Aug 20, 2011

ARC Review: Sarah Darer Littman - Want To Go Private?

Sarah Darer Littman - Want To Go Private?

• Pub. Date: August 2011
• Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
• Format: Hardcover 336pp
• Age Range: Young Adult

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.

I received this ARC from Around The World ARC tours. Here is my honest review:

Holy wow. This book is like reading what would happen if Chris Hansen from To Catch A Predator didn't step in to stop the creep. It's deep, real, and scary. It's graphic and twisted and could possibly be someone's real story. The novel shows you that it could happen to anyone, really. Internet predators are out there, and they're good at what they do. They even help each other achieve the main goal: sex with minors.

At first I thought Abby was being ridiculous, falling for this guy's nonsense. But I forget - I'm not 14 anymore, and I have learned quite a bit since then. It's easy to forget how lonely and scary high school can be if you don't fit in right away. And with overbearing parents like hers, getting sucked in by some stranger on the internet pretending to really care about you can seem so appealing.

I loved that this story is told in first person, present tense. And it flips narrators, so sometimes Abby is telling her story, and sometimes her sister Lily is explaining her side. Her friends Faith and Billy also have a hand at speaking through their own voices. It's an interesting way to tell this story, and it is much appreciated by this reader.

The end makes it feel a bit like a Lifetime movie, but I think it's important. I won't spoil, just saying. I hope everyone who reads this shares this with someone to really help drive home the message that it can be dangerous out there. People can share this story with their children, but I wouldn't recommend them reading it. The language is quite graphic, so even though it says 14 and up, I'd say maybe 16 and up, and I'm pretty laid back.

The only thing that really bugged me was the textspeak used. Internet lingo, misspelling words on purpose, using U for you.. I can't stand that stuff! I guess this generation of kids uses it, but it's a disastrous idea. BLECH.

Full disclosure: This review is coming from someone who met her boyfriend through Myspace. Granted, I was 22 at the time and tried to do the smart thing by bringing a friend with me to meet him in a public restaurant on my lunch hour from work. I wouldn't recommend it as a means to find a mate. Honestly. lol :o)

4/5 book sharks


  1. This is totally going on my wishlist.

  2. I had no idea what this one was about when I saw it on GalleyGrab. I will be downloading it pronto. I remember my (horrible) teenage years. I think I could make a strong personal connection to this one... back in the days of AOL and chat rooms. heh It's all Facebook and Twitter nowadays. Great review.

  3. Sounds powerful. Good job on the review.

  4. I LOVE when books give you more than one POV. Just LOVE it. This book actually sond pretty interesting! Thanks so much for this review!

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone, and thanks for reading my review! I hope you all get a chance to read this! I remember AOL and chat rooms and such, so this is definitely a book for those of you who experienced all that :o)

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  8. This book sounds really great. I love these kind of books that hit hard issues like this. Especially, since my friends met a girl online and now they're best friends. I talk to her too.


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