(REVIEW) The Bug Jar by Ava Black @jlightbody11 #PsychologicalThriller #mentalhealthawareness #giveaway

Hey awesome readers. I’m excited to share my review of The Bug Jar by Ava Black. The mystery in this stunning psychological thriller kept me guessing til the end and I stayed up til 4AM one night to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down! There is still 1 week left to win your very own copy!!! Be sure to enter here: there are many free and easy ways to gain entries through Gleam. If you’d like a behind the scenes peek of The Bug Jar be sure to check out my interview with Ava Black here. Also, enjoy teasers from this book here.



The Bug Jar

ava black the bug jar coverAuthor: Ava Black
Category: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Noir
Suitable for: 17+
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Paperback copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Pages: 246


Sam, a makeup salesgirl struggling with mental illness finds herself the main suspect of a crime she has no memory of committing. The disturbed son of a politician is killed and the evidence all points to her. Her unhealthy affair with the politician isn’t helping her sanity or her case. Her enemies want to use her illness and a medicated haze to make sure she never discovers the truth of what happened that night. To find truth and justice she will need to be more brave and cunning than anyone thought her capable of all while dealing with her inaccurately diagnosed condition and incorrect medications.

“I flip onto my stomach, eager to devour the haunting prose, bus as I scan through the pages a passage arouses my inner dread.”

In Short:

This was an amazing book. I was completely glued to the elaborate story and just had to know what would happen next. The mystery was elaborate and got more and more involved as the story progressed. If you like the sound of a mystery/thriller about a mentally ill protagonist who is struggling to find the reality surrounding a mysterious death, you should definitely check this book out. I would recommend this book to all fans of mystery especially if you like psychological thrillers and a main character straight from noir.

“This is the bug jar. Insects who bang against the glass make their keepers angry, and for all of their efforts, wind up dead.”


I was surprised by the ending but it also made perfect sense and it was fantastic. The entire story was well told in short chapters that kept the action flowing and the twists turning. I found the mystery to be absolutely bewildering. I would get some things right and then be totally shocked by other revelations. There was a believable and elaborate cast of characters each with their own secrets and agendas. It wasn’t always clear who was friend and who was foe, and how everything was connected. There is a beautiful tension and suspense to this story that really keeps you engaged. I didn’t always agree with Sam’s choices, or think that she was doing what was really best for her but I still found her to be very sympathetic and even relatable. Usually I find it frustrating when characters do seemingly crazy things but in this book it wasn’t like that, and I didn’t have to agree to understand why she would make those decisions. Even when her motives seemed selfish, it was understandable and I thought she was likeable. I really rooted for her in the end as things only seemed to spiral more and more out of control. It was such a believable yet imaginative story with a very complex plot. I like how the book brought awareness to mental health issues in the way that other characters tried to take advantage of it, and use it against her, all while she can’t afford the medical care she needs. She faced a harsh stigma and a lot of judgement that almost condemned her entirely. This book was very well written and edited. I would highly recommend it to others and I would read more by this author.

“I can’t go on like this… not while I have this job and two detectives on my ass. I pick up my cell and dial Dr. Chaitkin to make an appointment for tomorrow. Money or not, I need him. More than Richard or Mark, I need to know what’s wrong with me. I need sanity.”


I have no issues with this book.

Parent’s Guide:

Sexual content best for an adult audience. You can skip the prologue to avoid 1 brief scene of animal cruelty (in the end the animal is fine, the human not so much).

reviewed by O sm

Amazon blurb:

For make-up salesgirl Samantha Holland, life is a constant struggle to cling to reality. Her tenuous hold on sanity is exacerbated by a toxic affair with wealthy and powerful State Representative Richard Harrison, who gets sadistic pleasure toying with her already confused mind. But Sam comes closest to losing her grip when Harrison’s emotionally disturbed stepson is murdered—and the police suspect her. When Harrison tries to break off their relationship, Sam tries to save herself by piecing together patchy memories of what might be her own involvement in the killing. The truth she uncovers is more sinister than she could have imagined.


4 thoughts on “(REVIEW) The Bug Jar by Ava Black @jlightbody11 #PsychologicalThriller #mentalhealthawareness #giveaway

  1. Bookworms corner blog spot says:

    This is going onto my TBR. Great review.

    1. odbookreviews says:

      Thanks. I’m sure you’ll love it. I’d love to hear what you think when you finish it!

  2. sjhigbee says:

    An excellent review, OD. I don’t think this one is quite for me — but I really enjoyed reading your detailed and intelligent review on the book:).