Want to Go Private?

Want to Go Private?

4.5 51
by Sarah Darer Littman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


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

Overview


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Littman (Life, After) pens a harrowing cautionary tale about the dangers that lurk online. Fourteen-year-old Abby feels insecure and unhappy as she starts high school, failing to fit in and drifting apart from her best friend Faith. Abby finds an outlet in ChezTeen.com ("kind of like Second Life, but for teens"), where she meets Luke, a sympathetic listener who flatters her. She becomes entirely dependent on him, letting her grades slip, withdrawing from the real world, and rationalizing away red flags that arise: he is twice her age, he tells her he loves her almost immediately, and he asks for (and receives) sexual favors. She decides to meet him. Structured in three parts with alternating narrators (before, during, and after Abby's disappearance) to create suspense, this message-driven story guarantees invested readers. While the novel's trajectory is predictable and no reader will think for a second that Luke aka BlueSkyBoi is a good guy, Abby's actions are entirely believable. To a degree, the novel relies on readers' feeling smarter than Abby, yet Littman demonstrates how easy it is to fall under the sway of a charming predator. Ages 14-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Abby is not looking forward to high school. She just knows it is going to be the same as middle school where she was the "smart girl" nerd. But her best friend, Faith, embraces the changes and begins to branch out, making Abby feel more isolated. Plus, at home, she does not think her family cares about her. She is ripe fruit for an online sexual predator, "Luke," who convinces Abby he alone loves and listens to her. Even though a boy at school expresses interest in her, Abby does not believe he could really be attracted to her. And Luke warns her that he is the jealous type who might harm the school boy. The more Luke isolates her emotionally, the more she is willing to participate in his sexual games. Eventually he convinces her to run away with him. In the end, the FBI is able to track them down and Abby is rescued. Plan to stay up until you finish this book and make sure to have plenty of tissues on hand. School Internet safety classes should make this required reading. It is a compelling read and a horrifying story. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Abby is ambivalent about her first day of high school. She has never been part of the cool crowd like her younger sister, Lily. Her best friend since second grade, Faith, encourages Abby to try new things and make new friends. But discouraged by her lack of popularity, a horrifying attempt to audition for the school play, and her parents' inattentiveness, Abby retreats to her online sanctuary, ChezTeen.com, where she meets Luke Redmond. Unlike her family and increasingly distant best friend, Luke completely understands Abby's concerns about high school and assures her that she is smart, funny, and attractive. Abby becomes enamored of Luke and begins to honor his requests for nude photographs and webcam stripteases. She agrees to meet him, resulting in a kidnapping scare that produces unintended but tragic consequences for all the players involved. The plot moves along at a compulsively readable pace. However, the characters' alternating voices are often impossible to distinguish and the message about Internet safety, while pertinent, is at times too heavy-handed and repetitive. Littman does not skimp on the descriptions of the sexual exploitation, creating a realistic portrayal of the sordid nature of predators. Despite the flaws, this book is a compelling, if not disturbing, read.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545151467
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/01/2011
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
945,240
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
HL750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Sarah Darer Littman's widely praised first novel for teens, CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, won the 2006 Sydney Taylor Book Award. She is also the author of the YA novel PURGE. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a house which never seems to have enough bookshelves.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Want to Go Private? 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
JamesterCK More than 1 year ago
I first found out about this book through Shelf Awareness and immediately I wanted to read it. I'm constantly watching shows likeTo Catch A Predator on TV, just appalled at the sick, twisted individuals in our society. In this book we meet Abby, who has a pretty typical life. She lives with her mom, dad, and younger sister Lily. She on the honor roll at school. She has a best friend named Faith that she shares everything with. Unfortunately the move to high school has her scared and everyone in her life thinks she needs to try a little harder; with her appearance, trying to make friends...it feels like they're trying to make her into a completely different person. She's tired of feeling alone and trying to be someone she's not, so when she meets "Luke" on a teen chat site one night and he seems to like her for who she is it's like a breath of fresh air. She keeps it hidden from everyone she loves because he tells her no one will understand what they have and so when Abby suddenly goes missing one day everyone is stunned. Where could Abby have gone and will she ever get to come home? I really liked the characters in this one. Abby and her friend Faith seemed like typical teenagers, trying to make the transition to high school and connected to the world through technology. Unfortunately Abby has to deal with a mom who is constantly telling her how she can make herself better, a dad who is all but non-existent because he works so much, and a little sister who makes her want to tear her hair out. Even though Abby had heard lectures about internetinternet "romance" with Luke. The first part of the book is told entirely from Abby's perspective. The second part is told from the perspective of Lily, Faith, and Billy, so we get a peak into their heads