Saturday, June 25, 2011
Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
Released: August 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Contemporary - Young Adult
Source: Teen Book Scene
Want to Go Private? is a smack in the face of exactly how scary the online world can be. Abby is just starting high school, and while her best friend, Faith, is excited about all the new possibilities, Abby isn't. She still wants things to be the same, and then she meets Luke online. Luke is older than her, but he makes her feel special. Tells her that she's right and everyone else in her life is wrong.
Starting in, I had a bit of trouble getting into the character of Abby due to her being a younger teen. She was also naive which made the book that more scary as you could see Luke taking advantage of her. She never questioned why he always had his face a bit shadowed in pictures he sent. As the pages turn you see him already trying to control her. A boy at school is interested in her, but she stops most contact with him because of Luke. She starts avoiding her best friend completely and all her grades start dropping because she is consumed by being online.
Sarah Darer Littman does not shy away or touch lightly when writing Luke. There were a few graphic things put into the novel that made my stomach flip, and I wanted to reach in and take Abby away from this man who kept telling her he loved her, but was convincing her to take pictures of her self and worse. The story is told in three parts, and when part one ended, after she meets up with Luke, I was anxious to see what was going to happen next.
From there the book shows what Abby's family and friends go through during the time of her disappearance as it unravels that she had became a victim of an online predator. Switching point of views like that really pulled you in, made you worry, made you angry, and added such emotions to this story. These people cared. While Abby thought they didn't, you can see they truly did, even her bratty younger sister, Lily. For part there, the aftermath of everything that happened, I think the author handed it all very well.
It's scary to know that while Abby is a fictional character, her story is not fiction. With so much of our lives being poured onto online, this novel made me stop and think about all the things I put out there. The people I've talked to, even back when I was a teenager, because the fact is: You never know who is behind the computer screen. Want to Go Private? is a powerful read, and I applaud Sara Darer Littman for bringing awareness on the subject.