Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 7, 2020
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?
I would recommend Jane Anonymous for fans of Sadie by Courtney Summers. Both feature young people interacting with the dark world of kidnapping and murder while trying to come to grips with their experiences and emotions.
Jane Anonymous is told from the past and the present. Jane is three months free from her captivity and is trying to reintegrate herself in her former life. This is not without its challenges. These challenges are what makes the novel feel authentic. Jane faces slights and subtle insults as she tries to deal with the trauma she’s suffered. Stolarz highlights the gap in mental health awareness and understanding perfectly.
Stolarz’s writing is lyrical as she makes readers feel Jane’s mental state from moment to moment. There are times when it feels as if the walls are closing in on the reader because Jane is panicking or reliving a particular stressful memory.
Just like the novel Sadie, Jane Anonymous is dark and twisted. By the end of the novel, my skin was crawling. So, if you’re easily triggered I would skip Jane Anonymous entirely.
Overall, Jane Anonymous is one of those novels that proves YA has more to offer than fluff stories full of instalove and love triangles. It features trauma and healing in a realistic light and the challenges people face from the stigma attached to mental health.
***I received ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.