Review: The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep, a thrilling novel of an eighteen-year-old girl’s search for answers and what she finds instead.

Four days…
Trapped in a well, surrounded by dirt, scratching at the walls trying to find a way out.
Four days of a thirst so strong, that when it finally rains, I drink as much as possible from the dripping walls, not even caring how much dirt comes with it.

Six months…
Since my escape. Since no one believed I was taken to begin with – from my own bed, after a party, when no one else was home…
Six months of trying to find answers and being told instead that I made the whole incident up.

One month…
Since I logged on to the Jane Anonymous site for the first time and found a community of survivors who listen without judgment, provide advice, and console each other when needed.
A month of chatting with a survivor whose story eerily mirrors my own: a girl who’s been receiving triggering clues, just like me, and who could help me find the answers I’m searching for.

Three days…
Since she mysteriously disappears, and since I’m forced to ask the questions: will my chance to find out what happened to me vanish with her? And will I be next?


The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz is an intriguing young adult mystery. Although this newest release is a companion to Jane Anonymous, it can be read as a standalone.

Several months after being kidnapped, Terra is desperate to prove to herself and everyone that she was, in fact, taken from her bedroom. Everyone, including her Aunt Dessa, initially believes her story. But after not finding any evidence to back up her claims, Detective Marshall, Dessa and her friends arrive at the conclusion she is not being truthful. Having lost her parents in a fire that she survived, Terra has a troubled history including stays in psychiatric hospitals. Now on medication and undergoing therapy, Terra turns to the online support group Jane Anonymous where survivors share their stories and offer support. She has formed a bit of a friendship with Peyton whose experience closely matches her own. While still trying to prove she is not lying about what happened to her, Terra is also concerned for Peyton’s safety. Will Terra find the evidence she needs to prove she is not lying? And is her worry for Peyton warranted?

After losing her parents, Terra moves in with her aunt. She struggles to come to terms with her loss and she clings to the few items rescued from the fire. Terra attends an alternative school where she has a small circle of friends. She and a friend attend a sorority party and leaving early, she decides to walk home after meeting college student Garret. With a heightened sense of fear, Terra is relieved to arrive home. After locking up and going to bed, Terra is startled awake by a man in her bedroom who then kidnaps her. For four long days, she is left by herself in a well. After managing to escape, Terra tries to cope with a myriad of issues arising from the kidnapping.

The people she meets in the Jane Anonymous forum are supportive of each other. Terra is especially close to Peyton who fears her kidnapper is planning to take her again. As Terra attempts to keep to her daily routine, she spends a great deal of time on the forum commiserating with the others and chatting privately with Peyton. She is also trying to balance her job as she works to get her high school diploma. She is also obsessive about finding the well where she held captive.  Unable to sleep, Terra is already on edge when the situation with Peyton takes a dangerous turn and she contemplates trying to locate her on line friend in real life.

Moving back and forth in time, The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep is an engaging mystery with an unreliable narrator. The storyline is interesting but the first half is a little slow moving. The pace picks up in the last half as Terra becomes more desperate to find where she was held. With a shocking plot twist, Laurie Faria Stolarz brings this compelling young adult mystery to an edge of the seat conclusion. An enjoyable read that I recommend to older teen readers.

Comments Off on Review: The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Filed under Contemporary, Laurie Faria Stolarz, Rated B, Review, The Last Secret You'll Ever Keep, Wednesday Books, Young Adult

Comments are closed.