where the story was going, whereas by the second half, the story had crystallized into a narrative with a clear destination.

However, this story does require a tremendous suspension of disbelief. A lot of outlandish things happen, and if you think about it carefully, they don't really hang completely together. The characters are all unlikable and varying degrees of crazy. And to progress the plot, there are some coincidences, a lot of conveniences, and even some contradictions. Also, I found this book to be much darker than a typical thriller, with some of the bad events verging on the grotesque.

Still, I had a lot of fun reading this. It was crazy and dark and outlandish, and it kept me entertained throughout. This is my first book by Jennifer Hillier, and I'll have to check out more.
Profile Image for Deanna .
687 reviews12.5k followers
June 25, 2018
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Throughout High School, Georgina (Geo) Shaw, Angela Wong, and Kaiser Brody were best friends. They were practically inseparable… until the day Calvin James entered their lives. From then on nothing was the same….

Angela was the captain of the cheerleading squad, the one everyone wanted to be friends with. She craved attention and Georgina was fine with letting her have it. But Angela didn’t like it when Georgina caught the eye of the good-looking, and older Calvin James.

“When she spoke to you, she could make you feel like you were the only person in the room, or she could shred you with one dirty look”.

Soon, Calvin is all Georgina can think of and her friends aren’t impressed. And then one night after a High School party, Angela goes missing. Fourteen years later her remains are found.

Over the years, Georgina had done well for herself. She's thirty years old and is the youngest VP at Shipp Pharmaceuticals. She’s even engaged to the company's CEO. She built a new life and kept all her secrets tucked away into compartments in her mind. But her new life ended the day she was arrested by her former best friend, Detective Kaiser Brody, as “Wonderwall” by Oasis played in the background.

“Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you”

The book opens as Calvin James aka The Sweetbay Strangler is on trial for the murder of four women, including Angela Wong. Georgina Shaw is a witness and after she’s finished giving her testimony, she will be sent to Hazelwood (Hellwood) Correctional Institute to serve a five-year sentence. This was the plea deal for her testimony, though many think five years isn’t enough for Georgina’s part in what happened.

“in every story, there’s a hero and a villain. Sometimes one person can be both”

Detective Brody still has questions for his old friend Geo. He feels that there is more to the story. Will he ever find out exactly what happened that night? And when new bodies start showing up... will the detective be able to be able to do his job properly? Or will old feelings cloud his judgment?


“Jar of Hearts” was an interesting read packed with well-developed characters and an engrossing plot. The story shifts between past and present and is broken into five parts. The five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The majority of the story is told from Georgina’s point of view but also includes chapters from Kaiser Brody’s perspective.

An extremely well-written story of friendship, obsession, jealousy, and murder. One that does require some suspension of disbelief, but still had me flipping pages quickly to see what was going to happen next.

The author tells an exciting story, one that drew me in right from the very first page. And though I figured out a couple things early on… my jaw still dropped as I came to the unexpected ending of this twisted and addictive read.

This was my first read from Jennifer Hillier and I can guarantee that it won’t be my last.

I'd like to thank Minotaur Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Meredith (Trying to catch up!).
814 reviews12.7k followers
May 30, 2018
Creepy Good!

“In every story, there’s a hero and a villain. Sometimes one person can be both.”

A murder, a coverup, and a twisted relationship are at the forefront of Jar of Hearts. This book is not only about what happened the night a young girl is murdered, but also about the after effects on the perpetrator of a crime.

14 years ago, Angela Wong was murdered. Her remains have been recently discovered, along with evidence pointing to her best friend, Georgina Shaw. Georgina is sentenced to 5 years in prison for her role in Angela’s murder. Bits and pieces of the how and the why behind Angela’s murder are slowly revealed, along with buried secrets and lies. Georgina's point of view adds a layer of depth to this novel.

This is a fast-paced psychological thriller that kept me riveted. The dark, sinister characters were my favorite part of reading Jar of Hearts. There is an underlying element of creepiness throughout, which made me uneasy and kept me on my toes. There are some moments that are extremely disturbing (including a pretty descriptive rape scene), which resulted in me having to take reading breaks.

I was expecting this book to be focused on why the murder happened and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it's about much more. There are flashbacks to the past to expose what really happened the night Angela was killed, so the reader is able to gradually understand the part Georgina played. This element also serves to provide an interesting juxtaposition of Georgina’s character. I found the ending to be seriously disturbing, but I wasn’t fully sold on the epilogue. Overall, I would recommend this to psychological thriller fans!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's/Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review.

February 25, 2023
What a wild ride this book was!

Jar of Hearts tells the story of three high school friends. Angela disappeared at sixteen, Geo knows the truth about what happened, and Kaiser (now a detective) works to find out the truth. But, will the secrets Geo shares with her first love, Calvin, come to the surface?

This was one rollercoaster of a book! It actually managed to truly shock me during the first half. I had to put the book down to really wrap my head around what was going on. Although I found the second half a bit more predictable it was still able to surprise me a bit too! I loved that it used multiple POV’s and jumped back and forth between the present day and the past, it didn’t take me long to catch up with what timeline or perspective was being used. I particularly liked the scenes within the prison, they felt so vivid and really came to life.

