Morning, Book Nerds!
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are ready for our first full workweek of the new year! In addition to work, I have a ton of ARCs that are hitting shelves tomorrow morning, so I thought I should start sharing my reviews with y’all. So without further ado, scroll on down to check out my FIRST REVIEW OF 2020!
Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Title & Author: Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: YA Contemporary/Thriller
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 320 pages
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟.5 Stars
Opening Line: “Dear Reader(s), Before ten months ago, I didn’t know that the coil spring from a mattress could be used as a makeshift weapon, or that the rod inside a toilet tank worked just as well as the claw of a hammer.”
*Click links above for full synopsis and purchasing options*
Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing an earc of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
“Nothing made sense, except the obvious: He’d been watching me long before I was taken.”
This page-turning contemporary kept me up well past my bedtime; and not only because I craved resolution, but also because of Stolarz’s ability to write an incredibly addictive narrative.
Toggling between “then” and “now,” Jane Anonymous shares an anonymous “Jane’s” tale of abduction and what happens upon her return home seven months later. Opening with an explanatory prologue from “Jane’s” memoir, this thriller instantly hooks readers into the action and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to escape its pull until the very end. And while I personally enjoyed the “then” portions of this novel more (no clue what that says about me), I did think the “now” portions provided an interesting perspective into the victim mindset. It was difficult to read scene after scene of friends and family (especially Jane’s mom) trying desperately to return Jane to her “normal” state. I honestly feel like it opened my eyes to how much weight we can add to other’s issues by trying to make things “right” and “okay” for us.
“We’ve all carried our regret around like anchors, struggling not to drown…Just how many more casualties lay in the way of my mistakes?”
Although this novel had me hooked from the start, it wasn’t without it flaws. First and foremost: the treatment of therapy and therapists. Now I know therapists aren’t for everyone, but I feel like this book took negative digs at therapists every chance it got.
Part of me realizes it was because Jane wasn’t ready to be “heard” and “face the truth” that therapy would lead to, but I just feel like there was a better way to approach that revelation. Ultimately Jane finds a therapy — and therapist — that works for her, but I wish we could have reached that point without so much therapy bashing along the way.
The only other major issue I had was the “twist,” which I feel was obvious from the very beginning. If, however, thrillers aren’t your normal genre of choice you might not see it coming, and if so, you’ll be in for a fierce roller coaster of emotions! At the end of the day, despite the twist’s transparency (to me), I was still compelled to finish this novel in practically one sitting.
If this sounds like it might be up your alley, let me know below! I’d love to discuss my spoilery thoughts once you’ve read this too!