Category Archives: Laurie Faria Stolarz

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.

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

Review: Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Length: 310 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


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.

Seven months.

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?


Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz is a disturbing, gut wrenching young adult novel about a teenager’s kidnapping and aftermath.

Jane Anonymous is a typical teenager who lives somewhere in the New England region.  Her life is completely shattered when she is kidnapped and held prisoner for seven months.  With the narrative weaving back and forth between then and now, her  experiences both during and after her time in captivity are revealed through a book Jane is writing as therapy.

Jane’s relief at escaping her captor is tempered by the loss of Mason, a fellow victim who helped lift her spirits throughout her seven months long ordeal. She is also struggling to reintegrate into normal life.  While everyone is thrilled she is home, her parents and her best friend Shelley are also have trouble dealing with Jane’s return.  Jane finds it difficult to discuss what happened to her and no one seems to know exactly what to say or do around her.  Although Jane has avoided her friends since her return, she unexpectedly reconnects with her guypal Jack.

Jane’s time in captivity is revealed through absolutely heartbreaking passages. She valiantly tries to resist doing what her captor expects of her until Mason convinces her to co-operate. With Shelley’s voice guiding her, Jane continues to try to find a way to escape.  Seven long months later, Jane is no longer in captivity yet she finds it virtually impossible to free herself from the invisible shackles of her traumatic ordeal.

Jane Anonymous  is a raw, visceral and heartrending young adult novel that is also quite emotional. Jane is a courageous young woman who is tormented by her experience.  Laurie Faria Stolarz paints a realistic portrait of surviving a horrific kidnapping and the rocky road to recovery. Highly recommend to older teen and adult readers.

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Filed under Contemporary, Jane Anonymous, Laurie Faria Stolarz, Rated B+, Review, Wednesday Books, Young Adult