Cover Image: Jane Anonymous

Jane Anonymous

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Jane Anonymous, a seventeen-year-old young woman, was kidnapped and kept locked up for seven months.
Jane's life became limited to two rooms and she had to rely on her kidnapper for food, clothes, and other items that were delivered through a flap in the door.
Jane would have gone crazy if not for Mason, one of the kidnapper's other victims. Jane and Mason kept each other going and planned to escape together. But when Jane did escape, she had to do so without Mason.
Now back home, Jane struggles with everyday life and doesn't believe the detectives assigned to her case who tell her that there are no signs of other kidnapped people at the crime scene except for her. 
Jane is determined to find Mason so they can be reunited, but can she trust her memories of what happened?
Can Jane go back to the girl she used to be?

Jane Anonymous is told in chapters set in the past and in the present. It was interesting to read the chapters set in the past knowing that Jane does escape and that she is questioning what happened when in the present.
I really sympathised with Jane and was rooting for her to escape and find a way to heal or talk to someone about what happened to her. I just wanted to reach into the book, give her a hug and tell her that everything would be all right in the end.
The plot was interesting and held my attention, but I wasn't gripped or thinking about the book when I wasn't reading it.
The writing style was easy to follow and I ended up reading this very quickly.
I felt that the author handled the dark subjects in the book well.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read.
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This book is a difficult one for me to tackle because I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Jane Anonymous is a page-turner, detailing the abduction and captivity of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jane. The story moves between alternating timelines between her life in captivity and now, after her escape. Jane struggles to cope with the circumstances of her abduction and coming to the truth of what happened to her as she begins reconnecting to her family and friends. The pacing of the novel is quick and it’s easy to blaze through the pages.

Jane is unstable, lashing out and acting irrationally, devoured by fear. She is obsessed with a fellow captive and is reluctant to move on. She feels pressure from friends and family to “heal” and return to normal life. She displays all of the behaviors of a clinically depressed person, harming herself and pushing people away. It would make sense for someone that has spent several months in captivity, but what struck me as unusual is that there isn’t much difference from Jane’s character in the past and in the present.

Even on day one of her captivity, she was acting like someone who had been locked up for months suffering from severe mental illness. Despite having a surprisingly large number of comforts provided to her in captivity including daily meals, a full bathroom, her favorite clothing brands, and an abundance of snacks in her room—she immediately starts harming herself and living in squalor. It struck me as odd that she spent more time acting insane and obsessing over another male captive than trying to find a way out. It could be argued that maybe she was being drugged, but she was instantly enamored and jealous over this other person that it was ridiculous.

The set up is obvious from the get-go and many of the “twists” can be seen from a mile away. I get it that the author was attempting to depict Stockholm Syndrome, going so far as to directly state that this is Jane’s issue later on in the book, but it felt unrealistic. Besides the fact that Stockholm Syndrome is a highly contested classification of illness, it felt like every possible symptom off Wikipedia was checked off the list. There was so much drama and focus on Jane’s mental illness that it felt a little exploitative to me.

The novel did seek to show another side of the story though, of the difficult path toward recovery over time, and I think that this was a good choice. The novel can serve as a cautionary tale for young adults to watch out for stalkers, and how a traumatic event like the abduction or death of a child affects more than just the victim. Even when a victim is rescued life does not return to normal overnight, and it takes time to find forgiveness. The book may not have been for me as an adult, but I can see it appealing to its target audience as a heart-pounding thriller.
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This was a really interesting look at Stockholm syndrome. It's not a perfect book by any means, but I found myself constantly wanting to know what would happen next, even if the end was a little anticlimactic.
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I absolutely devoured this book! Jane Anonymous is one of those books that will stick with you always, but it's not for everyone due to the content (see content warnings). I really enjoyed the way the story was told, and it tugged at my heart with each new chapter. It was hard to read Jane's interaction with the people who loved her after the ordeal, as it seemed it was all about how they were making her feel, rather than focusing on Jane- who had been the victim of a serious crime. I really loved one of her friends in particular. He made the focus her and let her cope the way she needed, as he had been through a similar nightmare years prior.  Stolarz is definitely on my auto but list after this novel. Her writing is so intriguing and interesting. Can't wait to see what she brings us next.
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This book was hard to  put down. It kept me engaged and wanting to find out how Jane survived such a horrific incident. I cannot even imagine what she went through or the others like her case. The survivors are some strong people. Jane was always a fighter,even when her doubts were being clouded. She wanted out and had found a way. Amazing view into her mind. It really seems like Laurie put an effort into getting the thoughts just right and not making light of the situation that so many missing/kidnapped people go through.
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TW: Stockholm syndrome, PTSD, kidnapping, panic attack, trauma, self harm. 

