REVIEW: Jar of Hearts, Jennifer Hillier (June 12, 2018)

Ok. Okokokokokokokokok this book is brilliant. And if you’ve followed me for any period of time, you know that’s not a word I use often.

JAR OF HEARTS by Jennifer Hillier is twisty and dark and sick and So. Freaking. Good.


Georgina aka Geo has been haunted ever since her high school best friend, Angela, vanished without a trace. And she’s about to drop a bomb on her former friends and sleepy little town: Geo helped her then-boyfriend, Calvin James, dispose of Angela’s body after he seemingly killed her. This admission connects Angela to a series of three other murders Calvin is convicted of performing.

We meet Geo again as she is released from jail and attempts to return to regular life. She reconnects with Kaiser Brody, the third point of the Geo-Angela-Kaiser friendship triangle, who is now a cop. But once Calvin escapes prison and more grisly murders start happening, all eyes are on Geo and her connection to Calvin.


JAR OF HEARTS is one of the best serial killer/crime thrillers I’ve read. Each chapter leaves justthe right amount of cliffhanger that you feel the need to continue. The writing is also intensely graphic in terms of description of unsavory things, but I’m weird and desensitized and ate it right up. And no, the jar of hearts is not a literal jar of hearts. But don’t be fooled, this book is brutal. Beautiful, but brutal.  If you are the least bit squeamish, I wouldn’t pick up this book.  See below for more content warnings.

I know this is me saying this, but the twist truly comes out of left-field—and it works. It all works. The ending is so satisfying and I closed this book incredibly happy. I am not surprised at all that it’s already been optioned for film. The story is going to translate incredibly well and I guarantee it’ll have Gone Girl / Girl on the Train-hype.

Now excuse me as I go reserve all of Ms. Hillier’s books at the library.


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰1/2
I ALSO SUGGEST:
 Final Girls by Riley Sager
**CONTENT WARNING: gratuitous descriptions of murder/crime scenes (including children), rape/attempted rape, domestic violence


Thank you Minotaur Books for my galley! Jar of Hearts is available June 12.

MINI REVIEWS: June 6, 2018 Book Releases

Excuse this mess of a roundup post, but a gazillion amazing books were released today and there just wasn’t enough time to give each their own post 🙁 Regardless, these are all wonderful books and deserve a place on your TBR. Thank me later.


The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella uses math and statistics daily for economic analysis. When her parents bug her about finding a husband, she starts the only way she knows how: research and lots of practice. So, (duh!) Stella hires a male escort to teach her the ways. Stella, our main protagonist has Asperger’s and Michael is Vietnamese/Swedish.

I have been frequently rereading passages because this book made me so giddy with happiness. I’m always looking for #ownvoices books that have neurodiverse characters. THE KISS QUOTIENT is more graphic than most romances I read but I didn’t even care because I loved these characters so much.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰✰ (one of my fave reads from 2018 so far!)

Thank you Berkley Romance for my e-galley!


Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

If, like me, you were completely captivated by Ahdieh’s Mulan-esque retelling A FLAME IN THE MIST, the sequel is here and it’s just as incredible. First, can we talk about the gorgeous cover redesign?! I loved the original cover, but it makes me enormously happy to see an Asian girl on the cover. Picking up where the first book left off, Mariko is on a mission to rescue Okami after he is kidnapped. She returns to her betrothed, Raiden, and is forced to lie about her time with the Black Clan. It’s sooooo good, peeps. You need this book (and series) in your life.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰

Thank you to a fellow blogger who kindly sent me their ARC


Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

This book is a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, which full disclosure, the only knowledge I have is the horrible James Franco film. Our heroine, Branwen, is the cousin and lady-in-waiting to the Princess. She possesses healing magic that has (so far) been dormant. But when she unknowingly saves the life of a mortal enemy, her powers begin to manifest. Add in some forbidden romance, some backstabbing, and an ending that I am SO mad about because I need the sequel NOW, SWEET BLACK WAVES is such a great debut.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰

Thank you to HarperCollins for my galley!


The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Ok, talk about forbidden love. THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is an enthralling story about the sons of Genghis Khan and a retelling of the opera, TURANDOT. Set in the Mongol Empire, Jinghua finds herself in the company of Prince Khalaf and his father as they journey away from their enemies. Khalaf is set to marry Turandokht and unite the warring empires, if and only if, he correctly answers three riddles. Or else he loses his head. Oh, and during this trek across the Mongol Empire, Jinghua falls in love with Khalaf. The prose is absolutely beautiful. I cannot wait to see what else Bannen comes out with.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰

Thank you to HarperCollins for my galley!


Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

This book is Gossip Girl cranked up to the nth degree. I can totally see why it was optioned for film already, it’s totally a cinematic book. When plain Jane Louise makes friends with the glitzy Lavinia, her life completely changes. Soon her days are all parties and booze and she’s loving it. Until she doesn’t anymore. SOCIAL CREATURE is dark and gritty and dirty and when you finish, you’re going to feel like you want to take a shower.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰.5 

Thank you to Doubleday for my e-galley!