Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz’s thrilling novel Jane Anonymous is a revelatory confessional of a seventeen-year-old girl’s fight to escape a kidnapper—and her struggles to connect with loved ones and a life that no longer exists.
That’s how long I was kept captive.
Locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator, and adjoining bathroom, I was instructed to eat, bathe, and behave. I received meals, laundered clothes, and toiletries through a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The last time I saw the face of my abductor was when he dragged me fighting from the trunk of his car. My only solace was Mason—one of the other kidnapped teens—and our pact to one day escape together. But when that day finally came, I had to leave him behind.
Now that I’m home, my parents and friends want everything to be like it was before I left. But they don’t understand 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—but writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should’ve stayed buried.
When I ask the detectives assigned to my case about Mason, I get an answer I don’t believe—that there were no traces of any other kidnapped kids. But I distinctly remember the screams, holding hands with Mason through a hole in my wall, and sharing a chocolate bar. I don’t believe he wasn’t really there and I’m determined to find him. How far will I have to go to uncover the truth of what happened—and will it break me forever?
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Five I found a new author who is gifted, brilliant and develops amazing characters, I couldn’t put down this book, disconnected with outside world, stayed focused, jumped up and down at some parts and created a new term as “three dimensional reading”, because every suffering, every traumatic experience, every scared moments, every fight of Jane truly resonated with me stars!!! The one thing I really like about the books make your emotions all over the place as they shake you to the core and help you connect with other lives. For so long a book didn’t function as a sledgehammer to smash my heart into million tiny pieces as like this book did to me. Jane’s emotional, heart wrenching, terrifying survival journey was remarkably told. Even a heartless person could be affected from what she’s been through. She’s been kidnapped, put in car trunk at the beginning of the story and by moving back and forth between her captivated time and PTSD time (present time), we learn more about her traumatic experience. Some parts of her story, kept in warehouse with several (we still have no idea how many more captives there were) people and her connection with the other captive Mason by only hearing his voice and holding his hand reminds us of OA series. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna give spoiler but in this story, an evil professor didn’t kidnap few extraordinary talents to make trials on their bodies. This is only Jane’s story who gathers all strength to escape from the place and throughout her captivation time, she develops a special relationship with Mason. Her inner voices belong to her mother, her best friend force her keep going. She finally succeeds to escape from her cage but we see her new life she sentences herself to live in her own mental cage by keeping away from her loved ones and turns her own bedroom into her cell. This book is about testing yourself and your survival skills. It’s also about when you lost a great part of your innocence and mental health how you can collect your pieces to create new and tough version of yourself. It’s brave, it’s mind-bending! It’s not sunshine and flowers reading! Wear your big girl shoes before accept to enter Jane’s world. And THERE IS A BIG FREAKING TWIST brings the most poetic ending to this book! You didn’t see it coming. (Okay actually I did it! I hate myself to doubt everything which helps me to solve all the twists and lost the fun of it. But it is still a great and life-changing, sucker-punch kind of surprise!) I loved to see the inner fight of her Jane, her mood swings, ups and downs, antisocial behaviors but finally gathering herself to take big steps to save herself from her inner cage. Because the fight she gave against herself at the present time was even more damaging and challenging than escaping from her captor. Highly recommend this inspirational, realistic, mind-bending, capturing, amazing book to all the people who have enough power to fight against her inner cages prevented them to move on with their lives and who love tormented but not broken soul stories. I’m so thankful to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing this remarkable, fantastic book in exchange my honest review.
