Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hope in a Jar” as Want to Read:
Hope in a Jar
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hope in a Jar

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  9,489 Ratings  ·  630 Reviews

From the New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Secrets of a Shoe Addict comes a tale of old friends, new loves, and the undeniable power of a little face cream.

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 Olivi

Paperback, 340 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 04, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been a three, but for one ironic event alone.

Spoiler Alert:
In the opening chapter/lines of the book the main character, Allie, walks in on her boyfriend cheating on her. The opening line is "The only thing worse than finding out your boyfriend is cheating on you with a beautiful woman is finding out he's cheating on you with an average woman." I laughed and chuckled and was instantly hooked.

The writing throughout the book was mediocre, but there were these one liners that w
Sep 19, 2009 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First and foremost, I do not read chick lit on a regular basis, but I was at a point that I needed some fluff, and Hope in a Jar delivered that and more.

For me, Hope in a Jar was like devouring an entire box of those Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies and dousing them down with a sugar and caffeine laden Dr. Pepper, which is something I hadn't let myself have in years. Full of empty calories, but yet tasted so good and so familiar, it was a wonderful treat while it lasted. The pop culture referenc
Love Fool
Nov 25, 2014 Love Fool rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 21, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This is by far Harbison's BEST book to date.

Hope in a Jar starts out with a bang just like all of Harbison's books do. The difference with Hope in a Jar is that the book just keeps getting better and better.

The plot of the mysterious death of friendship between best friends, the too-good-to-be-true guy friend, and the rivalry between classmates which reignites at a 20 year high school reunion is handled well by Harbison.

The parallel plot lines between the past and the present work well and inc
Aug 20, 2010 Stina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This book was weird...

I feel like the author was so hell bent on making sure that she could incorporate nostalgic products from her youth that she forgot to develop characters that anyone would give a shit about. Also, she could have used Lip Smackers and Love's Baby Soft and STILL had characters who were closer to 28 than 38. I had a hard time envisioning these morons being close to 40 years old.

The drama was stupid... I read a lot of chick lit and I can't stand the unresolved fight... "______
Maureen Ann
I feel as if I have been reading books that are entirely predictable lately, and this book was no exception. What made this book a standout, however, was the use of the past and the present and Harbison's ability to weave the two together. It is the story of two childhood best friends who have a large fight senior year of high school. Fast forward 20 years and the two have not spoken since, but they both remain friends with Noah, another classmate. Noah sets it up for the two former best friends ...more
Jennifer Fisher
Aug 21, 2010 Jennifer Fisher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds me very much so of a Sophia Kinsella book, just set in US. I started off SO very slow, therefore I was only reading about a chapter a night, which got to be confusing. This is because each chapter is a trade off between two characters, Olivia and Allie. One chapter will be Allie's POV, then the next will flash to their childhood, then the next will be whatever is going on with Olivia. I would definitely suggest to be able to tackle about 2-3 chapters at a time, or dedicate your ...more
Jun 26, 2010 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was quite disappointed in this book. The heroine and three other classmates meet up at their 20th high school reunion. None of them are married. The heroine does temp work, just dumped her cheating boyfriend, and doesn't seem to have a life. The plot might have worked had the characters been 23 or maybe even 28, but 38? I kept thinking how immature they were, especially the heroine and the villain. I've read other chick lit and thought the characters had deeper issues. Also, the ending was qui ...more
Katie Kenig
Nov 15, 2015 Katie Kenig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
This is a sweet, fluffy, caramel-sticky Chicklit book. If you like that sort of thing, this will be right up your alley. Sometimes, that's just what I want - sweetness and light and redemption through makeup and a new hair style. It makes life seem easy. It makes you appreciate your girly-girl friendships and the girls you tried on makeup with when you were 12.

“Well, that's what everyone wants, isn't it? Even these people who go out and have their noses shaved down to pencil erasers, and who get
May 25, 2010 Krystal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In her latest novel, Harbison taps into the universal fear of having to attend one’s 20-year High School Reunion when your life is far from what you’d envisioned it would be at graduation. When she discovers her live-in boyfriend in the arms of another, Allie Denton takes a serious look at where her 38 years have gotten her: working unsatisfying jobs through a Temp agency, fifteen pounds overweight, and now, single again. To make matters worse, her best friend from high school, Olivia, shows up ...more
Jan 17, 2010 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, audiobooks
I was kind of disappointed by this book. After reading Beth Harbison's Shoe Adicts Anonymous, I thought for sure I'd found a new author who I'd love all her work. Maybe I hoped for something too similar to the first book, and would fare better reading her second novel, Secrets of a Shoe Addict. Despite its title, "Hope" in a Jar, this book was a little bit of a downer. I suppose I give Ms. Harbison credit for tackling some deeper and tougher issues, but I found its efforts to do so combined with ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Autumn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars really. I bought this book for $2.99 because of an after-holiday sale on the barnes and noble website. I bought it because it sounded semi-interesting but kind of like a soap opera. Which it was. However, I found myself really enjoying it. At some points I couldn't even put it down. I spent most of the day yesterday reading it. It's interesting how 20 years after their high school graduation Olivia and Allie have pretty much traded places. I really enjoyed the flashbacks of Allie, Oliv ...more
2.5 stars
I was looking for some light chick lit, but didn't enjoy this one as much as other books by Beth Harbison. I felt like the characters did not act their supposed ages. As it was their 20 year high school reunion, they'd be 38 years old. I felt like their actions were more like those of 28-year-olds. The only thing that would have needed to change were some of the references to beauty products from their teens and make it a 10 year reunion. Also, while I definitely believe that a fight in
Jan 27, 2011 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't have high expectations here . . . just wanted a light book. I read Shoe Addicts Anonymous in one sitting on a flight from UT to FL so I expect I'll have this one finished up quickly.

