December 20, 2020
Splendid, well paced thriller chills even the most seasoned thriller fan
Laurie Faria Stolarz beautifully weaves the tale of the title character, Jane. Stolarz separates Jane's tale into two sections, then and now. Jane, the victim of a violent kidnapping, deals with realistic trauma after this event, which Stolarz portrays honestly, choosing not to gloss over anything, or invalidate Jane's feelings. The writing is clear, without being oversimplified. It is honest, without glamorizing or dramatizing either Jane's situation or emotions. As for possibly iffy content, Jane self-harms quite a bit, from scratching herself to stabbing herself with a fork. She swears a little bit, and there is SPOILER ALERT: an inferred assault. Also, some kids will be afraid they will be kidnapped after reading this, but really it all about maturity level.
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February 12, 2020
I’m enjoying it butttt....
This book does immediately capture your attention with shifts in timeline. The narrator goes between “then” and “now,” to express her experiences and emotions. It is thrilling and does depict real emotions on behalf of the teen, when it comes to the trauma and psychological torture she is put through while kidnapped. However, the major issues and skepticism I have stem from how her parents behave, due to her trauma. Her mom’s reactions, pressure, and expectations that Jane would immediately become “normal” again are completely incomprehensible to me. It feels as if the author wrote the mom this way only to fit the plot—not to actually attempt to match how a real parent would behave, had their child gone through something like Jane— in real life. To me, this book is contemporary YA fiction, with thriller/traumatic elements. I feel like the author did not consult appropriate psychological and mental health professional resources for the writing of this book. I’m not saying everything needs to be 100% accurate in other parts of the story— when it comes to the topic of a teen demonstrating severe PTSD, anxiety, and probably having many other mental health issues—you should also attempt to depict characters who react in more believable ways towards the trauma she has gone through. It’s so frustrating, to read something that seems believable when it comes to the main character—then, transitioning to a supporting cast who are more like caricatures, than realistically portrayed people who would behave very differently (I think) if their friend or daughter had been abducted for 10 months. I just want to go into the book and be like—you know she went through hell—your expectations for her to be “okay,” are completely UNREASONABLE, RIDICULOUS, and SELFISH. Okay, I’m done, read it if you’re looking for a quick, interesting read.