As a warning, this book got dark very quickly. During one scene I felt really nauseous, I can honestly say I’ve never read a book that mentioned this topic before and it was a tough one to take in. Please be very cautious of trigger warnings with this book. Not a single character was particularly likeable, all of them are deeply flawed. Which gave me a detached feeling, but I still found the story absolutely riveting and did not want to stop reading. I actually really liked some of the subtle messages thrown into this book too. It has definitely left me wanting to read more by this author!

I would recommend this to any fans of dark thrillers, but please be extremely cautious of potential triggers.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,705 reviews25k followers
August 2, 2018
Jennifer Hillier writes a gripping, emotive, dark and twisted psychological thriller that had me reading as fast as I possibly could, desperate to see how it all ends. Popular 16 year old Angela Wong disappears without trace, only for her dismembered remains to resurface in the woods 14 years later, close to Georgina 'Geo' Shaw's home. Geo is now a successful VP at Shipp's Pharmaceuticals in Seattle, and engaged to the CEO. Her life falls apart as the knowledge of what happened to Angela, and her role in it, secrets she has kept all these years, now spill out. Kaiser Brody, is a police detective in Seattle PD, he has never got past the stumbling block of his obsessive unrequited love for Geo through the years. He sees that Angela has been a victim of the 'Sweetbay Strangler', Calvin James. When Geo was 16, she developed an blinding obsessive teenage crush on the older Calvin that will indelibly shape her future. The story is told through multiple perspectives, going back and forth in time.

Geo is sentenced to 5 years in prison, and Calvin is imprisoned for life for the killing of Angela, and other deaths. Hillier gives us a chilling portrayal of Geo's prison life, for which Geo has to draw on her inner resources and strength to survive the experience. Calvin manages to escape, and other bodies with a similar MO turn up as the past comes back to haunt the present. As Geo is freed, you wonder if Calvin is responsible and if Geo's life is in danger. There is more to this deadly affair than is first thought as Hillier reveals twist after twist in this tale of abuse and violence. Geo, the once successful and wealthy business woman, now faces life as a pariah, shunned and derided. The narrative gives us a picture of broken and manipulated lives, prison hardships, abuse, friendship, and wrecked futures.

This is a fast paced, beautifully written and impressively plotted book. Admittedly the characters are difficult to like, but Hillier, nevertheless, makes them riveting and compelling, you want to know more about them and the direction their lives head in. I must warn readers that there is dark, unsettling and disturbing material that covers issues such as rape and abuse that may be too much for many readers. I found myself sucked into the story, and found it thought provoking, intense, and an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. I highly recommend this to readers who love twisted psychological thrillers that are a little different. Many thanks to Atlantic Books for an ARC.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
August 31, 2023
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Jar of Hearts weaves a dark web of intrigue from the very start. My first Jennifer Hillier novel and I was definitely impressed with her creativity.

The narrative alternates between two perspectives, Georgina 'Geo' and Kaiser, flowing seamlessly between them, as well as between past and present timelines.

Hillier definitely does not shy away from the grittier sides of life. Please be aware, scenes of rape are on page. If you are a reader who is sensitive to that please tread cautiously.

I feel a bit stuck with this review because it is hard to talk much about the plot without giving anything away. For me, the build-up to the reveal was more exciting than the actual reveal.

I think about 3/4 of the way through, the end is pretty clear, and plot points that make the ending possible are a bit far-fetched and convenient.

Overall, however, if you are looking for a gritty Psychological Thriller with long buried secrets coming to light, you should definitely check this one out.

It was so fun to read and I would definitely pick up more from this author in the future.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books, for providing me with a copy to review. I appreciate the opportunity!

Trigger Warnings: dating abuse/violence, date rape, rape and murder.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
383 reviews1,767 followers
April 29, 2019
4.5 stars

Geo's best friend, Angela Wong, vanished without a trace, when she was in high school. No one found out what happened to her until 14 years later. Her remains were found in the woods behind Geo's house.
Angela died when she was 16 years old. She was murdered

She now has a successful job, and all that is lost when she is arrested. Geo 's boyfriend, Calvin James is also arrested.

Geo knew for 14 years what happened to Angela and told no one. She kept that secret. Kaiser Brody is the detective, and He was also one of Geo's friends in highschool. Geo is sentenced to prison for five years and Calvin is sentenced for life.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. Now new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the same way as Angela Wong.

This book had everything I love in a thriller. I couldn't stop thinking of this book. It's a dark thriller with lots of twists and turns. It is a little graphic. I kept on guessing and guessing wrong until the end. This story will stick with me for a long time. It is very tense. It is full of secrets and lies. The ending is shocking and disturbing.

The characters were very well done. They all were realistic. I had so many different emotions for Geo. I also loved the writing style.

I read Jennifer Hillier's book Creep and I now want to finish the rest of that series.

This one made my favorites list in 2018.

