Jane Anonymous

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start off by saying what a huge fan of the author I am. I love her novels. I have the majority, if not all (I need to check on the "all" part). But I've enjoyed each and every one of the them. This is no different.

Jane Anonymous is a story about a girl who was kidnapped and held hostage for 7 months. Yes, 7 months. She was held until she finally escaped. The novel is not just set in the kidnapping though. "Jane" is writing her novel and goes to the past and current (past kidnapping, current dealing with life after). I loved the way it was told because you realize how each event in her past relates to her current and why she is the way she is now.

Before you read this book though, plan to have plenty of time to read it because it is a binge book for sure. Amazing. Just amazing!
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Absolutely chilling. This left me feeling so uncertain and just... broken at the same time. “Jane”, both the book and the character is someone who I will not forget and who will be lingering around my mind for a long time. An extraordinary book that just floored me. It was hard to get through but just wow.
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Wow! This was so well-written, I actually felt fear and panic as I read many of Jane’s entries. What I really like is that there is no tying up of all the loose ends. Jane isn’t fixed. She remains beautifully broken and perfectly imperfect. I think the novel could give hope to people who are suffering from trauma. I’m thankful to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for my review.
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Jane Anonymous
A Novel

by Laurie Faria Stolarz

St. Martin's Press

Wednesday Books

Teens & YA

Pub Date 07 Jan 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Jane Anonymous through St.Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books and Netgalley: 

She was held captive for seven months.  She was locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator and adjoining bathroom.  She was told to eat, to bathe and behave.  She received her meals, her toiletries and her clean laundry through a cat door. She never knew whether it was day or night. The last time Jane had seen the face of her abductor was when she dragged fighting from trunk of his car, and when she finally escaped, she prayed she would never see him again.

She is home now, and everyone is expecting it to be like it was before I left.  What they don’t understand is such that dining out and shopping trips can’t heal what’s broken inside me. I barely leave my bedroom.  Therapists are clueless and condescending. So I start my own form of therapy—by writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should’ve stayed buried. How far will I have to go to uncover the truth of what happened, and will it break me forever?

I give this powerfully written young adult novel five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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To be as transparent as possible, I’ve got to admit that I’m not one for thrillers at all. I don’t seek them out (except during the spooky time of year) and I don’t read a lot of them to really compare and contrast this to what’s already available in the genre. However, the premise of this sounded super intriguing and I wanted to give it a try.

The story itself is really amazing. Obviously you can tell from the premise that it’s going to be really really hard hitting. There’s lots of trauma, anxiety, physical/mental abuse, and just a lot of bad crap happening. It wasn’t as descriptive of the trauma Jane dealt with but it was enough that some moments seriously gave me pause, but not so much that I would have to stop because I became uncomfortable. I shotgun read this in like five hours. It flew by, tbh.

It’s told in alternating times of past vs. present which I felt like really rounded the story out well and let you really gain a good understanding of the trauma that Jane went through. It wasn’t rushed at all and I felt like the author did a good job at presenting her kidnapping, captivity, escape, and subsequent return to ‘normal’ life. Despite all this, I just felt like something was missing. I just kept waiting and waiting for the ‘wow factor’ to just smack me upside the head and it never came.

The characters are great! I mean, the guy Jane had a crush on pre-kidnapping and her therapist at the end are the ONLY good people in the story. Her parents and even her best friend were kind of assholes. I mean, I GET that they were traumatized in their own way but I really disliked how they took her trauma to elevate their own. It always seemed like they were more worried about their feelings than Jane’s and that pissed me off so much. Like, this poor girl was held in captivity for almost a year, escapes in a really brutal way, and now you’re pissy because she has anxiety about going out and socializing? Like, wtf man!

Speaking of which, Jane does make some really stupid decisions post-escape that rubbed me the wrong way. This is going to sound so judgy but I truly do not mean it that way; if I had just been kidnapped and held in captivity for almost a year, there’s no way in hell I’d be randomly going off on my own without telling someone, and Jane did this several times! Each time I just wanted to reach into the book and smack her!

The ‘twist’ of who the kidnapper turned out to be was a bit of a let down. Like I said, I don’t really read many thrillers or mysteries for that matter so I was kind of disappointed that I figured out who the kidnapper was before it was revealed on page. Again, I was expecting a lot and didn’t get it.

All in all, it was a good book! It wasn’t great. It wasn’t this big life changing story. It had the potential to be really amazing but for me it was just okay.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book. 

