Killing Jar
by Bosworth, Jennifer

When Kenna uses her ability to drain the life from another human being to save her mother and twin sister from an attacker, her mother reveals the origin of her power, and Kenna is forced to choose between the Kalyptra and a human life.

Jennifer Bosworth is the author of Struck. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband. Learn more about her at

Kenna is a talented musician who lives an isolated life with her beloved and frail twin sister and emotionally distant mother. Kenna is also a murderer: at 10, she took revenge on a neighbor boy who tormented her sister, killing him with her touch. Under strict orders from her mother to hide that death and her powers, Kenna withdrew from friends, finding solace in her guitar. Now 17, she has found friendship (and maybe more) with neighbor Blake, and recognition of her musical gift at a local folk festival. Returning home from a triumphant performance, she finds her mother and sister bleeding with their attacker still in the house, and she is forced to use her powers to save her family. Frightened by Kenna's actions, her mother takes her to a commune of similarly gifted people, the Kalyptra, where she uncovers many dark family secrets, forcing her to choose how best to navigate through a moral thicket. Some readers may be put off by the strong anti-drug message, but almost all will find themselves pulled into this swiftly paced page-turner. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Seventeen-year-old Kenna must live with the horrible memory of having committed murder—but she also remembers the raw energy she stole from her victim and how powerful and godlike it made her feel. Frightened by her ability, Kenna swears to never use her power again and keeps her distance from everyone, including her mother and ailing twin sister. Then Blake moves to her small town, and it becomes increasingly difficult for Kenna to stay away from the boy next door. And when her sister and mother are involved in a violent attack, Kenna breaks her promise entirely in order to help them, which attracts the attention of the police and the media. For everyone's safety, Kenna is sent to Eclipse, a remote commune, to learn how to control her power. With each passing day, however, Kenna is left with questions about her power, her mother, and Eclipse House and its residents. Kenna's power and the mystery surrounding Eclipse are intriguing, but as it unfolds in Kenna's first-per son account, the story lacks tension and real conflict resolution. The detective investigating Kenna's case is bizarrely restrained, and his acceptance of Kenna's unbelievable lies is attributed to the fact that he's an X-Files fan—a credulity that readers will find hard to take seriously. The romance is alluring and Bosworth's descriptions are poetic, but the story's lack of tension and its easy resolution disappoint. (Horror. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

The Killing Jar

By Jennifer Bosworth

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer Bosworth
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-374-34137-4


Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Prologue: The Killing,
Gray Girl,
When the Music's Over,
So Much Blood,
Lights Out,
Circle of Death,
It's Happening Again,
The Road to Somewhere,
This Side of the River,
Listen Carefully,
Moonflower and Moth,
Midnight Glory,
Last Day,
Splinters and Stains,
Best Night Ever,
The Lake,
X Marks the Spot,
Epilogue: Life,
About the Author,
Also by Jennifer Bosworth,


Gray Girl

Sometimes you forget you're alive until you're scared to death. As I took in the massing herd of festival attendees, I felt more alive than I had in years. Alive and sick, my stomach churning like a cyclone. I should have skipped dinner, and probably lunch, and breakfast, too, because I was likely about to lose them all in front of hundreds of people.

"Nervous?" Blake asked, eyeing me from the driver's seat. The endless line of cars we'd been trapped behind began to move, and a parking attendant wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt waved us forward.

"Nope," I said, my voice trembling. "Not a bit."


He looked so hopeful I hated to disappoint him. "You know how people always say they have butterflies in their stomach when they're nervous? I have ostriches. A stampeding army of ostriches. I envy the people who have butterflies. They don't know how lucky they are."

"A.," he said, "you have nothing to be nervous about because you're going to kick ass. B. I'm stealing your ostriches. Think of it: an army of savage, alien ostriches living on a squishy pink planet that resembles the lining of a stomach."

"Sounds homey," I said. In a week, Blake would have drawn a whole new comic inspired by my anxiety and posted it to his blog. "You better at least dedicate the story to me."

"To my reluctant muse, Kenna, and her stomach full of ostriches." Blake grinned at me, but seeing my expression his amusement curdled to a sheepish cringe. "Are you really freaking out?"

"You said this was a small festival," I reminded him. "I was not prepared for this." I gestured toward the stage, and the sea of festivalgoers.

"Well ... I've never been to a music festival. I didn't have anything to compare it to."

A female parking attendant wearing tube socks and cutoff Daisy Duke shorts directed Blake toward a space that looked barely big enough to accommodate a motorcycle. By some miracle, he managed to wedge his rattling 4Runner into the space, and the short-shorts-wearing attendant gave him a double thumbs-up and a dizzy grin. Blake smiled back at her, and a pang of jealousy gonged in my chest.

He's not your boyfriend, I reminded myself. He can check out whomever he wants.

Still, I couldn't help glaring at Short Shorts through the passenger window. She sneered at me and turned away, but not before I read the words printed on her tie-dyed festival shirt:

Folk Yeah! Fest 2016
Folk You!
Folk Me!
Folk Everybody!

"Either way, it's too late to back out now," Blake said. "Someone's already blocked us in."

The parking was tandem, and we were jammed in front and back. There would be no leaving until the fe

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