I want to thank Netgalley, Jennifer Hillier, and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Debra .
2,412 reviews35.2k followers
May 16, 2018
4.5 Stars

"The past is always with you, whether you choose to think about it or not, whether you take responsibility for it or not. Your 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."

The past never remains in the past. The decision you make, the judgement calls, the impulsive actions, the good, the bad, the ugly, it can and will come back to haunt you. That is something that Geo (Georgina) Shaw knows all too well. When she was sixteen-years-old, her best friend, Angela Wong, disappeared without a trace. No one knew what happened that night she disappeared - no one was supposed to know. But Geo knew and kept the details of that night a secret. She'll pay for that - don't worry she will pay.

"This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . ."

When Angela's remains are found near Geo's father's property, it becomes clear that Calvin James has killed her. Who is Calvin James????? He is a serial killer responsible for the death of three other women. It just so happens that Calvin was Geo's boyfriend in high school. They had an obsessive and intense relationship which seemed to end abruptly when Angela went missing (ahem was murdered). Kaiser Brody, an investigator for the Seattle PD who arrested Calvin, was Angela and Geo's close friend in high school. He is shocked and saddened to learn of Geo's silence and knowledge about Angela's death.

"Because buried things can, and do, come back."

Geo knew what happened that night but choose to keep what happened a secret. That decision is her downfall and she is sentenced to prison when Angela's remains are found. Upon her release, she is trying to start over and finds that is easier said than done. New remains have been found in the woods near her father's home and investigators are wondering if the bodies are in any way related to the Angela Wong murder? Who is the killer? Are the cases related?

This book had a lot of twists and turns. Just when I thought I had this book figured out, a new twist and a new turn, let me know I was nowhere near to knowing what the heck was going on in this book. Seriously, just when I thought I had a character's motivation down, a new secret or a new revelation would turn things around.

This book is told in Geo's and Kaiser's POV throughout five parts of the book. This not only helped moved the book along but kept things interesting - as in REALLY interesting. This is an interesting book because from the very beginning, the reader knows that Geo is getting prison time for keeping her friend's murder a secret. What we don't know is why? Why was Angela murdered? Why did Geo keep it secret? How was she able to go on with her life? How could she look her friend's family in the face? How do you live with yourself? Why do you lie? So many questions! The details of that night do come, and some are quite SHOCKING!

This book was a page turner for me. I seriously could not put this book down (nor did I want to put it down).

Thank you to St. Martin's Press Minotaur books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are my own.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
827 reviews4,704 followers
October 15, 2020
❤️💔 "Everyone has a single defining moment in life, something that thrusts them irrevocably into a new direction, something that affects them at their core, something that changes them forever." ❤️💔

Georgina (Geo) Shaw's defining moment was the day she met Calvin James. The moment he entered her life, he changed it forever. Geo and her two best friends, Angela and Kaiser are inseparable. They spend all of their time together until Geo's relationship with Calvin changes things. Then one night, following a party they all attended, Angela goes missing. Her remains turn up 14 years later near Geo's childhood home. Kaiser, now a police detective uncovers that she was one of four of Calvin James, a.k.a. The Sweetbay Strangler's victims.

"A relationship isn't supposed to make you feel out of control; it's not supposed to consume you; its not supposed to change you into someone you don't want to be."

What happened to Angela that fateful night? How did she become the Sweetbay Strangler's first victim? That is just one of the questions eventually answered by the story. There really ended up being so much more going on here than I initially anticipated. Jar of Hearts was an engrossing tale of love, obsession, jealousy and murder.

"In every story, there's a hero and villain. Sometimes one person can be both."

Ultimately, we all have a bit of hero and villain, a touch of good and bad within us. The characters in this novel were a perfect example of this inner conflict. Jar of Hearts definitely kept me turning the pages in rapid succession!
Profile Image for Christina Loeffler.
143 reviews17.3k followers
September 24, 2018
4.5, Well tickle me pink, I didn’t expect that stars!!!!

Full review and a recipe for a DIY Ramen Noodle Jar featured on my blog Recipe and a Read!!!

Georgina (Geo) Shaw was your average 16-year-old, high-school cheerleader. She was popular, smart and a good girl. Her best friend was the “it-girl” of St. Martins private school, Angela Wong. Angela shined brighter and bolder than Geo, than anyone at their high-school, and she knew it. Their relationship was fraught with jealousies and competition but they loved each other more than anything else in the world.

Enter Calvin James. He’s 21, drives a red Trans Am, is too handsome for words, confident and charming to boot. When he takes a sudden, inexplicable and obsessive interest in Geo instead of Angela, Geo’s carefully constructed life slowly starts to unravel. Until one fateful night Calvin murders Angela Wong and Geo helps him cover it up.

The past is always with you, whether you choose to think about it or not, whether you take responsibility for it or not. Your 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.

Now, 14 years down the line Geo has hidden this secret and carried the guilt with her as she forged a new life. She’s a major player at a huge corporation, she’s got a rich fiancé and things are all going her way. Until one-third of her high-school trio, now a cop, makes a visit to her at work. Kaiser, best friend to both her and Angela has come to arrest Geo as an accomplice to murder.