 Wow. This was a really well book. It is definitely a heavy subject, and may be difficult for some people to read about, but it was done very well. 
 This is the aftermath, the PTSD. Her journaling about being a survivor of captivity.  The before and after.  Heavy.
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Jane Anonymous was a difficult read. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent book, well written and well executed, but the subject matter was intense. We meet Jane "after" her captivity and learn about what she went through in flashbacks. It was a page turner I couldn't put down and the back and forth of "then" and "now" entries added some wonderful elements of suspense. This is the kind of book I would recommend to my book club because it is the type of story that demands discussion. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspense or young adult books, and to book club groups.
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The plot for this book had me interested even before I opened the first page. A young girl gets kidnapped and held for seven months before she is able to escape back to her normal life. This book stars out right in the middle of the captive however most of it is about how our young girl dealt with life after she escaped. I liked this book because most of the ones that I read take place during the abduction so it was nice to see a fictional read about the trauma and aftermath that this caused our poor protagonist.  We really got to see our character and see the trouble that she is going through now that she is back home and how hard her family and friends are taking it. Then we also get to see what happened to her while she was taken so it gives the reader background on everything as well as more substance to the story. While our main character Jane is in captivity she starts to bond with another boy named Mason who unfortunately is also held against his will and we see how the two lean on each other to survive.I really enjoyed this book it was very interesting and the fact that it changed time frames really kept the reader interested because you get to see what happened but also you get to see how she reacted to what happened, as well as how her family reacted to her PTSD that she suffered from. This book had a very dark subject however the author wrote it in a way that didn't diminish the terror and pain but she made it more manageable for the reader and not to dark and twisted. This book really pulls you in from the first page and doesn't let up until the final cover has been closed.Every time I think that its going to lighten up a bit I'm hit with something more intense that pulls me deeper into the story. This book will keep you on your toes as the story progresses. The story was very well presented but the characters as well were amazing if you didn't agree with their actions at the time you still rooted for them and wanted the best for them. There was a HUGE twist at the end that I wasn't expecting and it took everything that I had previously read and put a different spin on it. I'm very glad that I got the chance to check this book out it wasn't like anything I've read in a long time. This is one book that you will want to read again once you finished just so you can see it with all the information that you learn in the end and see how differently it would read. This is the first book I've ever read by Laurie Faria Stolarz however after that thrilling read it won't be my last and I can't wait to read her other works.
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If you love Lois Duncan's books, you'll love Jane Anonymous.. Laurie Faria Stolarz spins an incredible tension filled web of survival that spans two time periods, in Jane's life, then and now. Jane as therapy decides to write her ordeal down in a journal, she may have survived captivity, but can she survive the aftermath? Jane Anonymous is an incredibly well written journey through captivity and PTSD, that will leave the reader checking the locks on the doors and with a greater understanding of how the mind works.
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4-5 stars, this book was very captivating to me.   I found myself completely absorbed in what I was reading and desperate to find out more.  The author developed the characters in an amazing way and the book was fast paced and made sure to chill me to the bones and keep me guessing on what was going to happen!  Definitely recommend to my fellow thriller lovers!  
I will make sure to let everyone know this is a must read!
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. 

This book is about a girl who gets abducted and held captive in a basement by a man who had been stalking her. But it’s also about her trauma and some of the interesting ways our minds work to help us cope with enormous things we aren’t meant to have to cope with. I really liked the “now and then” style the story was written in, I felt like as we learned more about Jane’s horrible ordeal, we got a flash to the present and we got to see how she was dealing with it. 

This story doesn’t have a traditional “happy ending” and I think that’s the best part. Jane is not cured at the end of the story. She’s a little better, but her trauma is still very apparent. I’ve read stories where characters suffer horrible hardships and the story ends all light and flowery, and I don’t appreciate them. This story is realistic in the way the characters involved don’t just get magically fixed because the reality of trauma is, they characters will never get fixed. They will just get a little better, a little at a time until one day, the broken pieces don’t feel so heavy. And I think Jane is an important character that could make others who’ve experienced trauma feel a little less alone.
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I had a hard time deciding if this was more of a three star or four star for me. I would say the story itself is four stars and the writing style three stars. It was difficult and annoying  to keep reading the choppy sentences and weird punctuation scattered throughout the book. 
It’s a good story and I like how it’s told from two different points in time, then and now. I’m wondering if I missed something tho bc I didn’t see the plot twist coming (which I enjoyed) like some of the other reviewers did and I think it would have helped to have a little bit more of a backstory on the kidnapper. I can’t say I really connected with any of the characters BUT I could definitely feel Jane’s frustration and panic when she was trying to get the police to help the others and they weren’t really listening to her at first. Also, while Janes parents must have been traumatized in their own way and desperate to make their daughter better, something about her mom just came across as more like impatient with Jane’s ptsd than compassionate.
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Thank you Netgalley for sending me this arc. I will be reviewing this book in the near future with an honest rating and review.
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Thank you to #netgalley for the ARC, making this my first ever ebook! ⁣
Jane is your typical suburban high schooler. Her main concerns in life involve her friends, her crush, and having fun. One morning Jane goes to work early in search of a birthday present for her friend Shelley. She encounters a male customer, and unfortunately for Jane, this is when her life changes, and the life she knew, and the girl she was, disappears. ⁣
The author does a great job in taking us back to Jane’s time in captivity, and her life After. It reminded me of the book “Room”, but this one had more haunting depictions of torture and believe it or not, the grieving process and the effects of PTSD. When Jane was captured and fought her abductor, my pulse quickened and I felt her desperation to fight along with her. I felt her stark loneliness and struggle to stay hopeful while she was in captivity. After she came home and a well meaning person tried to console her, I cringed at their sentiment and knew it wouldn’t be received well by Jane. There were many passages that were raw and unflinchingly honest, and it was refreshing to read them. Unlike other readers, I didn’t see “the twist” coming, so when it was revealed I felt shock and betrayal along with Jane. ⁣
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Jane Anonymous is a gripping, highly readable book about a teen girl who was kidnapped.

