Want to Go Private?

( 49 )

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...

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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.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545151467
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 334,710
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 20, 2011

    This book has a message that both parents and teens can learn from

    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.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    OMG!!!!!

    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!!!!!!

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Must!

    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!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

        I completely connected with the main character of Want to go

        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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    This almost happened to me

    I was talking to this guy online and h aske me to meet him s i looked him up and i couldn find him so one of my teachers looked at the school he gave us and there was no one with him name.and whil all this was going on there was a man wih a van kidnapping teenagers at the exact time.it was scary

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Amazingly, brutally honest

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Get it if u luv romance

    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

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    Love it

    I love it but there should be an age limit 13 and up.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Unforgettable -- It Will Haunt You

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Evil.vannah

    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

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2012

    best book i have ever read

    best book i have ever read

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    AMAZING-COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!!!!

    Loved this book so much, it has such a true message that teens especially should learn from.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    A MUST!

    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. (:

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    such a riveting story

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Good Read!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Creepy

    omg this was so scary!!!!! And that guy..ew.... but this was a great book! A must read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Makes You See The Dangers In Life

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Teenagers

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    AMAZ-BALLS!!!!!

    I am so in love with this book you dont even know!!! Im 13 and I loved it! Great for kids my age! Im usually not huge ln reading but this was OUTSTANDING! I READ IT IN 2 DAYS!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Review: Want To Go Private

    This was an interesting read for me in many ways. As a parent, I wanted to read this for my own benefit on recognizing the signs that this type of behavior might be happening to my own child. But, I was also curious how this might happen in today's society. You always hear about what not to do on the internet, but how does it really apply?

    My first thought was that this book feels a little dated. I really honestly wondered if chat room like this really occur today. I remember chatting like this when we first got the internet back in the mid 90's. And it was with random people you didn't know and the eventual question of "want to go private". Not that this makes this book any less real. Because I can see how this could happen on Facebook, eventually leading to private communications. And I could really see how the chain of events could occur, as much as they make me stop and think.

    I really felt for Abby. I think she is socially awkward and doesn't know how to handle her new school. When it's hard to make new friends to begin with, being separated from the few do have can be overwhelming. I don't think every one understands that. "Luke" knew just how to target her insecurities. He knew how to make her feel better about herself, when to agree with her, and basically what to say and when. While at first I was honestly shocked at how fast Abby gives in to what Luke asks of her, I later got the impression that maybe more time had lapsed than the reader really thinks. He is really grooming her. Everytime he listens to her vent about her everyday problems he is proving how much her cares (in Abby's eyes). In turn each little thing her asks of her better seals the hold he has on her.

    The book was graphic in every sense. No words are lost in what Luke says to Abby. I think its for shock value to Abby. So the reader gets all the warning signs that Abby is missing. Abby knows she shouldn't be doing what Luke asks, but in she justifies it all to herself so beautifully. So when he finally asks the ultimate thing from her, she never hesitates.

    Really, a must read for parents and teens (especially those who are active on the internet). I'm sure many people think this will never happen to me, or my child would never do that. This just proves that it can and does happen to anybody!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews

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