Geo, finally ready to come clean and wash her past sins away with truth serves five years in prison for her crimes and helps put Calvin away for life. Newly released from jail, bodies begin turning up with suspicious messages that all point to Geo. Now the race is on to figure out who is this killer, how is it related to Angela and Geo and will they solve it in time?

Everyone has a single defining moment in life, something that thrusts them irrevocably into a new direction, something that affects them at their core, something that changes them forever.

I loved this story! It was such a refreshing thriller to read because it was entirely grounded in reality. The story lines are plausible, believable and at no point did I feel I had to truly suspend reality to get into the story. I don’t mind implausible storylines because it’s par for the course in fiction and I’m a fantasy fan so I’m used to it – but it’s always nice when you read something and find yourself saying “yes, I could see this happening” and still being totally entrenched in the suspense of the story.

This had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I wasn’t there because there were frivolous twists or red-herrings thrown in and I was honestly surprised by how engrossed I was despite it missing things that are fairly traditional for these types of novels. The development into the story and it’s writing is was got me. I didn’t want to know the outcome, I needed to and I didn’t want to miss a single detail along the way.

In every story, there’s a hero and villain. Sometimes one person can be both.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the prison setting but it was yet another device that yielded to an incredibly dynamic novel. I’m not able to recall any story I’ve read that’s had a sizeable portion of it set within the confines of prison and it was written in an incredibly accessible way. It created an atmosphere to the novel that not only changed Geo as a person, but changes the readers perception of her as well.

As the story progresses, the pacing remains consistent and it never felt rushed or sensationalized. The final twists in this one weren’t over-done or in your face. Much like the rest of the novel there was subtlety here that really worked for me and aided to the very grounded feel of the novel over all. This is my first read from Hillier and I’ll definitely be picking up more down the line!
Profile Image for Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings).
1,564 reviews173 followers
December 15, 2018
Oh my! I was extremely excited and very much looking forward to reading this highly anticipated book after seeing some fabulous reviews for it. I can more than happily confirm that after I'd finished reading, it was everything I had expected and MORE!
Frighteningly vivid and so tense there were times I didn't realise I was holding my breath, I was so immersed in the moments and the well developed characters. It truly felt as though I was actually standing in the story viewing it as a spectator. Such a professionally written and polished story with an intense clarity to detail, it really did make for a sick, twisted and utterly compelling novel. The women's prison scenes at the start were truly scary and certainly had me on the edge of my seat.
"Jar of Hearts" is told between the present day and the past as it actually happened and although I did start to work out the twist towards the last quarter of the book this didn't effect my enjoyment of the story as I was hooked into still seeing how it all came together at the end. And what an ending!
I haven't read any of Jennifer Hillier's other books but I am now very keen to read more by her because if they are anything like this one, then they will be fabulous too!
A word of warning though - there is a continuous flow of sensitive and explicit scenes throughout, very much needed for the telling of the whole story, so therefore if you are easily offended or squeamish then this sadly may not be for you.
Fast paced, creepy, twisted, dark, gruesome, stomach churning, enthralling, addictive etc etc etc I could go on! I SO LOVED this book, it was everything I seek in a serial killing thriller and I will be certainly be putting this book in my top ten possibly even my top five for 2018!!

A fabulous 5 stars and more!
Profile Image for Julie .
4,076 reviews59k followers
August 5, 2019
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier is a 2018 Minotaur Books publication.

Electrifying Suspense!

Georgina Shaw’s past finally caught up with her. She had made a pretty nice life for herself, until the body of Angela Wong, her best friend in high school, is found fourteen years after she went missing.

For her role in the crime, and her connection to the infamous serial killer, Calvin James, Geo is rewarded with a five -year stint in prison. But, once her time is up, Geo's attempts to rebuild her life hits one snag after another as Calvin’s shadow still looms large over her life, and more buried secrets bubble to the surface. But, when a new string of murders, bearing Calvin’s MO, takes place, law enforcement is sure Geo knows more than she’s telling…

The story flips back and forth between the past and the present, as Geo recounts her high school days and what eventually led to Angela’s demise. The tension during these flashbacks is very intense, so much so, I squirmed in my seat, dreading the inevitable. But I never would have guessed the way it all played out. The teenage angst morphing into full blown obsession is riveting.

The present -day segments are also very suspenseful as Geo still harbors a few shocking secrets, and the reader is not sure if she can be fully trusted. The tension mounts as more bodies turn up and Geo could very well be the killer’s next target.

This is one of those books everyone was reading back in 2018. I wanted to read it while it was hot and trendy, but I was also starting to burn out on this genre, so I put it on the back burner for a while.

I never completely lost sight of it though, because I had a feeling that when the time was right, I would really like this one. I’m glad I followed my instincts. I had such a bad attitude towards serial killer tropes and psychological thrillers when this book was released, I’m not sure it would have had the same impact on me back then. Now that my attitude has been adjusted- somewhat- the book really packed an enormous punch!

