Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books
Date of publication: January 7th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult
Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.
Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.
Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?
Before ten months ago, I didn’t know that the coil spring from a mattress could be used as a makeshift weapon, or that the rod inside a toilet tank worked just as well as the claw of a hammer.Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz
I was intrigued when I read the blurb for Jane Anonymous. I have read plenty of books about kidnapping and the effects on the victims, so I thought I was ready for the book. Well, I was wrong. Jane Anonymous was one of the rawest, more emotional books that I have read to date.
The plotlines for Jane Anonymous are split into two sections. There is “Then” and “Now.” The pacing for each plotline is fast and well written. There is no lag, which was great and complimented the fast pace of the plotline. There were also no dropped characters.
I wanted to reach through my Kindle, grab Jane, and hug her. The author did a fantastic job of showing the difference in her. She was an outgoing girl with a fantastic view of life before her kidnapping. After her abduction, though, she was the opposite. The author didn’t make her magically healed and had her forget what happened to her. Instead, she had Jane struggle with being home. She also showed how Jane was affected by PTSD and anxiety. Again, there were tears on my end.
The “Then” part of the storyline was amazingly written. I liked reading how Jane kept her sanity during her captivity. The author did a fantastic job of showing how Jane was broken down by her kidnapper and then built back up. It was a perfect example of Stockholm Syndrome. But, my favorite part of this book was when she escaped. It was amazing!!
The “Now” part of the storyline broke my heart. Jane was so broken. She tries to recreate her room from when she was kidnapped. Jane kept to the award system that her kidnapper used. She refused to talk to someone because of how they treated her. She had to deal with people alternately praising her and talking about her behind her back. But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
The end of Jane Anonymous was terrific. I can’t get into it, but I was a blubbery, sobbing mess. It made me have hope for her too. I am for sure going to be looking out for more books by this author!!
I would give Jane Anonymous an Older Teen rating. There are no sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I would reread Jane Anonymous. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**