Want To Go Private? By Sarah Darer Littman
Published Aug 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
Summary: Abby and Luke chat online. They’ve never met. But they are going to. Soon.
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.
Review: Want To Go Private? is such a heartbreaking, raw and eye-opening book. It is an incredible story about Internet Predators, how they work and how easy one can be coerced and manipulated into doing something.
The story begins with Abby meeting a guy online on a website similar to Second Life and how she found her ‘soulmate’ who later turns out to be her predator. The book is split into three – how Abby met her predator, to her going missing and how her family and friends are coping with the news and later to present day.
Though the story is written simply and almost in a juvenile manner, with it’s OMGs and WTFs, it works perfectly in this case where the protagonist is merely 14 years old. The writing allows you to get into the mind of a 14 year old, a tender age where a girl begins to look at things differently. Boys, make up, popularity. Though juvenile, the language is coarse and the content is disturbing, staying true to the dangers of Internet Predators.
I flew through this book, each page bringing more worry and a sense of helplessness. Want To Go Private? shares a strong and important message, through the eyes of a victim. Though some will say that Abby is stupid for having done what she did, I believe that her story can teach us something.
Internet Safety is important and through Abby’s story, you learn that no matter how you think it will never happen to you, it could if you’re not careful. This is happening in the real world and Abby’s story is only one of the many.
An incredible story from start to finish, I highly recommend you pick this up.