This is a very taut, atmospheric novel, not only chock full of suspense, but also a compelling drama, which toys with one’s emotions. As a prolific reader of suspense novels, I had an inkling where the story was headed before the ‘big reveal’, but it didn’t lessen the jolt once it hit me.

I thought the book was well constructed and unique, with just the right amount of twists, revealed at just the right time and place. It was hard to put down, and I found myself thinking about the characters long after I finished the book.

Overall, this is a superb thriller worth waiting for!
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews585 followers
July 18, 2018
Audiobook....Library overdrive....read by January LaVoy! (excellent reader)

This was one of the most brilliantly addictive, sophisticated, creepy, complex, wonderful suspense thriller murder-mystery novel I’ve read.
Can we call a book in this genre masterful?
I can’t find anything wrong with it.

The words ‘fleshed out’ are not words I usually use in my reviews... but author Jennifer Hillier is sure skilled at it...
Her characters are both flawed and likable -

Only once did I ‘laugh’... when I did I almost couldn’t stop laughing.

Only once did I feel genuine deep sadness — and when I did - it was quick -

‘Most’ of the time my personal emotions were removed at arms distance...
But HOT DAMN if this wasn’t one HELL OF A GREAT *unputdownable*!!!!

Fabulous- Fantastic- with a knock them out of the park exquisite ending!!!
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,194 reviews3,030 followers
November 16, 2020
Angela, Georgina, and Kaiser were best friends in high school, when Angela was murdered, dismembered, and buried. Her body is found 14 years later and DNA found with her body targets Calvin James, a serial killer who was Georgina's boyfriend at the time of Angela's death. Geo is now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company and Kaiser is a Seattle detective.

Geo has secrets and Kaiser knows she does. What follows is Geo facing time for her part in what happened to Angela while she still keeps secrets that she never plans to reveal. Kaiser loved Geo when they were teenagers and never moved on from that love despite the fact that Geo played a part in his friend's death.

More murders take place in present time, with the bodies staged in the same manner as Angela's body. What follows is the search for the killer and how these murders connect to Geo and Calvin, and who will be the next to die. This was an easy read because there always seems to be more intrigue on the next page.

I did wish that less time had been spent on Geo's time in prison. I certainly didn't need to read about her sex life while in prison because it seemed to do nothing to further the storyline. If the book bogged down anywhere, it was during the prison scenes. But outside of those scenes, the mystery and the dynamics between the characters was interesting and kept me reading to the last word.

Published June 12th 2018

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,779 reviews14.2k followers
May 7, 2018
Intense and unsettling. It is a little more graphic than I usually read, not terribly though, and there are a few sex scenes, which I have to admit are necessary to the storyline. Three highschool best friends, one ends up dead, another in jail, and the third serves his community. How did this come to be?

The story is told in alternating current events with back flashes of the events that led to these circumstances. It is tightly plotted, revelations are not revealed until the author decides they are necessary.. I thought this book was going to go one way, but I hoped not as that would have made this storyline way too predictable. She didn't, with a marvelous sleight of hand she revealed something that turned the whole plot.

I seldom think thrillers would make a good book discussion but this is an exception to that belief. One of the characters, won't reveal who, presented me with a moral dilemna, causing me a great deal of thought, and a very uncomfortable feeling. Too many debatable choices, different sides of a personality, couldn't figure out what exactly kind of person this was, and I don't refer to meaningless mistakes. So as far as thrillers go, this is very character driven, and one that may be a step above others I have recently read. I will, however, go back to wimpy reader status. This was a bit of shock to my system.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,234 followers
September 13, 2021
Jar of Hearts is as much a character-driven story as it is plot-driven and you’ll be forgiven for thinking this was written by Stephen King because it has his signature all over.

First off, you should know there are no good guys in this story, I would even go as far as to say that most are completely irredeemable. That notwithstanding when you’re in the midst of rapist, murderers and serial killers, you may find yourself projecting absolution onto the character whom you deem less evil the thing is, they don't deserve it.

Secondly, Hillier is a master puppeteer and not until the twists are revealed will you then acknowledge that the clues were right there. After all,

“You see what you want to see, not what’s there.”

This is a story about the betrayal of friendship, obsessive love, and incomprehensible evil. Hillier will have you on tenterhooks from first to the last page and I loved every word of it.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
May 1, 2020
i seem to be going backwards with JHs bibliography, but it makes no difference because she is really making a case for herself to be on my favourite mystery/thriller authors list, which is a pretty small list. so thats saying something.

the characters were the shining star in ‘little secrets,’ but the bright light in this story is the definitely the plot and mystery surrounding past and current murders. i found myself really looking forward to kais chapters because i got more of the detective work and scenes that surrounded the mystery.

my main issue is with the ending. not necessarily with the ending itself, just with how its written. its basically nonexistent. theres the ultimate climax and then the book ends. there is an epilogue, but its the worst epilogue ive ever read. there is essentially no closure, no insight, no space to process what has just happened to the characters after the big ‘whoa’ at the very end. just kind of disappointing.

but overall, a very gripping story and one that i wont forget for quite some time.