and what they're thinking as well, which I like. I think this book is amazing because it brings awareness to the very real dangers of internet predators. It just goes to show how even the smartest of people can be gullible and believe in almost anything. Especially since these predators are so good at what they do; they get to know the minors, profess that they have the same interests and make them believe they have so much in common. They build trust slowly and before you know it the kids feel like they know the person and don't see a problem with giving out personal information. Parents need to be more involved in their kids' lives and monitor their internet usage so that this kind of thing doesn't happen anymore. Although some parts of this book are a bit graphic, for example when Abby sends Luke pictures through email and has webcam sessions with him, I think it would be a good read for teens to show them that they aren't invincible and to be safe when chatting with people on the internet that they don't know. I enjoyed this book a lot. I could relate to it because even as a pre-teen I was chatting with people online and it's scary to think that something like this could have happened to me. I think my mom did a good job though of making sure I understood not to give out any personal information to strangers, no matter how well I thought I knew them. This book has a great message and I hope it helps save even one family from having to go through tragedy over something that could have been prevented.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PROBABLY THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!!!!!! I AM USUALLY NOT A HUGE FAN OF BOOKS BUT THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST BOOK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!! It keeps you on your toes and its not a book that just has one big "wow" part , this book has one on every page. BUY IT!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Want To Go Private is a must read for adults and teens! Adults need to talk to their kids about internet safety! Im a teen and I try to be very safe online. Im scared of what would happen if I wasnt. Recently a man came to my school and talked to us about internet safety. He was a man who online poses as teens only to catch the online predators. He had showed us pictures of men who were online and looking for their next victim. Most of them are in prison, but we still need to be careful. You never know who you are talking too. One man was a guy who did this over Club Penguin!! Its very scary and horrifying if you really stop and think about it. This book should not be read by kids under 10 years old unless parents mark the pages they cant read. There is VERY inapropriate scenes in the book that I am now severly traumatized!! Haha! But seriously... Be careful online and read!
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every parent, every teen, and every pre-teen should read this book and then tell everyone they know to read it as well. Well done! I will definitely read more by this author.
intothemorningJR More than 1 year ago
Want To Go Private was an absolutely haunting, cautionary read. It was terrifying in its reality and deeply saddening. We follow Abby, a girl who has so much going for her but has the same feelings many teens do -- that no one really understands her or what she goes through on a daily basis. She's aching inside to find belonging in the world and unfortunately that is exactly the sort of vulnerability that predators seek to exploit. Online she meets Luke who seems like a dream come true. He arrives on the scene with a bit of mystery that makes me him irresistable to Abby. And slowly, through gentle persuasion and a lot of focused attention, Luke draws Abby out of her comfort zone and well past the point of no return before she really stops to think. Reading all of this from her point of view, seeing her choose to go against everything she knew about internet safety, was chilling. As a parent I have to say it made me decide to always keep a close eye on my daughter's internet usage not to mention being sure to stay in a steady, stable relationship with her so that I will be able to pick up on the clues to any unhappiness that might lead her down this path herself. I thought it was brilliant of the author to switch from Abby's point of view to that of her friends and sister during the time she is missing. It gives the reader such great insight into just exactly what the people left behind go through. The fear and heart ache was so realistic I almost had to put the book down a few times to distance myself from all the emotions. The one thing I have to fault the book for was a scene in which certain events of a sexual nature take place via web cam in a more graphic way than I felt was really necessary to get the point of the book across. The entire book was a shock, it did not need that to make it more hard-hitting. This explicitness detracts from the message and side-tracks the story toward sensationalizing a tragic moment of poor judgment and exploitation. Thankfully only briefly. Overall the book has a great message cushioned in excellent writing and very realistic characters and situations. I'm impressed with Ms. Littman for tackling this scary and important topic and seeing it through to the very end. It could have faded to black to avoid causing too much of a controversial ripple but instead Ms. Littman she spells out the aftermath and the affects on everyone in Abby's life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book so far!!! Not quite done yet but getting there. Get it if u like romance AND LOVE DRAMA! I luv drama and romance that this book totally rocks my world by far. So much drama. :o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing and realry hood bad part is there is alot of freaky crap in it and some inaproprite words and it teaches a lesson dont trust people online
Broadway-Girl More than 1 year ago
Loved this book so much, it has such a true message that teens especially should learn from.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it but there should be an age limit 13 and up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never a dull moment in this book. It really opens your eyes to what really happens out there. I could hardly put this book down! An excellent read. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me on my feet and worried for Abby the entire time. I felt the pain of her family and friends....especially Billy. This book is definitely a reccomendation for every teen who may feel lonely with nowhere to turn but the internet. Stay safe. Brittany DS