Well, I was right (above) - super fast read (I started it on Wednesday night and finished it Thursday) and I'm glad I didn't have high expectations. It was cute but sooooo predictable. Total chick lit! Even though the characters were 38 years old, I felt old reading it - like it was meant for someone in her 2
Sabina Kelly
so so , little predictable, but a light read
Mar 02, 2010 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Hope in a Jar was a fun book to read. The chapters alternated between present day and the old school days for Allie and Olivia. The chapters of school days were fun to read as a lot of my memories are similar to that of Allie. From the posters hanging on the wall to the trips to Woolsworths (are there any Woolsworths left these days?) it was a fun read. Allie and Olivia are both enjoyable characters and I could see myself being friends with them, both in s
Kelly Keefe
To be fair I probably would have given this book a 3.5 instead of a 3. It just was't anything all that special. It was a let down for me. I was very excited to read this book after reading an excerpt in Cosmo and another friends positive review but it just didnt live up to the hype for me. I don't feel like any of the characters was really developed well enough and the book just ended to quickly. She wrapped up a 300 some odd page book with not nearly enough pages or thought. I didnt hate the bo ...more
Nancy H
Jul 16, 2016 Nancy H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of loves lost, love found, and love re-discovered, this book is a good chick-lit read. The main character is Allie, whose boyfriend cheated on her, whose best friend from high school dumped her long ago, whose best friend Noah has suddenly created hostility in their relationship with his astounding news, and whose nemesis from high school pops up where she pops up in the worst place of all. Through it all, Allie has to decide who she is, what she wants out of life, and who she wants to a ...more
Reem S 240521
Feb 18, 2013 Reem S 240521 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope in jar is a novel wrote by Beth Harbison. It takes about two girls Allie Denty and her best friend Olivia Pelham when they were in high school means that before twenty years. Allie was the pretty one and Olivia was the smart one in their school but because of a vicious rumor about Olivia they broke down the relationship and ended. It is happy and sad on the same time. It is interesting and lovely novel.
This was probably a 3.5. It caught my interest right away and kept me interested the whole time. My main problem was that it's about 38 year olds and they go to their 20 year reunion and everything that happens seems for fitting for 28 year olds at a 10 year reunion. They were too old for the story. Other than that it was really enjoyable. Quick read too. A little language.
Apr 06, 2014 Abrown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very light, fast read. Happened to grab off the shelf at library when looking for more from Kristin Hannah. Winter garden was so heavy it was a nice change and distraction although i prefer the historical fiction. Predictable and long winded at times but entertaining. Some fun references to familiar eighties products:)
Jun 22, 2009 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-read
I really enjoyed how this story unfolded up until the last 50 pages or so where everything happened way to suddenly and kinda fell apart. All in all the first 4/5ths were very enjoyable and I recommend it as a good read.
Jul 17, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok- so the title sounds pretty petty, but I was totally engrossed ! If you want a quick pick me up, fun read, romantic comedy, this book is it. Story development was a little off but it didn't matter. Loved it-
Mary (BookHounds)
Jul 13, 2009 Mary (BookHounds) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Pitch perfect Chick Lit. This had everything that makes it a perfect read for the summer with believable characters and plot. Well, OK, it could happen. I don't know if it ever did, but most romances don't have evil female lawyers in them. I can actually believe this might be true though.
Nov 24, 2009 Michelegg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really sweet book about a girl who has been in love with her best friend for 20 years, and he with her, but they never admit it. And two friends who lost their friendship for 20 years and find it again. So good.
Jun 02, 2012 Stu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh... I've read worse...
So much "meh."
Apr 22, 2015 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More reasons to avoid high school reunions
Jan 21, 2017 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book should be about a 10 year reunion not a 20 and even that would be stretching it for these characters who apparently got stuck in high school - or maybe junior high. And the two "best friends" who didn't part until senior year were not really even good friends in 8th grade. But forgetting that, let's just say you did have a girl break up with your supposed best friend. And for 20 years the 2 of you are also friends with the same man but he never, ever makes any attempt to get your to me ...more
Jun 04, 2017 Georgine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very cute story
would recommend this book
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Penny Pinchers Club
  • Spin
  • There's Cake in My Future
  • The Pre-Nup
  • Good Luck
  • The Opposite of Me
  • The Spinster Sisters
  • Love 'N' Marriage
  • The Bachelorette Party: A Novel
  • Queen Takes King
  • The Smart One and the Pretty One
  • Get Lucky
  • Dune Road
  • Scot On The Rocks: How I Survived My Ex-Boyfriend's Wedding With My Dignity Ever-So Slightly Intact (Brooke Miller, #1)
  • Seven Year Switch
  • The Finishing Touches
  • Frenemies
  • Slightly Suburban (Slightly, #5)
Beth Harbison grew up in Potomac, Maryland, in the shadow of Washington, D.C. Apart from the occasional irritation at being held up in traffic by a presidential motorcade, she has remained fairly uninvolved in the politics that define her home town. Her latest novel, ONE LESS PROBLEM WITHOUT YOU, comes out July 26, 2016.

More about Beth Harbison...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Well, that's what everyone wants, isn't it? Even these people who go out and have their noses shaved down to pencil erasers, and who get implants, and fillers, and who Botox their faces into immobility, they're all in search of the miracle that's going to make them feel like..." She searched for the word. "Like themselves.” 2 likes
More quotes…