4 stars
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
315 reviews2,418 followers
June 11, 2018

After feeling duped into reading a few too many light weight “thrillers” that are promoted as dark and twisted, all I can say is: Thank God!! this book doesn’t read like chick-lit! It really is dark and twisted, a bit gritty and graphic and best of all, set in the Pacific Northwest!! Hooray! Also, the pacing is extremely fast, I read the entire thing in a matter of hours.

All good things, yes? Ok, to be honest, YES! My minor complaints: a little deeper characterization would have been most welcome. Also, the book felt too short! I wanted so much more to the final reveal. The ending felt rushed and was over too soon.

JAR OF HEARTS refers to a mason jar of cinnamon candy hearts, not a jar of real hearts (whew!)...This isn't a Jeffrey Dahmer story, but it does sidle right up to the borderline between thriller and too many violent details. I know, I know, I love my dark and disturbed characters! BUT, I don't really enjoy reading graphic details first hand in a novel. I like to keep my distance and let the the investigator read the autopsy report. Thankfully, this one is brief on the Patricia Cornwell-type ickiness, but it gets a bit close for me.

The mystery feels fresh and original, even if it's not. It's written in an engaging, addictive manner and I was immediately pulled into the complicated friendship between Georgina, Angela, and Kaiser. When Calvin enters the story, all their lives are changed forever. The high school flashback parts are brief and essential to the story. I never felt like the story lagged, even between time switchbacks. The parts of the story focused on life in a women's prison were fascinating to me! Most of the book felt very authentic, realistic and thoroughly researched.

Well done, Jennifer Hillier! Now I just need to dig out my copy of Creep, I LIIIIIIKE YOU AND WANT TO READ MORE!

I definitely would recommend this book if you enjoy a serial killer/crime fiction every once in awhile. This one is fast, engrossing, gritty-- but, not too graphic. JUST about perfect!

Thanks to NetGalley and the author for my galley copy. The book is set to be released on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
June 12, 2018
4.5 Gripping & Unputdownable Stars to JAR OF HEARTS!

JAR OF HEARTS by JENNIFER HILLIER is an intense, chilling, dark and twisted psychological thriller novel that grabbed my attention very quickly and had me totally invested throughout this whole story.

JENNIFER HILLIER delivers a unique, well-written and very descriptive read here with characters that were not all that likeable but they were definitely compelling to read about though. I found the storyline and some scenes quite disturbing and unsettling but nonetheless it was a thrilling, entertaining and exciting book for me to read.

I thought that the reveals were perfectly timed and the way that the story developed and was presented to us was quite the impressive storytelling and very appealing to this reader. I think that is one of the reasons why I enjoyed this story so much!

Cautionary Warning: There is some disturbing content and scenes that might be sensitive for some readers.

Publishing Date: June 12, 2018

To sum it all up it was an enjoyable, fast-paced, concisely written, thought-provoking, and a cringe worthy read with an ending that took me a little by surprise. Would recommend!

This was a Traveling Sisters Read that I read along with Diane. Thank you so much, Diane for reading this one with me!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jennifer Hillier for the opportunity to read a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Review written and posted on our themed book blog:
Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading

Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,509 reviews29.4k followers
July 1, 2018

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 hype—Jennifer 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, she—and her hometown—are 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!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
July 24, 2022

This was my first Jennifer Hillier novel and I am sure this won’t be my last! Finished this a day ago and am still gathering my thoughts! Exceptionally well-written but exceedingly disturbing – this is not an easy read- gruesome murders, graphic sexual violence, emotional abuse and much more- for those easily triggered, please think twice before picking up this book! For others who can stomach violence and cruelty- physical and emotional, this is probably going to be one of the most gripping psychological thrillers you have ever come across.

At the beginning of this novel, we meet Georgina ”Geo” Shaw, a successful career woman, on the verge of being incarcerated for hiding the truth about her best friend Angela Wong’s disappearance fourteen years ago. Wong’s dismembered body was recently discovered in the woods near Geo’s house and all the signs point to Calvin James, Geo’s then-boyfriend, being the murderer- a fact that Geo knew but hid from everyone. Calvin went on to kill three other women, before being caught. The arresting officer is another school friend of Angela and Geo’s – presently a police detective with the Seattle PD– Kaiser “Kai” Brodie. Geo is incarcerated for five years, a painful experience that Geo has to endure but despite a difficult beginning, she manages to find friends and allies, doing whatever is needed to survive the ordeal. ( think of a darker version of “Orange Is the New Black”!) Upon Geo’s release, she discovers that more bodies are being discovered- women whose murders are eerily similar to Angela’s but with an added component that is even more shocking. The investigation is reopened, the hunt for Calvin who escaped prison years ago intensifies and Geo’s life is once again thrown into chaos.

