Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

The Killing Jar The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Purchase: Amazon 
“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 malignant lurking underneath it all. And she begins to suspect that her new family has sinister plans for her…
My thoughts:
I have so much to say in this review and I am not sure where to start.  I liked The Killing Jar, but I had so many problems with it that I just don't know where to start with my thoughts.  Okay let me start off with the brilliance that is Jennifer Bosworth.

BIG SPOILERS!  You have been warned!!!!!!!!!

Ms. Bosworth is completely brilliant.  She managed to make me think she was crazy while all along she was right there with me and showed her truth at the very end.  Throughout the story, I kept thinking this is a CULT and these people are CRAZY!  I kept wondering why the author chose to write Eclipse in such a horrible way.  It sounded like Kenna's salvation, but it was creepy and wrong and I just couldn't behind this being her home.  Well in the end I discovered that the author had always intended to go a certain route she just chose to go about it quietly and distract the reader with all the crazy.  For this I think she is brilliant.  I never would have thought the story would have gone in the direction that it did and I am so thankful Bosworth pulled a fast one!

The basics of this story is that we have Kenna who can suck the life out of people.  She does this one time as a child and discovers that the life she drains goes straight into her and puts her on a high.  Well like any drug there are withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it and Kenna goes through her own withdrawal.  Vowing to never hurt another human being she decides to go without human contact for the rest of her life.  When tragedy hits however she does the unthinkable and the withdrawal is ten times worse.  Her mom decides to take her to the only place she knows that can help her and her is where the true story takes off.

The whole Eclipse village was strange from the get go and screamed cult to me.  I was completely fascinated by it all and I kept wanting to know more about this strange place.  Everything about it felt wrong and I won't lie I got extremely frustrated with Kenna because she didn't push hard enough to get her answers.  Yes these people were like her, but how did they all become this way?  How did Rebekah figure all this stuff out?  I had loads of my own questions, but I just wanted Kenna to get hers answered. She does eventually get a few answered, but it a little too late for her and by the time they are answered I was completely frazzled.

This is where I'll talk about what I wanted throughout this book.
1) A glossary with pronunciation.  There aren't a ton of words that were created for this world, but the ones that were thrown in I found myself stumbling over them. For some I am sure they were easy, but for me I had a hard time and it would have been nice to have an explanation.
2) The love triangleish thing could really have been put aside.  I'm not a fan of romance these days, but I liked the one between Kenna and Blake. It was extremely believable and sweet so I hated when another guy came into the picture.  It was unnecessary and I wish that extra page time would have been spent answering questions.
3) I would have loved more backstory.  The Eclipse village really intrigued me and I would have loved to have read more about the origins.  I think the author could have thrown so much more in and readers (ME) would have ate it up!! It would have also helped to fill in a lot of plot holes that I know weren't meant to be actual plot holes.
4) This relates to the whole backstory thing too actually.  I am so confused as to how Kenna received this gift, but her twin sister did not.  And also did her mom know it would be passed down to her??  If so why in the world would she do that to her own daughter??  See so many loose ends that could have been tied up with just a few simple pages. I have a full page of questions like these and it's driving me crazy.
5) The whole drug thing was weird and I am mean WEIRD!  I totally get where the author was trying to go, but once again I just needed more information.  Will Kenna always feel high when she takes anima?  My understanding is when that high runs out she instantly craves it so how is she supposed to live while addicted to anima?  I know I know more questions.

I think that's the important things so I'll stop there.  I don't want to get ranty because I really did enjoy this story.  Kenna needed to be stronger and she did bother me, but the story itself is what kept me invested even when I wanted to kick Kenna.  So I'm definitely going with 4 stars even though this review does sound a bit ranty. I just want more and in this circumstance it's not a bad thing.  I am hoping that one day we will get a novella with all my questions answered.  I can guarantee that I will not ever forget this book so even if its 10 years from now I will still want it.

4 snowflakes






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