Age Group: Young Adult
Release date: August 1st, 2011
Pages: 330 (ARC)
Pages: 330 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
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.
It's safe to say that this book turned out almost exactly as I expected. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it. Want To Go Private? seemed eerily familiar as I can relate to Abby to an extent. In the story, she's scared to start high school and it seems that when she does, her best friend is slipping away from her. In a vulnerable state, it's easy to trust those who will listen to you, especially if no one else will. As the story went on, it turns into this nightmare that many- but not enough- teenagers have. When you hear about internet predators, you automatically think "that could never happen to me". Though it may not be likely, it can happen to anyone, no matter how intelligent they are. The main character, for example, gets straight A's. Her grades only begin to slip once she begins being manipulated by this stranger over the internet.
As a teenager, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Abby obeyed her parents, got good grades, and never had to worry about losing friends until she began high school; this new, crucial stage of her life. Her mother seems to nag her constantly and her father is so busy at work, he barely makes it home in time for dinner. Just in time, she meets this boy online who seems to be the only one she can turn to when things get rough. He and she are so alike, it's unbelievable. The more they talk to each other, the more he seems to understand and even care about her. That's when he makes her believe that she has to cut herself off from her best friend, her family, and even the boy sits next to in science. Finally, Abby finds herself doing things that could damage relationships between her and her friends and family. She may even damage her life.
Overall, this was a great read. I've been using the internet ever since I was ten years old, and I can say that I've talked to my fair share of creeps in that time. Most of all, this book reminded me of a man I conversed with for a few months when I was 17 and made many similar mistakes as Abby, which may be why I was so intrigued while reading this book. It definitely makes me wonder, "what if that happened to me?" This isn't a subject that should be taken lightly and I hope that many people of all ages will pick this book up and read it, for their own sake or even their children's sake.