Jar of Hearts is a compelling tale of bad decisions. When she was sixteen, Georgina (Geo) Shaw falls in love with Calvin James, an older man at twenty-one. Angela Wong, Geo's best friend, disappears without a trace. Kaiser Brody, the third in the group of best friends, later becomes a detective determined to catch a serial killer.
from the description: 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.
Jar of Hearts is an edgy, suspenseful tale that has some grim elements. While wanting to sympathize with Geo, it is sometimes difficult to do. Geo is, however, brutally honest with herself. While she keeps some things secret, she accepts and admits her role in Angela's death.
The book follows Geo in the past and in the present, and the events on the night in question are revealed a little at a time. In the present, a new nightmare is about to begin.
The conclusion bothered me a bit and seemed a bit rushed, but this is an intense book that
will keep you turning the pages, getting involved with the characters and their situations, and puzzling through your own opinions.
Read in April; blog review scheduled for May 29.
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Suspense/Crime. June 12, 2018. Print length: 320 pages.
The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder features thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart who is autistic, suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindess), and is a synesthete. His autism and face blindness (he can't recognize faces and must depend on voices and clothing to identify even his own father) are definite drawbacks, but Jasper thinks of his synesthesia as a wonderful gift.
Sounds are colors, and Jasper delights in the myriad colors of voices, music, even memories--his mother is cobalt blue.
What I liked: Jasper. It is difficult to truly imagine some of his autistic and facial blindness difficulties. Although his conditions are natural for Jasper, they seem remarkably frightening for the reader. Imagine only being able to recognize your father and distinguish him from others by the sound of his voice (and for Jasper, the color of his father's voice--a muddy brown) and his clothing. All of the normal relationships in life would be so slippery!
I enjoyed Jasper's curious approach to life and his charming character, but Harris also managed to make me imagine the frustrations of living with a bright child with so many complications. Jasper's father does the best he can for his child, but he is also a single parent who must dress the same way each day to help his son recognize him.
Bee Larkham, the beautiful and unconventional new neighbor, captures the imagination of the entire neighborhood, but not always in a positive way. She provides the impetus for some unpleasant situations.
Not so much: The overuse of the color trope can get a little irritating. There are also places where things drag; the story might be better served if it was a little shorter and tighter.
Reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon in the use of an autistic main character. Sarah Harris has written a book that makes you curious about autism and synesthesia, but you still wonder about how the accuracy/realism of some of the details.
I enjoyed The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder and look forward to what Harris does next book.
Read in March; blog review scheduled for May 29.
Mystery/Coming of Age. June 12, 2018. Print length: 368 pages.