by Beth Harbison

July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-38196-7
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press

Beth Harbison was introduced into my TBR pile with her book Shoe Addicts Anonymous. Therefore when I saw that she had a new book out, Hope in a Jar I was eager to get my hands on it, and was thrilled with the opportunity to get it for review.

I wish I could say that I totally loved Hope in a Jar and that you should rush right out to get it, but it’s with a heavy heart that I have to say I was not happy with it at all.

As Hope in a Jar open Allie Denty comes home to find her boyfriend in her bed with another woman. Needless to say she kicks him out, and about the worst thing she thinks is now she’s going to be dateless for her upcoming high school reunion. Obviously it was no great love match…fine but what I was hoping was that we would see how Allie moves forward from this, and grows as a person, and perhaps finds her ever after love.

What we get instead is a story of high school. With the backdrop being a high school reunion I can understand the flashing back to high school, but what I felt was that Allie, her once best friend, from whom she’s been estranged for twenty years, and her male friend Noah, whom Allie has been in love with for years, but doesn’t acknowledge seem to have not been able to grow into mature adults, and get past the events of high school.

Yes, our formative years have a big impact on who we are, and how we develop in later years, but what happens if we get stuck in that high school rut, and can’t get out of it? I think that’s the story that Hope in a Jar gives us. It also illustrates how important those high school friendships might be in our later years.

If you go into Hope in a Jar expecting a powerful novel I believe you’ll be disappointed, but if you start the novel just wanting a light fluffy read that can be set aside and picked back up without trying to remember what you read then Hope in a Jar might be exactly what you need.

Reviewed in October 2009 by Sandi.

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