“Life isn’t a race. You go at your own pace, okay?”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Thank you Wednesday Books for sending an e-ARC my way in exchange for a honest review!
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?
My biggest piece of advice for you with this one is before you pick it up to clear your schedule because it’s almost impossible to put down. Jane Anonymous is the gripping story of a seventeen year old girl who is trying to readjust her life after being kidnapped for seven months. Told between her time in captivity and the present Jane shares her story as she tries to figure out what her new normal in life is all the while dealing with some pretty heavy PTSD. I really love books about people finding themselves again after unimaginable trauma, I find them really inspiring and this book is another great example of that.
One of the things that I really loved about this book was how much it makes you see Jane’s kidnapping affected more than just her. There are times when reading this that the author makes you annoyed by Jane’s parents for how hard them seem to push her to feel normal again, but as the story progresses Jane begins to realize how much her disappearance hurt her parents and her best friend as well. It’s something that easily makes you stop in you tracks and think about the bigger picture, wouldn’t anyone act that way if their daughter was taken? There are so many layers to this story about growth and healing that can apply to literally anyone, not just someone who was kidnapped.
I will admit that I did find the “twist” of this book to be extremely predictable. Part of me wishes that there was more time focused on Jane’s mental health and healing process rather than trying to incorporate a plot twist that was pretty obvious. I loved how Jane worked at an animal shelter and was given an abused dog to work and build a relationship with. I think that it was fundamental to her character growth throughout the story but wish that we would have seen more of that rather than trying to spin something that honestly didn’t add much depth to the story.
“We’re all broken in some way, its part of that being human thing I was talking about before. The key is to learn how to carry your broken pieces as you move forward day by day.”
“We’ve all carried our regret around like anchors, struggling not to drown.”
“But no one found me. And I’m still searching for myself.”
“To think I’d spent seventeen years in the spirited bubble that was my life…it took only seven months to pop that bubble. And to break that spirit.”
All in all, if you’re like me and love contemporaries that deal with some tougher topics but pack a punch with a whole lot of meaning then Jane Anonymous is definitely worth checking out. It’s a story of love, growth, and hope after unimaginable trauma all wrapped it one unputdownable package.
Until next time,