• Lafourche Parish Public Library

Brooke's Pick: Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz


In chapters alternating between "then" and "now," seventeen-year-old Jane Anonymous chronicles the events leading up to her abduction and seven-month captivity and her painful return to family and friends.


Jane Anonymous is one of the lucky girls. She was kidnapped, yet managed to escape. Many girls never make it out alive. But Jane doesn’t feel so fortunate because she is tormented by what went on within the white walls where she was held captive for ten months. And even though she made it out with her life, she cannot say the same for the boy she was imprisoned with - Mason. It has been three months since she escaped - why hasn’t anyone been able to find any trace of Mason?


Laurie Faria Stolarz tells the before, during, and after of a teenage girl’s kidnapping in her YA novel Jane Anonymous. This ominous and gripping tale grabs you right from the start when Jane is snatched from her place of employment and transferred to a secret location in the trunk of a car. I was absolutely horrified by Jane’s account of what happened to her - literally gasping and screaming out loud as she found herself falling deeper and deeper in danger.


The initial kidnapping and later accounts of Jane’s captivity were the most interesting aspects of this book, which is told in alternating sections - before and after Jane was taken. While Jane’s situation after she returns home is reflective and true-to-life, it also wasn’t terribly interesting, especially since Jane finds herself stuck in a thought loop that she can’t seem to break, of which the truth was incredibly obvious to me. In fact, I deduced what Jane could not almost immediately upon encountering these facts in the book, and the entire time I read, I had my guard up for some other twist because I kept thinking, “This can’t be it?!” Unfortunately, I was wrong.


Regardless of how I feel about Stolarz’s plot devices, Jane Anonymous is still a compulsive read that shows the too-real side of psychological trauma and its aftermath in victims of abuse. A worthy read for anyone who enjoys raw, dark, issue-oriented YA fiction.


Availability: Book

Rating: **** Stars (I really liked it) Reviewer: Brooke, Public Relations Librarian

 

ARE YOU AND THIS BOOK A GOOD MATCH? DISCOVER MORE WITH NOVELIST APPEALS! Jane Anonymous


AWARDS: YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers: 2021

SERIES: Jane Anonymous #1

GENRE: Books for Reluctant Readers; Diary Novels; Parallel Narratives; Thrillers & Suspense

THEME: Unreliable Narrator (Readers may not be able to trust the version of events narrated to them in these complex and sometimes disturbing stories.)

TONE: Moving; Suspenseful

CHARACTER: Complex

WRITING STYLE: Compelling

STORYLINE: Nonlinear

SUBJECT: Captives; Family Relationships; Former Captives; Healing; Kidnapping; Kidnapping Victims; Memory; Psychic Trauma; Self-Deception; Teenage Girl Kidnapping Victims


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