This is definitely one of the darker YA books I've ever read, and definitely one of the most important. The main character, Jane Anonymous, was kidnapped for over seven months and is now back home, and trying to get back to "normal." But is that possible when she's still trying to deal with such a traumatic event?

Jane Anonymous is told in alternating perspectives: from the past and present. The former is when Jane was kidnapped, following her story and what she experienced through the months, while the latter follows her trying to return to life. 

It might be a little masochistic to say, but I really enjoyed reading books about trauma. They feel validating, somehow? Anyway, Jane Anonymous is one of the better ones I've read about trauma, even though a lot of the character's reactions make you angry. Jane's mother wants to pretend the past seven months never even happened -- which is absolutely impossible because Jane is not the same person she was and her mother cannot accept that. 

Like I said, this is a dark book but a powerful one, and one that will relate to people experiencing trauma and Stockholm syndrome. This is one of the best books I've read this year and I truly hope people read it!
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I think Laurie is such an underrated author. This book is exceptional. I found tons of important topics being tackled: mental health and survivalism being the most obvious. Jane's mother was one of the most unlikable characters I have ever read. 

I was happy that it wasn't wrapped in a pretty red bow at the end. Real life is messy and complicated and hard to live.
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The book tells the story of Jane Anonymous who had been kidnapped and held prisoner for seven months by alternating between Jane in the present time after her escape and going back to the past while she was captive.This story was extremely captivating and suspenseful, I couldn't put it down!Even though this story covers a situation that is a nightmare, readers go into it knowing Jane is back home safe and that every day is a step towards her recovery.
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This was one of those books that you pick up and end up looking at you clock and it’s way past your bedtime. I just couldn't stop reading. Being a mom, it was hard to read, but I did like it.
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I could not put this one down; I sped through it in a couple of hours! This book was so raw and gripping and kind of dark and I was so intrigued by the story.  I did guess parts of the plot in the beginning but the story was gripping and raw.
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I read and loved Deadly Little Secret and the rest of the Touch series by Stolarz, so I was stoked to see she'd written something new! As a parent, Jane Anonymous was hard to read. I don't know what I would do if my child was abducted𑁋just thinking about the possibility makes me nauseas and panicky.

This book is told from Jane's perspective (she's a somewhat unreliable narrator, and doesn't remember everything that happened to her while she was held captive), although the main character doesn't use her real name or places. She's journaling about the events that happened before, during (Then), and after (Now) she went missing, so we live through her experiences and how she remembers them. We're told at the start that names and places will be altered to protect her identity, and I thought it was a really interesting way to tell the story.

My one issue would be the secondary characters (especially Jane's mom), because I refuse to believe a parent would be so daft. Jane's mother wanted her daughter to simply pick up where she left𑁋go out with friends, see an old (sort of) boyfriend, and even go to prom. For fuck's sake, your only child was missing for seven months𑁋went through something unimaginable𑁋and you want her to go dancing?? It doesn't take a genius to realize that things are not going to be the same, and it's ridiculous to think otherwise. Captivity changes people. It's safe to assume that a person would not jump back into their old life, so I got increasingly frustrated when her mother kept pushing her to do things the old Jane would do. Her mother's constant disappointment was a drain on Jane. She felt responsible for how other people were feeling, and it was heartbreaking to read how that made her feel about herself.

Jane kept telling people what she wanted, and she tried to express what she needed from them, but they were too busy trying to push their own agendas. She was the victim, not them. Her mental stability should have trumped their petty priorities. Even her best friend, Shelly, wanted Jane to talk about what happened. She asked very probing questions𑁋and thought she had a right to𑁋because they used to be close and talked about everything. Where was her compassion? Was her need to know more important than Jane's recovery? Her feelings? She should have been allowed to talk when she was willing, and not pressured into discussing the gruesome details of what transpired while she was missing. (Also, other friends calling her bratty because she wanted to stay home and not hang out with them, was stupid and selfish.)

Additionally, once she does return home, strangers are pressing her for information. Reporters were outside of her house, news vans, friends of the family, neighbors - - leave the girl alone! You can be concerned from a distance. Make a meal for the family and discreetly leave it on the doorstep. Don't do something just for the sake of getting the "inside scoop". Also, don't walk up to someone and tell them how inspiring or brave they are. They don't want to hear that shit. People who are actively suffering (and even people who aren't) don't want to hear how their traumatic experiences have made you feel. They're likely trying to get through life one day at a time, and your "well-meaning" words are only making it more difficult. Besides, there's no way you could possibly relate to what they've been through, unless you've gone through something similar yourself. Even then, no two situations are the same.