The narrative is divided into 5 parts and is told through alternating present-day POVs of Geo and Kaiser. Flashbacks take us through their teenage years and the events leading up to Angela’s death. To be honest, I did not like Geo. The justification for her actions was more than a little questionable. It is hard to feel any sympathy for her. It speaks to the author’s talent to be able to weave a story around an essentially unlikeable character that comes out strong! Fast-paced, (though immensely disturbing in parts), full of twists and turns and an ending that shocks you, Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier is hard to put down till you reach the very end.

I combined my reading with January LaVoy’s exceptional audio narration which resulted in an intense and immersive experience.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
June 17, 2018
4.5 Creepy Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

“Who do you Think you are? Runnin’ ‘round leaving scars. Collecting your jar of hearts. And tearing love apart.“
Christina Perri 🎵Jar of Hearts🎵

What if you had thought you got away with murder for 14 years? What if you found out your high school boyfriend was a serial killer? Welcome to Geo’s world! Geo was a complicated character... I found her very likable, but I knew she had a huge dark secret, and had done something bad.... I mean she was in jail and she wasn’t claiming that she was innocent.... but how big a part did she play in the murder of her high school BFF Angela?

Loved how this story was told... Clues were given and memories were revealed at the perfect pace... I felt the tension and terror that Geo felt throughout the entire story.... The parts of the book that took place in prison were interesting, however some of them were downright disturbing.... but at least in prison she was safe from Calvin her ex-boyfriend who was a serial killer, or was she?

Kaiser who was BFFs with both Angela and Geo in high school was Geo’s arresting officer... Kaiser has always had a thing for Geo, so he was very conflicted.... really liked him and couldn’t help but think... had she just dated him all of this could have been avoided... so many twists and an ending I did not see coming...

Absolutely recommend to fans of the psychological thriller with a bit of a darker side🖤🖤🖤

*** many thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 18 books1,591 followers
July 7, 2020
Really wanted to love this book. The first half was wonderful and on track to be a full five stars. Such a great narrative voice, so stylistic I immediately dropped into the story. This author is as great prose master. She uses present tense to tell the current story and past tense to tell the backstory the transitions seamless. At first it works very well. The front end is tight and compelling and really moves.
What the author also does which is amazing is that she manages to endear the reader to the protagonist and the secondary point of view character. The actions of both are extremely flawed and yet we pull for them.
The story starts in the middle and the author slow metes out the backstory as she goes forward. She does it with a masterful hand and I was never lost.
What begins to happen though at the back end of the story, is a rehash of what we already know. This slows down the forward movement of the story and the reader starts to mark time.
Then toward the end the motivating scene that started the story is told again only in detail. This paints the protagonist in a horrible light and we don't like her anymore. (after the author did such a brilliant job redeeming her in the beginning of the book).
The last comment is that I think this book crossed the genre line, from suspense/ Thriller to going deep into horror. I'm not disparaging horror by any means, I will read any genre that is well written but a mashup genre can be a difficult pull. The ending of this book definitely dumps it deep into horror territory.
Will I pick up another one of this author's book? Don't know. Loved the front end, Loved the voice and the prose so maybe.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.
December 23, 2021
Once in a while, a book you've been meaning and meaning to read ACTUALLY lives up to the grand and glorious hopes you've been building in your mind for many months.

I'm thrilled to say that Jennifer Hillier 100% DELIVERED with Jar of Hearts!!

Three friends in high school--Angela Wong, queen bee and Head Cheerleader (yes, THAT girl), Georgina Shaw, her loyal and oft overlooked sidekick, and Kaiser, the nerdy third wheel to their trio, have all met different ends. Kaiser is now a successful detective. Georgina? A high-profile exec with a fancy and wealthy fiancé.

And Angela?

Well...she's been gone for a long time...and she won't be coming back.

Her remains have been discovered...and nothing will ever be the same.

The culprit? Georgina's former boyfriend, the well-known serial killer Calvin James. But Georgina (Geo) is far from innocent in this scenario...and just how much does she know? Is there unfinished business between these two former lovers? Did Georgina's jealousy rear its ugly head at the worst possible moment? What secrets lay buried in the past...and can Detective Kaiser Brody bring the truth to light?

And when new bodies begin to show up, following Calvin's old patterns...is this the work of a copycat...and is Geo at the helm...or could she be the next to fall?

My first Jennifer Hillier was Little Secrets, and from that point on, I was determined to grab any and every book I could from this fantastic author. What this book does even better than the last I read from her, however, was a fabulous blend of characterization, action, suspense, a touch of romance, mystery, and truly thrilling and creepy scenes that days later, are still fresh in my mind. I'm not sure what the secret sauce of this book is...but all I know is, I wanted MORE!

One of my favorite aspects of this thriller that set it apart from so many others was the effortless bounce back and forth between the then and now of Geo's life. Not once did I lose my place in either timeline, and I never dreaded the return to either storyline. There was no pointless exposition, no tangents, and both sets of events were thrilling, intriguing, and twisty. I gasped more than once reading this book, and these characters leapt off the page, both the good and the bad. I couldn't predict what was to come, and Hillier even threw in a very clever fake-out towards the end that had me REELING!

