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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Who Do You Think You Are? Jar of Hearts, Jennifer Hillier: A Review

Little Secrets is easily in the top ten books I've read so far this year. Jennifer Hillier's writing style is beautiful in its destruction, and I've had Jar of Hearts on my TBR for over a year. I was thrilled to be able to dive into it finally, and WOW.

Geo has it all: a rich fiance, a successful, promising career, beauty, and burgeoning fame--until she's arrested for the murder of her childhood friend, and her world comes crashing down. Sentenced to five years, Geo navigates her sentence (with a few hitches) and is released just as a string of horrific murders begin to plague her hometown. Found near the burial site of her best friend, everyone is convinced it is Calvin, The Sweet Bay Strangler, and Geo's ex boyfriend. Amidst adjusting to her new normal, Geo must navigate through the fear of being targeted by Calvin and pain of the past, or be doomed to repeat it.

I adored this book. Hillier's character development was masterful and heart-wrenching. Geo's fall from grace and subsequent introspective journey does not take the course you might expect in a female-led thriller. Identity is central here, raising the point that we really don't know who we are. We think we know, but we only know in our given circumstances. Parameters change, and we change. We adapt to fit the needs of survival, both physical and mental. We do things we never imagined we could because the alternative means destruction. Geo deals with the stigma of being an ex-convict, having once been a successful executive, and reflects on the choices she's made, the failures in judgment she's had, and learns from each misstep.

What I also enjoyed was the underlying dark humor in the most emotionally wrought situations. I didn't expect to laugh when the straits became dire, but Hillier injected subtle hilarity into even the most bleak moments that I found refreshing and genuine.

Overall, Jar of Hearts is an 11/10. I can see myself re-reading this multiple times and finding layers to each read. If you like unexpected twists and intense psychological suspense, this is the book for you. Highly recommend.


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