Title: Hope in a Jar
Author: Beth Harbison
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Source: Library (Hardcover)
Twenty years ago, Allie Denty was the pretty one and her best friend Olivia Pelham was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable…until a vicious rumor about Olivia— a rumor too close to the truth—ended their friendship.
Now, on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, Allie, a temp worker, finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, a cool and successful magazine beauty editor in New York, realizes she’s lonely, and is finally ready to face her demons.
Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises.
Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.” Hope in a Jar: we all need it.
I got hooked on Beth Harbison when I read her book When In Doubt, Add Butter. It was just such a fun read that I had to have more — MOAR! I’m very lucky that my library has a great selection of her books, so Hope In a Jar was my next choice.
One thing I really loved about this book was the flashbacks to the past betewen Allie and Olivia. It was really great to see the root of their problems and why they suddenly stopped being friends. With those flashbacks, it was nice to see some of the product placement of things that bring back memories for me from the 80s and 90s– I always love that in books!
I also really love books about friendships. It really was so nice to see these characters and how they grew since high school. Relationships can be tricky things, but we all grow as human beings, so I found this story very easy to relate to — I mean, who DOESN’T have that friend they wished they still talked to?
Beth Harbison reminds me a bit of Jennifer Weiner. She can get some real heart in her writing, but it still remains fun and full of memorable characters — characters you can relate to. I’ll be sure to read more of her stuff in the future!