Hello, I will posting this review to my blog, Instagram, and Goodreads on January 2nd, 2020. I will add the links when they are live. Thank you! From the beginning of the first chapter, this book pulls you in. It's gripping, heartbreaking, and talks about an issue that happens more than we would like to think. I loved everything about this book and am excited to share my thoughts with you. The book begins with a prologue from the main character, Jane. She talks about this being about her days being captive and that this will be her outlet to tell her story. I enjoyed the aspect of this being like a memoir. It's easy to feel connected with Jane because of it. There are also two different time periods: Then and Now. It helps to bring it all together. Jane has a hard time dealing with what happened to her. She has to struggle with being paranoid of those around her and figuring out what normal is. It's hard to adjust and at times she makes her room feel like the room she was held captive in. People don't know how to talk to her after it all, including her friends. You just feel bad over and over again for Jane. I enjoyed seeing the friendship rekindle between Jane and Jack. They were close to dating before she went missing. He gives her space and little by little she starts to open up to him. It was really sweet and those were my favorite moments of the book. The plot is thrilling and it was hard to set it down for just a few minutes. I needed to know what happened and who the kidnapper was. There are a couple plot twists and one is quite major. I didn't see it coming! Once you find out about it, it's hard not to feel how Jane feels and you question everything you read. Overall, I loved this book and its been hard not to think about it constantly. This author does a good job of making you feel so many ways. If you are a fan of YA Contemporary/Thrillers, I would highly suggest you check this one out!
Another great story by the amazing Laurie Faria Stolarz but I'm not to surprised I love everything she writes. Jane Anonymous is a terrific story that will have you flying through each chapter. I couldn't put this one down and can't wait to recommend this to our teen readers. GREAT STORY AND GREAT CHARACTERS!!!!
WOW, this book was SO good. I read it literally in several hours. Jane is kidnapped by a guy and held captive for 7 months. She lives these months in a small room stocked with all her favorite foods, products she uses at home, and oddly clothes in her size. Her captor never really makes himself known except to giver he meals and rewards when she, follows the rules he gives her. She is befriended by a fellow captive, Mason, who crawls through the air ducts looking for an escape route. Mason talks to her and helps her through her hard and lonely times by sticking his hand through the hole in the wall to hold hers. The book alternates between now and then (during her captivity). IT is really intense, heartbreaking and sad. Jane, back with her parents, after she escapes, has a hard time readjusting to her old life and friends. A beautifully written story of a kidnapping of a teenage girl and her life during and after this time. Definitely do not miss this book! Well worth your time!! LOVED IT! Thanks so much to NetGalley for the ARC.
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of JANE ANONYMOUS by Laurie Faria Stolarz in exchange for my honest review.*** 4.5 STARS As a form of therapy, JANE ANONYMOUS, not her real name, writes about her seven months in captivity and the difficult transition back home. I enjoy abduction stories and had already preordered JANE ANONYMOUS when I saw the ARC on NetGalley. I couldn’t wait to devour Laurie Faria Stolarz’s story. I immediately knew JANE ANONYMOUS was fresh take on the kidnapping sub genre. Jane tells her story in Then and Now chapters, chronicling her abduction from early days to release and her painful reentry into her old life. New normal doesn’t begin to describe how different Jane’s life feels. Everyone who loves Jane is changed and wants to help, but she pushes them away to avoid frequent anxiety attacks. While in captivity, Jane learns others are also held captive, including Mason, who visits through heating vents and offers comfort and vows to free her. JANE ANONYMOUS drips raw pain with tiny glimpses of hope sprinkled within yet never feels heavy or depressing, a tribute to Stolarz’s writing. I did not want JANE ANONYMOUS to end and hope Stolarz has a sequel in the works,
I received this arc courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Jane Anonymous is a book I recommend wholeheartedly, but it's also a book that's intensely dark, so dark that at times one might question whether it really belongs in the YA section. But while the subject matter is something hopefully no teen reading it will go through, in many ways the kidnapping could be a metaphor for any of numerous situations teens face, like depression. There are a lot of content warnings for this book, including kidnapping, possible sexual assault, and a variety of mental health issues. It's hard to warn for things without spoiling aspects of the book, but just be prepared for a lot of dark elements. The disconnectedness and searching for a sense of self and identity are common themes in YA. This novel certainly pushes those themes to extremes, but they still resonate because they are things most teens face at some point in their lives. The way the story was told (divided between Then and Now, all written by Jane in a journal-type format) kept the suspense going. The way things end with the kidnapping will likely feel like a punch to the gut; because Laurie Stolarz is an amazing writer and provides plenty of twists. I don't want to spoil the ending because it's worth the journey of reading the book unspoiled. I will definitely be reading more of Stolarz's books, which is one of the best recommendations I can give.
