Review: THE KILLING JAR by Jennifer Bosworth

Reading time 3 mins
Review: THE KILLING JAR by Jennifer BosworthThe Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
Published by Macmillan on January 12th 2016
Pages: 320
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Paranormal, Social Issues, New Experience
eARC provided by Macmillan

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"I try not to think about it, what I did to that boy."

Seventeen-year-old Kenna Marsden has a secret.
She's haunted by a violent tragedy she can't explain. Kenna's past has kept people-even her own mother-at a distance for years. Just when she finds a friend who loves her and life begins to improve, she's plunged into a new nightmare: her mom and twin sister are attacked, and the dark powers Kenna has struggled to suppress awaken with a vengeance.
On the heels of the assault, Kenna is exiled to a nearby commune, known as Eclipse, to live with a relative she never knew she had. There, she discovers an extraordinary new way of life as she learns who she really is, and the wonders she's capable of. For the first time, she starts to feel like she belongs somewhere; that her terrible secret makes her beautiful and strong, not dangerous. But the longer she stays at Eclipse, the more she senses there is something menacing lurking underneath its idyllic veneer. And she begins to suspect that her new family may have sinister plans for her...

The Killing Jar is a really hard book to review. I enjoyed it for the most part. I was able to follow along and even got caught up in the fantasy aspects of this book. But…. well, actually, let me tell you what worked for me first.

The beginning was really cool. I felt like this was a really good hook that kept me turning pages. I liked the mystery about the protagonists gifts. She had this power but no idea what it meant or how to use it. I enjoyed learning about it with her. The cult (or community thingy that Kenna was sent to) was really cool. I had a feeling that there was more than just meet the eye there. I liked that about this book. I felt like I figured out something before the author probably meant for me to figure it out. This book made me feel smarter than the protagonist. (in all fairness i am a bit older than Kenna is in this story)

The haunted past of the protagonist was believable as well. She did something horrible, but she was really young, and she had the right idea. But it was pretty bad. It came back to bite her, but then not really. I lied how devoted she was to her sister, that was sweet. She had a bit of conflict trying to figure out who to like in this book. With her friend it was a slow burn which was kinda nice. Then she had this thing with one of the cult community people. Looking back now it is just creepy and I am not sure how I feel about her feelings for him. If you read this book then you know there was a certain creep factor about this guy in the end.

Okay, that’s it for likes.

As for dislikes, I have a few. I should really just say CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and leave it at that. But seriously, I can’t. I felt like I never got to know Kenna. I figured out how she thought and her motivations, but I never got to really know her. Forget about secondary characters, those people were a complete mystery from the intro to the end. There was something HUGE missing but I can’t quite put my finger on it. The relationship with her mother, although it is mentioned that it is strained we never see what that looks like. Also, Kenna starts out the story with this awkward friend/wish it was something more thing and I have no idea about their history. So I didn’t really care that much about the romance.

I really think this was a good book, but it wasn’t great. I was pretty interested in finding out how everything would end up so I read this whole book in two days. I have to admit that I read early reviews on this book and I kinda knew going in that the characters weren’t well developed. Although, I personally wouldn’t run out and buy this (unless you are really into  cults with weird powers), I am not sorry I read it at all.

My Rating


About Jennifer Bosworth

Author and screenwriter, Jennifer Bosworth, grew up in a small town where there was nothing to do but read and get into trouble. She did plenty of both, which led her to a career writing about people who get into trouble. Jennifer and her husband recently escaped from Los Angeles and are now hiding out in Portland, Oregon with a couple of long-legged dogs. In her spare time she can be found watching horror movies and dreaming of starting her own hippie commune, where there will be many goats.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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By | 2017-12-16T10:24:39+00:00 Friday, January 22, 2016|3 stars, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, reviews, YA|3 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. Karen is the owner of That Book Store llc. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Majanka
    January 22, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

    My dislikes about this book are almost exactly the same as yours. I didn’t feel like I got to know Kenna at all either. She was just there, but I had no connection to her. None of hte characters developed at ALL during the book.

  2. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance January 22, 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you had enough likes to make it worth checking out. That’s such a bummer it lacked character development though. That’s usually a big thing for me!
    Check Out Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance’s most recent post- LGBT Book Reviews from ShootingStarsMagMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      January 23, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Usually for me too. I kinda knew it going in so I think it left me free to just follow the story.

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