Page Count 336
Publication date March 2020
Publisher Wednesday Books
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?
The opening of The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep is very effective, we begin in the well and Stolarz has the MC explain how the reader will feel had they been in this situation. I had high hopes from here.
For me one of the most intriguing parts of the novel to begin with was WHY nobody believed Terra’s story. We hear a lot about how she isn’t credible and nobody but her online friend believes her.. but what caused this reaction?
The story is told with dual timelines both in first person told from Terra’s POV, a perfect choice for such a novel. The reader only knows what Terra does, making her fear and confusion our own.
It’s very hard to tell whether Terra is paranoid or intuitive throughout The Last Secret, each event lingering on the fringes of an identifiable coincidence.
I found the timeline in the well extremely claustrophobic and found each time the chapter ended I’d been gritting my teeth, willing Terra to escape even though we already know she does. To me that’s a sign of great writing, in those moment I’m so invested that I’ve forgotten what I already know to be true.
Unfortunately the ending went in a completely different direction and didn’t seem to fit what had been going on. The links were too tenuous and a huge secret that had been hinted at turned out to be about someone and something I didnt care about.
A long slow build up with little pay off.