Such a great, compelling story. It's fast-paced, vivid, and forces the reader to feel what Jane feels. In the "THEN" chapters, there is a clear, palpable feeling of the panic and despair of being held captive, fading in and out of consciousness, and being unsure of what's to come. In the "NOW" chapters, Jane is back home, seven months later, struggling to piece together what happened to her and trying to find some sense of normalcy. Huge thanks to NetGalley & the publishers for providing me with an advanced copy.
Yes! This is a darn good book. I expect it to do as well as "Room" - it manages to capture the nausea and horror of abductions, but also the massive fallout of what happens after, for a YA audience. I cried multiple times during this read. Anyone that's a survivor of abuse and has developed coping strategies, read with caution, because the way Jane reacts and deals with her trauma is incredibly well written and real, and hit home. A sad and moving novel that kept me turning the pages until I'd finished it in one sitting. Highly recommended - if youve read Room, then this is right up your street.
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
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!
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.
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.
This book was terrifying. Not only because it CAN happen, but because it HAS happened. Well written, chilling, and inspiring all at once.
This book was so creepy in the most unexpected way. I honestly can’t explain to you what made me choose this book. I love reading light-hearted books with cheesy romance. A book about a girl who was kidnapped has never been on my reading list before. And of course, when I read that she had been kidnapped, my mind immediately went to rape and other horrifying things. So why choose this book? I think this book chose me. Like I said before, this book was creepy, but not in the way I had expected. Instead of being creepy in the way she was treated in captivity, it was creepy the way she WASN’T treated. It made readers question what was going to come next. Some chapters had my heart pounding because I was afraid of what could POTENTIALLY happen. The other thing that freaked me out was the way Jane was kidnapped. She was trying to be a nice human being, and I think I would’ve done the same in her shoes. I really liked this book, especially how it switched back in forth between captivity and freedom. It was interesting to read about Jane and her recovery. I hope that you will decide to read this book and enjoy it as much as I did!
This is one of those books that took me by surprise; I was compelled to read it in one sitting as it sucked me in from page one! Seriously, my husband asked, "What's on your plate for the day?" and I held up my kindle...sorry, not sorry. Jane is abducted after returning to her workplace to retrieve a birthday gift for her best friend. She doesn't recognize the assailant and is shocked to wake up and discover she is confined to a small room with all her favorite beauty products and snacks she loves. He never comes in; he doesn't assault her. It's a very odd situation for a kidnapping. Told in alternate chapters in THEN and NOW, the novel unravels as we see Jane find a kindred spirit in Mason who has found ductwork in the building and has a plan to get them out. Jane also worries about the other people trapped as she often hears voices and screaming. Nothing more about the plot; just know this will have you weeping for her as she faces PTSD upon her return as she navigates friends who missed her, therapists who are attempting to help her, and parents who also feel "broken" because of her trauma. Heart-wrenching but apparently I've found a new author I adore!
This book was so good! I will recommend it to anyone who comes into my store because I think it will end up on my favorites of the year list!
A super read! Great story for academic discussions on many levels. Jane is abducted for 7 months. The reader is brought back and forth between "then" and "now".This is a very easy to follow book. At 17, Jane looked forward to many opportunities in life and had a best friend, Shelley, and a boyfriend, Jack. Taken from the store that Jane works at she is brought into a situation that is quite different than the reader would expect. I find it great that Laurie Stolarz had the ingenuity to write this story that displayed both courage and despair. The twists are awesome, characters depicted superbly and, well, the plotline gave me chills. An extraordinary read for all!!! Many Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a truly wonderful read.