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Who R U Really?
     

Who R U Really?

4.1 7
by Margo Kelly
 

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Thea's overprotective parents are about to drive her nuts. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so much that Thea feels she can't do any of the things her friends do. She barely has time to answer her emails! When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. Soon, she's

Overview

Thea's overprotective parents are about to drive her nuts. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so much that Thea feels she can't do any of the things her friends do. She barely has time to answer her emails! When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. Soon, she's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends. Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the very fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of her control.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the Idaho Author Award

"Kelly's first novel is a suspenseful page-turner with multiple suspects, a little bit of romance, and a strong but not overbearing message." —Kirkus Reviews

"Suspenseful novel that's guaranteed to give readers goosebumps—particularly as events heat up toward the end. A good choice for families to read together." —School Library Journal

"Who R U Really? is a fantastically creepy book that is surprisingly realistic and totally engrossing.... Once I opened it, I couldn't close it. Who R U Really is a satisfyingly unique YA thriller that left me guessing up until almost the very last page.... This book is very realistic and I really enjoyed the writing style." —Tempest Books

"This was such a good book. A story that all of us should read.... This was a great read that opened my eyes even more about the internet." —Just Us Girls blog

"Based on actual events, the story should be required reading for all teens." —VOYA Magazine

"Kelly shows us just how terrifying, dangerous and unknown the world of online gaming can be—especially for a young teen.... The book is well-written and the story believable and engaging...I strongly recommend this book. It was a great read and delivered a strong, important message." —The Idaho Statesman

"This book is sure to spark a dialogue between parents and teens as well as tell an appealing cautionary tale to a younger audience and would be a good addition to any middle school, high school, or public library." —The Idaho Librarian (A Publication of the Idaho Library Association)

"This tense thriller offers useful lessons." —The Horn Book Guide

VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Suanne B. Roush
Thea lives a fairly sheltered life; at fifteen, her parents will not allow her to date and limit her time on the computer. After an incident at the bus stop, her mother decides they should take a self-defense class at the local rec center. Knowing how to protect herself physically, however, does not protect her online. Told by her brother’s friend about an online role-playing game, she starts to play. Her mother expresses concern about it to her and to their self-defense teachers, who seem familiar with it and ask about her alias. Soon after, Thea comes under the spell of a fellow player, Kit, whose influence over her increases until she shares personal information with him. Caught with a separate email account, her parents confiscate her computer and cell phone. Her friend Jamie, worried about Thea, has kept tabs on Kit and tells her that another girl who was flirting with Kit is dead. Her doubts lead to the fracturing of their friendship. When Thea finds out that the girl was murdered, she tries to make up with Jamie but does not break it off with Kit until her mother catches them texting and realizes that Thea has told him where she lives. Her mother calls the police to report a possible Internet predator. After a month the investigation has turned up nothing, but Thea finds herself in even more danger. Based on actual events, the story should be required reading for all teens. It would be an easier sell, however, if it was more tightly written. Reviewer: Suanne B. Roush; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—Thea Reid is tired of her parents' draconian rules: no dating until she's 16, no cell phone during family time, no Internet until her homework is finished. On top of all of that, Thea has no privacy. Her parents have the password for her email account, and they do random checks of her mobile and online activity. Ready for some personal space, Thea signs up for an online role-playing game called Skadi. Using the game's chat feature, the teen begins talking regularly with an older boy named Kit. At first they only chat about the game, but as they begin to swap more personal information, Thea realizes that she thinks of Kit as a friend—maybe even more. Her friends and family warn her about the dangers of talking to strangers online, but Thea knows that she can trust Kit. He really loves her. Inspired by her own daughter's terrifying story, Kelly has painted a realistic picture of how a smart girl can get caught up in something dangerous online. While preachy at times, often reading like a cheesy after-school special about "stranger danger" on the Internet, this is a short and suspenseful novel that's guaranteed to give readers goosebumps—particularly as events heat up toward the end. Rather than condemning technology, Kelly focuses on the importance of making smart and safe choices and earning trust. A strong message here is honest communication between parents and children. A good choice for families to read together.—Liz Overberg, Darlington School, Rome, GA
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-16
A naïve 14-year-old longing for a first romance believes she has found it with an online stranger. Thea's longtime friendship with Janie is one of the only things that makes ninth grade tolerable, especially after an embarrassing video makes the rounds. Hungry for connection, she eagerly embraces the online game "Skadi," where she creates an identity and is befriended by "Kitsuneshin," who claims to be 19 and living in Georgia. Janie tries to tell Thea that Kit flirts with another girl when she's offline, but Thea is unwilling to believe it. Her conversations with Kit are light and flirty ("Kitsuneshin: I'll miss u. *tucks u into bed*"), and Thea knows better than to give him her cellphone number or her location…at first. Despite her mother's repeated warnings and vigilance, Thea's entanglement with Kit becomes her focus, as he persuades her that he loves her, hinting that he might attempt suicide without her. Thea's mistakes, while frustrating to encounter, are frighteningly plausible, and the relationships among characters are well-fleshed out, especially between mother and daughter. Kelly's first novel is a suspenseful page-turner with multiple suspects, a little bit of romance, and a strong but not overbearing message. (Thriller. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440592263
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
09/04/2015
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,295,598
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Margo Kelly is a marketing professional whose youngest daughter was nearly abducted by an adult posing online as a teen in a role-playing game. Kelly and her daughter are planning a schedule of speaking to school, youth, and community groups about spotting and unmasking a predator. Ripped from real life, Who R U Really? is Kelly's first novel.