I had two books from 2018 I was determined to read this year, both with all of the accolades and hype, both in the thriller genre. One was Verity and the other was Jar of Hearts. I am so happy to say that unlike Verity, this read confirmed three things for me:

*I need to read every Jennifer Hillier book.
*This book absolutely needs a film or TV adaptation.
*You can hop trains from the Outlier Express to the Hype Train in one day...and live to talk about it!

4.5 stars, rounded up
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,763 followers
May 30, 2020
4.5 Stars

Wow, this book is not messing around! I get high on reading fucked up stories, and Jar of Hearts fits the bill. I don’t want to give too much away and am kinda lazy at the moment, so let’s just pluck one sentence from the blurb that best contextualizes this book and call it a day.

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

You also have the obsessive serial killer boyfriends, dead people killed in the most gruesome way, and a web of lies that’s going to come and grab you by the throat once revealed.

I had to go back to my review of Little Secrets and switched the rating. I’ve always been more into plot intricacies over character driven books. Not that the characterisation in this is lacking. In fact, the characters are so not what they seem that you’ll find it hard to pick someone you want to root for. No one is innocent.

While I loved Little Secrets for the complex and well developed characters as well as its heartbreaking narrative, this book takes the cake from the mystery and crime standpoint. I pretty much figured it all out by the time the second pair of bodies were found. And Detective Brody confirmed my theory.

From then on, everything went spiralling. Some people take being right as a bad thing, but I was exhilarated! I knew what plot twists were coming, and seeing them blew up during the climax didn’t take the mind blown feeling away. This book is disturbing and sick and twisted. In other words, it’s so me and I loved it!

(Read as an Audiobook)

Read alikes:
Where the Blame Lies
Where the Truth Lives
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,124 reviews3,707 followers
June 30, 2018
Question - What if your childhood sweetheart turns out to be a serial killer?

Dark, chilling, edge of your seat thriller. Jennifer Hillier pulls out all the stops on this one! And dark and chilling is exactly what you’ll get here in spades!

Jennifer Hillier is the queen of obsessive, misguided love. I read one of her previous books a few years ago Creep and thought it was brilliant. Now Ms. Hillier has done it again. And this time it’s over the top!

Calvin is the boy every teenage girl’s father warns her against. He’s big trouble through and through. But isn’t that what draws every teenage girl in? The ultimate bad boy.

Georgina is just 16 when she falls for the charms of the first older boy to show her attention. It isn’t long before her grades begin slipping and her lifelong friendships are wavering. She’s in way over her head and not totally sure she even wants to find a way out.

There’s been a lot of positive buzz around this book and it absolutely deserves every bit of it. It had just the right amount of twists to keep you guessing but not so many that you lose your way. Well written from beginning to end. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Highly recommend!

A buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Jennifer Hillier for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
June 19, 2018
4 Fabulous Stars.

You know that old saying, “the past will always come back to haunt you?” Well, no one's past could ever possibly out do Georgina (Geo) Shaw’s.

Geo is now an uber successful business woman. She had the best friends in High School. The kind of friends you never forget, the kind that haunt you. They did everything together. Until the day Geo met Calvin James. He is older, absolutely gorgeous and quite devious. He is also controlling and manipulative, yet Geo is drawn to him. It’s that whole moth and flame thing yet again, and boy does she get burned. Geo, however, is not the only one.

Angela Wong (one of Geo’s best friends), is sixteen when she goes missing. Calvin James gets arrested for her murder. Fourteen years later, so does Geo. Now, instead of wearing pin-striped suits, she wears, pinstripes. Life, isn’t exactly what you’d call good. Then, right before she gets out, it gets even worse. New bodies are found - in the exact same location they found Angela And the M.O.? Well it’s her old boyfriends’ of course. Talk about a happy homecoming.

Are you intrigued yet? The answer better be yes!

“Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier was one of the better psychological suspense novels I’ve read in awhile. Though a few things were a little unbelievable, there were several jaw dropping moments that absolutely rocked. All in all, the novel was gripping, terrifying and totally cray cray and I highly recommend it.

I read this with Kaceey! We had the best time reading it together. :)

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and Jennifer Hillier for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on NetGalley, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram and Amazon on 6.19.18.
Profile Image for Holly  B .
849 reviews2,012 followers
May 28, 2018

Chills and Thrills Aplenty....

A serial killer is at the "heart" of this one.  This is my first book by Jennifer Hillier and I really enjoyed how she unpeeled each part of the story layer by layer.  I found myself being drawn in and totally absorbed in the murder mystery.

It is a very dark story with flawed characters and some disturbing and graphic parts I needed skim over (not going to lie)..... BUT I couldn't stop reading it either.  Many secrets are revealed as the story progresses and each time I was shocked ( a good sign in my book)! Plenty of clues along the way and a secret behind the jar of hearts that was like a code to break.  A deeper message will emerge.

A huge serving of heartbreak for these characters and a tale of how someones actions can impact so many. Georgina is one of the main players and while her actions were deplorable, I tried to find some redeeming qualities in her. I was fascinated by her experiences in prison (cringe).

A compelling, addictive, gritty read that has an explosive end.
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