March, 2021
Laurie Faria Stolarz
Wednesday Books/
St. Martin's Press
March, 2021
Fiction/ Thriller/ Contemporary
Ages 12-18

A thrilling novel in which an eighteen-year-old girl’s search for answers lands her in one of the most terrifying situations imaginable.

Four days...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. Six months…
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.

One month...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.

Three days...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?

“Effective and memorable…the bleak, soul-crushing terror of being surrounded by folks who don’t believe your trauma exists is the truest horror Stolarz explores.”
-Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
Dear Readers, 

Have you ever told a lie? Was it to protect yourself or someone else? Or maybe the truth was simply too painful to voice.

But what happens if you do voice it, and if no one believes you? At what point will you start to doubt yourself?

Terra’s parents died in a fire years ago, and when that happened a part of Terra died too. She tried to move forward, garnering labels along the way: the troubled girl from the “emotional school,” the girl who was orphaned and whose aunt doesn’t know what to do with her.
Three years later, Terra is taken from her bed and held captive for four days – at least that’s what she claims. There’s no proof – no fingerprints, no signs of forced entry, no hint of a struggle. Plus, when she arrived home she was physically unscathed. 

So, did it ever happen? All we have is Terra’s word, and no one believes it. Will you
Thank you so much for reading Terra’s story.

Very best wishes,

Laurie Faria Stolarz
Laurie Faria Stolarz's Book Club Menu
Terra’s comfort foods of choice are:

French fries drizzled with maple syrup. Because Terra desperately misses her parents, she keeps a stash of items in her room that remind her of them, including a bottle of maple syrup (a food staple of her mom’s). Terra’s mom used to carry syrup packets around in her purse (just in case). There’s a reference to her mom drizzling syrup over her french fries, which is a surprisingly delectable treat: a perfect mix of salty and sweet. I recommend using thick wedge fries sprinkled with Himalayan salt, and real, dark maple syrup. Keep a pool of syrup on the side for dipping as an alternative to ketchup. 

Raw brownie batter. The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep has some heavier topics, so I’d highly recommend comfort in the form of chocolate while reading. While Terra is held captive, she flashes back to the raw brownie batter she and her mom used to make (and devour). In the spirit of research, I decided to make (and eat) a batch myself. The recipe I use is meant to be eaten raw, so it’s egg-free (as well as dairy-, sugar-, and gluten-free). It’s also simple to make and super yummy. I use the brownie recipe from Cheryl Malik of 40 Aprons.
Carrot and ginger soup. Terra’s mom used to make carrot and ginger soup, a recipe with only a handful of ingredients. There’s a scene in The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep in which Terra’s aunt is making the soup on her sister’s birthday as a way to remember her. I love this soup and make it at least a few times each winter. I like serving it up with crusty sourdough bread for dipping. It’s so delicious; you don’t even realize you’re eating something healthy. See the recipe from Elise Bauer on

Sweet and salty trail mix. Because Terra spends so much time hiking through Hayberry State Park, trying to find the place she was being kept captive —often forgetting to eat—she would definitely benefit from packing herself some trail mix. Her ingredients of choice: dark chocolate chips, dry-roasted almonds and cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, pretzel bits, and popcorn. Mix and eat!

-Laurie Faria Stolarz