I’m very excited to be bringing you my full review of The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep, a spin-off to Laurie Faria Stolarz’s previous release Jane Anonymous. I was so excited to have the opportunity to read and review this one, and I hope y’all will consider picking it up if you haven’t yet already. I promise you, it’s about as amazing as it sounds.
Make sure to add this book to your TBR if you haven’t already!
The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep
(Jane Anonymous, #2)
by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published by Wednesday Books
Released on March 16th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with a thrilling novel where an eighteen-year-old girl’s search for answers lands her in one of the most terrifying situations imaginable.
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.
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.
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.
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?
*I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL GALLEY BY THE PUBLISHER IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION*
When I saw the announcement that this book was getting published, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Having loved and adored Laurie Faria Stolarz’s previous release Jane Anonymous, I was desperate to get my hands on The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep, and low and behold, this book happens to be a spin-off!
I went into this book with high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. To begin with, the character development in this book was really good. I really loved the main character Terra, and though I can’t comment on the character’s PTSD (as I’m not the own voices for that), I will say that I think she did a really great job of getting across what it’s like to have your feelings, emotions and experiences dismissed by the people around you. I don’t like talking about it much, but I had a stalker back when I was 15 who did threaten me, and when the police dropped my case due to insufficient evidence and the belief that I was lying (despite it happening to another girl), it hurt more than I think anyone around me realized. I was really able to connect with Terra through that, and I can’t thank Stolarz enough for being able to portray that in such a sensitive and caring way that didn’t romanticize it.
I think the world-building in this book was fantastic. I was easily able to picture each and every place described, and it was almost surreal to have that experience in a thriller, probably the last place you would want to picture yourself in the scenes as they’re happening. And I couldn’t help but love the dual timeline POVs through Terra. That’s one thing I really loved about Jane Anonymous and The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep. This story will keep you hooked just on that basis of the dual timelines alone because you can’t help but want to figure out what happens next, when the two will coincide, and so on.
I will say, one thing I wasn’t that big on was the relationship between Terra and Garret. I think it was rushed, and I agreed with Terra that it was a little weird he was so eager to help her and believe her story when no one else did. At the end of the story especially, it felt like there was a chunk of scenes we could’ve been given that seemed to be taken away. And speaking of the end of the story, while I loved that it wasn’t wrapped up in a shiny bow regarding Terra’s kidnapper and stalker, I wasn’t very thrilled with the time-skip ending. I’m not really a fan of those, and it didn’t really satisfy me all that much.
Overall though, I really loved this book. While there were a few things I wasn’t that big of a fan of, everything else was what I had hoped the book would stay true to, and for that, I rate it 4.25. I’m highly anticipating whatever Stolarz releases next, and I can’t help but hope it’ll be another addition to the Jane Anonymous universe.
Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.
Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.
Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list.