Jar of Hearts

by Jennifer Hillier
Minotaur Books, June 2018, $26.99

Ah, young love. It can be blissful, or in the case of Calvin James and Georgina “Geo” Shaw, shockingly homicidal. When 16-year-old Geo’s best friend Angela goes missing and later ends up dead, a secret that Geo’s been keeping for more than 14 years comes to light—and that’s just the beginning.

The story starts with Geo’s trial and her relationship with the young man who would later become known as the Sweetbay Strangler. Any woman who has ever been head over heels in love as a teen can attest to just how accurate author Jennifer Hillier’s take is on how it feels to date a bad boy—and how willing a girl might be to look the other way. Unfortunately for Geo, the mistakes she made follow her into later life—as does her former love after he escapes from jail.

This story moves along at a roller-coaster pace, and as more information comes to light and the body count rises, you’ll find yourself flipping the pages at record speed. Willing to give Geo the benefit of the doubt at the beginning of the story, you may find yourself wondering just how innocent she really is—and how many people will be hurt by the choices she makes.

Jar of Hearts is full of twists, revelations, and dark humor, which is surprising considering the subject. And the fact that you don’t know whether to root for the damsel in distress—or revile her—makes it all the more intriguing.

Vanessa Orr
Teri Duerr
June 2018
Minotaur Books