Basically, bad things happen to people, and it's not your job to sniff out the details. Leave people alone so they can heal and work towards some semblance of a normal life. If they want to talk, they'll talk. I wish the secondary characters in this book had been more supportive and understanding, yet even the therapists seemed to fail at having a clue. It's their job, and they still managed to make Jane feel unheard. It was saddening to see what she had to endure even after her escape. There was one person that mad Jane feel like she could breathe, and I wish there had been more interactions between them.

There are a few revelations that were surprising to Jane, but that seemed obvious from an outsider's perspective. A couple of details here and there didn't make sense, so I started crafting my own version of events alongside Jane's. Eventually the two overlapped (when Jane is presented with irrefutable evidence), and while I wasn't too surprised, I thought the end result was well-crafted. I felt Jane's fear and uncertainty, her convictions and subtle strengths. She's a character you want to rage for. Stolarz's story was believable, brutal, and something that will stay with me for a long time. (★★★★☆)

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Jane Anonymous is told through an unreliable narrator, as Jane writes as a form of therapy after a traumatic experience. Jane had a wonderful life before, but after she is abducted and held for seven months before escaping, she has trouble connecting with the real world. Can self reflection and therapy help Jane to realize the truth about her time in captivity? Does Jane's future hold the promise it once had, just hidden beneath layers of pain?

Author Laurie Faria Stolarz gives readers a different perspective on what could have been an ordinary novel about survival after a traumatic experience. Told through Jane's eyes, readers are taken on her painful journey to awareness. I particularly liked how the author placed a filter over the months that Jane spent in captivity, as readers can fill in the blanks of her experience without having to read all of the graphic details. I did not like the portrayal of Jane's mother, as it did not seem realistic that she would have pushed her daughter so hard. Additionally, her mother would have been more sympathetic and would have made her daughter's transition back to reality more painless. I guessed some of the major plot points early on, but the transparency may not be obvious to all. Jane Anonymous is a powerful book about trauma and the hope that can come with time.
For the reasons listed above, I would recommend Jane Anonymous to readers who like YA realistic fiction.

Wednesday Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Jane Anonymous. I chose to review this book and my opinion is freely given.
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It was amazing to get an eARC of Jane Anonymous because I loved Stolarz series Blue Is For Nightmares in high school. Jane Anonymous is such a dark read. There were scenes that had me in panic and tears. This was really difficult to listen to. You never see the end of the world coming before it comes for you.

Veronica Mars quote change

Everything I Loved:

*All The Feels – Let me specify, all the ‘heartbreaking’ feels. Jane Anonymous will take your heart and rip it straight out. I have never read a book dealing with an abduction where the character actively talks about it and goes through it. I read other books like Emmy & Oliver and Afterward but they didn’t delve a ton into it. Jane Anonymous…does. And it’s completely devastating.

* All of The Warnings – One of the most heartbreaking parts is actually seeing Jane’s abduction. It seriously made me panic when I came to that part. There were almost tears, everyone. It’s serious. We see her thinking about all of the warnings she’s been given to avoid this, to get out of this when it’s happening and how to deal with it after it happens. I think that part made my heart hurt even more. Jane knows what she’s supposed to do, how to stop it, but she can’t stop it.

*Alternate Timelines – Jane Anonymous shares the story before and after the abduction. We see how Jane is before, the lead into her abduction and how it affects her after. This really helped get inside Jane’s head. We see her in her prison, we know her thoughts and we understand why she’s so different in the after and struggling so much.

Some Things I Didn’t:

* I’m Horrified – This is a ‘me’ issue and it’s not even a negative.  This book did a little number on my mental health afterward so if you are anxious-proned about being abducted, read with caution. It’s a hard read but it’s so, so worth it.

* Jane’s Parents In The Aftermath – When you go through something as traumatic as Jane does, people in your life aren’t going to understand. They can’t even begin to try to understand because it just takes something so intimate from you. How do you even come back to ‘real life’ after something like this? Her parents are kind and patient with her when she returns but eventually, her mom can’t understand why Jane doesn’t want to therapy and why she does certain things. I just wanted to yell at her because Jane’s so clearly still dealing with the aftermath so deeply, let her have her ‘odd’ habits. I didn’t see anything that was destructive to her that she was doing. I know she wanted Jane back the way she was but that couldn’t happen. The trauma is deep and it will require work. Jane does get help eventually but I still wished her parents wouldn’t place her old expectations on her.
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—.:* Quick recap!
☆ This book is about a reminisce from a girl who got kidnapped and locked up for seven months.
☆ Read this book if you're a fan of YA mystery combined with a sense of memoir in it.
☆ You might want to consider it because it includes a lot of graphic scenes.

—.:* More Thoughts
Jane Anonymous was a thrilling ride from start to finish. Following the story of Jane, a seventeen years old girl who got abducted and kept by her kidnapper for seven months, we got to peek at Jane’s past during her abduction and current recovery states. Told in alternating timelines, though we knew that Jane got to escape since the very first page, it was still just as scary to witness her abduction and how everything unraveled.

