Fans of Dexter will enjoy the serial killer mythology at play here, and those who enjoy the twisted relationships we can have in school and how they divert our growth like a bonsai tree gardener will love how Hillier plays out her line and pulls us in. Jar of Hearts is an unpredictable and unflinching thriller that keeps the pages turning with characters who are as riveting as the tangled web they weave.
Hillier skillfully maintains the suspense through well-timed extended flashbacks and plenty of shocking, if sometimes improbable, twists. She’s less successful in creating convincing characters... Despite these issues, there’s no denying her page-turner’s grab-you-by-the-throat power.
Jar of Hearts is a relentless one-two punch: emotional trauma and physical trauma. Jar of Hearts is not a story for the squeamish, but it is done in such a manner that you have to keep turning the page just to find out what happens next ... Hillier has raised her game to rarified heights. This is a thriller that burrows into your brain, where it permanently lives in your subconscious. Long after you’ve turned the last page, the secrets and revelations will bob back up to the surface of your everyday life. This is a story that refuses to be finished with the reader. Every page is another layer of the past, painfully pealed back like the worst kind of wound.
It's not often that a mystery features such a fresh plot. Jennifer Hiller's thrilling, and quite terrifying, Jar of Hearts is definitely not something you've read before ... The [novel's] answers will surprise even the most hardened thriller readers.
Jar of Hearts is a complex book that is almost impossible to describe without ruining it for the reader. It’s a mystery for sure, but there’s also a delightful second chance romance that adds a bit of sweetness to what is otherwise an incredibly dark story. The romance definitely takes a backseat to the mystery though, something that won’t work for everyone ... If you’re looking for a dark, gritty thriller this summer, Jar of Hearts just might be the book for you; I had to force myself to put it down so I could go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour. It’s a great mix of action and character development, and I’m glad I got the chance to read it.