Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.Publishes in US: August 1st 2011 by Scholastic Pres
Abby is starting high school--it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke--he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.
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I completely connected with the main character of Want to go Private? Abby is such a smart girl, and doesn't have the confidence or the popularity. She is pretty and smart, but she doesn't see herself that way. I have always had self esteem problems and I saw so much of myself in her. So when a guy, online starts telling her she is beautiful and worth it, she listens. I can see how easy it would be to fall into this trap. I mean, we all know about online predators, and that we can't give out our personal information. But she gets to know him, he asks her questions, remembers details of her day, and most of all makes her feel special. So, little by little, she gives more to him. Her address, because he wants to give her presents, and taking off her shirt, because it all of the sudden doesn't seem like a big deal. He thinks she is beautiful after all, right? This is the guy who listens and understands how she doesn't feel like she fits in at high school. He is the guy that sees beauty in her where people at school she might as well be invisible.
I can see her getting more and more obsessed with Luke and being by her computer. It is so hard to watch her giving up things in real life, friends and grades, all because she is addicted to Luke, to feeling special, to being his girl. I so wished that the story could have gone differently... That she didn't isolate herself from her best friend since 2nd grade Faith, or cute and flirty while very nerdy Billy. She just didn't realize what was in front of her.
Speaking of Faith and Billy. I loved the secondary characters in this book. Their depth and kindness and sincerity. Faith is not perfect.. she doesn't realize that Abby feels left behind when they all of the sudden don't have classes together, and Abby feels replaced by a new friend, Grace and the drama club that Faith joins. But Faith loves Abby, and is and has been there for her. And Billy is so sweet, nerdy and funny. I LOVE characters like him. He isn't broody, or super hot, he is a normal sweet guy who sees the good in Abby, that she is pretty and funny, and smart but he has been too shy until it was too late and she was wrapped up in Luke.
I did not want to put this book down, and I kept rooting for Abby to open her eyes, and wishing that I could pad the ground for her for her inevitable fall into danger.
I also really appreciated the other pov and what it brought to the book. It really showed how others saw Abby and how it effected them.
Bottom Line: Powerful book where I was sympathetic to the main character.
Similar reads: Alexis by Alexis Singer, Katie.com
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever met someone online and then in person?