Review: The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth (Spoiler Free)

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Title: The Killing Jar

Author: Jennifer Bosworth

Genre: YA Fantasy/Thriller

Publication Date: January 12, 2o16

My Rating: 4 out 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

“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…

This book was nothing like I expected, but it was still very enjoyable. The Killing Jar follows seventeen year old Kenna, who has an extraordinary, yet horrifying ability. When she was a child, she lost control of that ability, but now works to distance herself from others to prevent it from happening ever again. After her mother and sister are attacked and her ability is awakened once more, Kenna is sent to live at a commune where there are others like her.

I’ve seen some reviews saying that Kenna wasn’t an enjoyable protagonist, and that she was too depressing. However, I thought she was a very real character, melancholy and all. She’s had a hard life, and has never really been able to get close to anyone due to an ability that she never asked for. I found her quite easy to relate to and likable, even if she was quite a sad girl. Without giving too much away, it was interesting to see how actually using her ability rather than repressing it affected her, both physically and emotionally. Kenna’s story of self discovery was beautiful and kept me captivated.

With that said, there was one thing about this book that disappointed me. The synopsis of this book sells a tale of a “dangerous cult”, and I feel like I never really got a sense of that until the very end. I don’t feel like the author succeeded in creating a sense of unease about the people of Eclipse, so the end of the book left me thinking “well that escalated rather quickly…”. I would have appreciated a little more build up to the big conclusion.

A few little problems aside, I ended up quite liking The Killing Jar. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal/urban fantasy-like story.



      1. Oh gosh, I know what you mean–I’ve read some hugely hyped books recently that were just sort of “meh” for me…but also, some books that have gotten quite a bit of negative talk have been some of my absolute favorites the last few months. It’s okay to be weird! 😀


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