What I enjoyed the most about this book is the fact that it showed us how a traumatic past can haunt someone for the rest of their life and follow them in every step they take. I also enjoyed Stolarz’s outstanding writing style in this book, where she narrated Jane’s story in a memoir style, making Jane’s emotion and rage feels close to my heart.

I run.
Because I can’t sleep.
Because Memory can’t catch me if I keep a fast pace.
Because my parents’ door is closed, but Night can’t shut me out.
Because I’m not supposed to be out at this hour, especially after everything, especially all alone—and so it feels a little like power.

Jane Anonymous was a hard-hitting contemporary, mixed with the thrill of not just an abduction, but also recovery. With extraordinary execution of telling the story through an alternate timeline, bold and raw characters, and unexpected plot, it’s a must-read that you don’t want to miss.

Thank you Wednesday Books and The FFBC for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review and joining the blog tour.
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Obviously, I am far from a spring chicken. When requesting and reading young adult, I have to be careful as stories that are too young can get old quick. Not due to the writing or story, but I am no longer the targeted audience. With this thought in mind, I still found myself drawn to Jane Anonymous. Admittedly, I think it was due to the dark nature of the story. While it is YA, it is quite heavy yet not overboard. I found Jane Anonymous to be quite an interesting read that could target a great range of readers.

Jane Anonymous is told from alternating points of time. You get to meet Jane when she is a simple teenager eager to see her best friend. From the abductions thru her three months of being imprisoned. Readers also get the POV of Jane after she returns home. Jane experienced an incredible trauma that feels impossible to move past. And it might be. 

Jane Anonymous has the potential to be a tough read for some. I’m certainly suggesting that readers be of a mature audience. But it is also quite a gripping read. I picked the story up and couldn’t put it down. One go. I was shocked with how much I really enjoyed this novel as I mentioned my hesitation with the genre. But the alternating perspectives and experiences really took the story to another level. You also find yourself routing for Jane. You are routing for her to outwit her abductor and you are routing for her to find herself again. As a reader, you want nothing more than for her to find whatever it is she is looking for. 

This could be a great read for some YA readers. It could be a great read for some adult readers. It might just be a great read!

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the read!
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#JaneAnonymous by @lauriestolarz was a heart pounding read for me. Jane is in high school and she gets abducted one summer day.  She doesn’t know who her kidnapper is or why he took her.  She is held captive in a small room for seven months.  She’s given one hot meal a day and there is a star system for rewards if she behaves and does her chores.  She hears other girls screaming and becomes friends with Mason while he travels through the vents trying to find an escape route.

The story is told by Jane in then and now perspectives. It is everyone’s nightmare told so realistically on the pages of this book. The story takes on the very heavy subjects of abduction and trauma. Then Jane is fighting and learning how to adapt to her captivity and Now Jane is broken and traumatized beyond belief with no one in her life understanding what she’s going through and feeling.  I honestly felt like I was reading a true story and was hooked on finding out how Jane survives and what the aftermath looks like for a survivor.  I devoured this book over the weekend and highly suggest you get it because it is OUT NOW!
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A great book that will have you guessing with all the twists and suspenseful events. I loved how this book drew me in and had me reading more as I wanted to know hat would happen next.

I really enjoyed reading about Jane’s character development throughout the novel. It was interesting to read alternate timelines, as the story was told partly from “then” when she was held captive, and the “now” when she has found freedom again. I enjoyed how it went back and forth, only giving us glimpses and pieces at a time, slowly, until we got the bigger picture of what truly happened.

An emotional roller coaster, that covers many sensitive topics, including mental health, abduction, imprisonment, etc, this book will have you feeling so many raw emotions. You will be hooked once you start reading this novel, and you will want to read it all in one sitting!

Great job on a wonderful book Laurie! I look forward to reading more novels written by you!
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I picked this book up and didn't want to put it down.  Jane's story is compelling and feeling her anxiety and trauma as she retells her story is powerful.  I like how the story goes from THEN to NOW so that we can slowly piece the story together while feeling Jane try to deal with what the aftermath of her abduction.  Students will find this book readable and will want more like it.
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This book is so emotional.  It is about the girl who was abducted for 7 months and how after she escapes, she coping with the trauma.  The book shows the past and present.
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**Possible Spoilers**

I knew this book would be deep and disturbing just from the prologue. I was correct. 

Jane is one tough chick and a very worthy heroine. Having been kidnapped and finding her way home, she has to find her way again and who she is now. 

I was a bit concerned when she couldn’t return the things going on and how was she able to hold Mason’s hand?

Grab this book and enjoy it!!
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