kdog2012 More than 1 year ago
best book i have ever read
sapphire_love_life More than 1 year ago
The inside flap gives away part of the story so you know part of what happens. The story is interesting and believable, I read it all in one sitting. Along with being a good read it teaches a great lesson about internet reading without boring the reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
omg this was so scary!!!!! And that guy..ew.... but this was a great book! A must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is by far one of the most haunting and amazing books I have read. It makes you wonder how something like this can happen so easily to someone. Being a teenager myself, I now realize how close I was to having this almost happen to me; I used to go into chat rooms a lot. Now I know how scary this situation can be, and have learned a great lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I have evee read!!!!! This book made me realize stuff I never thought would happen to me! Every teenage girl needs to read this and realize this could happen to them! I'm a teenager and I just want girls to read this and know this happens every day with guys telling them stuff that they want to hear and as we get older it gets worse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only hope more parents read this, if only to be more informed about these predators!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are some pages that u should really skip but you know it did teach a good catfishing message. Btw watch catfish on mtv
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
Another book I decided to pick up from my tbr pile because I remember how emotional it would be. Other bloggers that have read it, said it was good and truthful. After I read it, I have to say that they were right. Plot: This is about a girl who meets a guy in a chatroom. He manipulates her and gets her to meet him. She goes missing for days. Now and days the internet is a very scary place. People would chat and meet up and who knows…you could end dead in a alley somewhere. This is that plot. That what if? What if the person you are talking to aren’t who they say they are? It’s scary. Friendship: One thing about Abby is that she was very vulnerable to begin with. She has low self-esteem and didn’t really have much friends to keep her grounded. Instead, she search for love/friendship elsewhere hence her meeting “Luke” and thinking he is the one. Things quickly escalated from there and the next thing you know…she’s gone. Disappearance: Despite that teens think they know it all, they don’t. The world is a much darker place than it was when I was a kid and well, the internet is even worse. You have to be careful with what you say and what you do on the internet. This story has a very good lesson to be told. It carries a good message that I think all teens should read. It faces the reality of what could really happen should you fall for this trap. Want To Go Private? is a breathtaking tale that you won’t forget.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Want to Go Private? reads like an after-school special. And, honestly, that’s basically what it is. The book is broken down into three parts. Part one is the setup. Abby meets Luke and they develop this online “relationship.” This part is told solely from Abby’s POV. Part two is the drama (or the climax). Abby is missing. Here we get the POVs of Abby’s peers (her sister, her friends). And finally, the third part is the wrapped-up-in-a-bow ending. This is told from multiple POVs as well (Abby’s included). Overall, the book does what it sets out to do. It warns of the dangers of internet predators. And, it’s pretty realistic. Like I said, though, it reads like an after-school special. It’s got a good message, but the delivery falls short. It wraps up too nicely and that leads to it feeling somewhat fake. It’s one of those things that younger children/teens should read, but I have a feeling that they’ll likely have the same mentality the teens in the story have… “it’ll never happen to me.” Be sure to check out all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG had me rolling!!! I LOVED IT! though i did do an online relationship but i actually saw the person face nothing bad happened but i can relate the eager hard headed girl. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was not really a fan of the writing, I felt that there should have been more sophisticated words and just structured better. I felt this book's writing was suited best for sixth grade and up but the content for ninth grade up. I was completely thrown by some of the events that take place. I had such high expectations, especially when seeing all the great reviews but I definitely would not reccommend to anyone, it was pretty horrible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its hard to read wat happens to abby because im a young girl and this could happen to me too. It teaches me u cant trust people u meet online and u cant send pics of urself topless or have video chats with a guy who is watching u touch urself while he strokes his big man parts. Anyone can make u feel so pretty and sexy that u get this feeling this person cares so much about u that u cant help but want to be with this person in their arms where u think they will comfort u but sadly this person may have many sick plans on how to pop ur cherry while taking a video so all his man whore friends can watch while they jerk their man parts off. I was suprised to know that predetors even have sites to give each other information on how to get a girl that is willing or easyly tricked to have sex with them or run away with them and later they kill u or leave u to suffer in the wild. U will love this story because if ur a parent and ur kid spends lots of time online u know wat to do ir ur kid goes MISSING and u know to always know their passwords to their laptop,phone,and websites u let them go on. I hope this story helps
Anonymous More than 1 year ago