Jane (we never learn her real name) was kidnapped, thrown in the trunk of a car, and then locked up in a white room for seven months. Now she's free, but she's having serious trouble readjusting to her old life. Her best friend just wants things to go back to the way they were. Her parents are trying their best, but they're still completely traumatized by her abduction and they don't know what to do to help her. 

The story switches back and forth between the present and the time Jane was in captivity. This format works really well for the story, building the suspense. It's definitely a page turner. It's a harrowing story, and I rooted for Jane as she tried to figure out how to move on with her life after this horrifying ordeal. 

The nature of the plot deserves a content warning, but it's worth saying that there's very little violence in the book, and the abduction involves mostly psychological torture rather than physical.

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
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I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

God what a book. I haven’t cried this hard in a LONG time. This book was so intense and I just found myself hurting for Jane. Her story is so provocative and scary. This is one of those stories so raw and painful that it’s almost hard to read. I could feel my chest tighten and a lump in my throat through most of it. I had to step away a few times to compose myself. Laurie takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and even though this book is not one of those action-packed thrillers, it still takes you for a ride. 

Laurie does such an amazing job of telling Jane’s story both before during her captivity and while she is trying to get her life back after. I really enjoyed the journal type format. I felt like it really kept me in suspense and I felt like a friend of Jane’s peering into her life from her diary. It almost felt uncomfortable in a very invasive way like we were invading Jane’s privacy again after all that she had been through. I loved how Jane spoke directly to us, it just made the story feel almost too real. 

I found myself a big fan of Laurie’s writing style as well as her character development and plot structure. I would highly recommend this novel! Thank you so much to NetGalley, Laurie Faria Stolarz, and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to review this title.
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Abducted from her workplace, Jane spent seven long months in captivity.  Her captor passed her food, and clean laundry through a cat door.  Jane could hear other captives screaming and pleading.  One night, Mason came to the duct in her room.  His visits brought her comfort and kept her sane.  Alternating with the present, Jane outlines her parents attempts to make her normal, and the confusion she feels on the outside.

I could not put this book down.  It was absolutely fascinating.  I'm glad that the author included two different time-lines, it worked well with the story.  Jane was an extremely realistic and sympathetic character.  Overall, highly recommended.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I haven't cried from reading a book in a long time.  I really felt for Jane, first for being taken and held captive, then for the details her brain refused to accept.

Anyone going through a trauma deals with it differently and in their own time.  And it's not just the survivor but their family and friends as well.  One of the hardest to accept is the person may be different after, and they may never go back.  Laurie does an amazing job of showing this with Jane and her story THEN and NOW.  

This book did remind me in some ways of Chevy Steven's first book Still Missing which is an all-time favorite, for the same reasons, that it is hard and dark and visceral and doesn't really have a happy ending but something that could be a happier life later.
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I liked this book a lot and read it in just one sitting. There's not a whole lot happening but you get sucked in because it was such a roller coaster of emotions. 

The back and forth between past and present was interesting and I especially liked the part when past and present came together for the reveal. 

Loved the scene where she has a panic attack and it turns out to be a psychologist that is able to walk her through it. That conversation about finding a therapist that works for you is such an important one. 

The themes of PTSD and trauma played out so well and the characters were so well flushed out. Highly recommend!
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Honestly I loved this! I was surprised at myself because usually YA isn’t my thing but this is a solid thriller-ish book about a girl who is kidnapped and held captive and trying to come to terms in the present with what happened to her. There is no sexual violence in the book which I was worried there might be, and I appreciate that, so the material stays very YA appropriate, and I feel like the character’s struggle mentally with her experience is depicted in an accurate and respectful way. It did take a couple chapters for the story to get going but I thoroughly enjoyed it once it did
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