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Who R U Really? 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This book was FANTASTIC!!!!! I cannot belive that this actually happened. Margo, I think that you are a fantastic author and I can't wait to read more of you books. For teens. I rate a 5 star because of the truth and nothing-but-the-truth tale of Margo Kelly's daughter. I hope you all LOVE this book!!!!! Bye for now, Love, Lucas
MichelleLN More than 1 year ago
Who R U Really is intense and scary! It will make adults, teens and children alike all rethink their internet habits. Margo Kelly did a great job with her debut novel, it sucks you in and keeps you interested until the very end. I couldn't wait to figure out Kit's real identity. I will be honest that the white chair scene had me checking my house to make sure that everything was ok. This book has taught me how important it is to have an internet safety talk with my children. Thank you Margo for bringing us this great book and sharing this amazing story! I look forward to reading more of your work!
BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
Fourteen-year-old Thea longs for a boyfriend, even though she's not allowed to date until she's sixteen. She joins an online gaming community and begins getting some attention from Kit. As Kit's advances become more and more aggressive, Thea begins to feel more and more uncomfortable. But who is the mysterious Kit? Could he actually be someone she knows? There are a number of potential candidates: her classmate Tim, Josh the bully, new boy Taylor, her brother's friend Marcus, self-defense instructors Jackson or Keith, even her volleyball coach Gavyn. Despite her parents' constant warnings about the dangers of the Internet, Thea continues her secret online life. What will happen when they finally find out? The set-up of the story feels too unnatural, like the author is trying to teach us a lesson. The narrative is full of unnecessary detail such as what outfit Thea chooses to wear on a daily basis. I also found it hard to believe that Thea's parents could be so over-protective. Thea herself is not a very likable character; she is unnecessarily critical of her parents and makes some very foolish choices in relation to both boys and her best friend. I found myself not really caring what happened to her, as she seemed to bring it all on herself. As the story progressed, I became more invested in finding out Kit's true identity. But, in the end, it really could have been any one of the suspects. It almost felt like the author put all the names in a hat and then pulled one out. Despite these drawbacks, this is still a timely warning for all teenagers and an insightful read for their parents. You never know who you are really talking to on the Internet. As Marcus says, "Online you can be anything you want." 3.5 stars I received this book in return for an honest review.
WonderWmn More than 1 year ago
4.5/5:  This is the book that every person should read before they are let loose on the internet.  This book captures and gives the reader the raw outline of how an Internet Predator behaves.  This book shows how a child, with the strictest of internet parents, can be drawn in and groomed by manipulative people online.  So many times you hear, but where were their parents during all this time?  This shows how it can happen even with the most attentive parents. This novel captured my interested from the very beginning.  The topic is one that needs more attention because it shows just how easy it is for an Internet Predator to get hold of an innocent person.  We hear about it in the headlines weekly, but this gives you factual information on just how the predators work and where it can lead to. The author did a great job.  Through the book you can feel the changes going with Thea.  You start understanding the who's, what's and why's.  I picked up early on the who from a certain detail that the author included, but even than, the twists and turns in the story really made this a strong read and I was not disappointed.  In fact, Thea's mother's anguish at the end ripped me to the core and sent tears down my own cheeks. The only things I had an issue with is that the story line itself felt a little jumpy at times.  Like the author had been distracted by something while writing and her train of thought had been momentarily derailed..  I had a hard time with Thea's age.  Certain things and actions made it feel she was older than what she really was and the relationship with her brother seemed a bit juvenile on his end, even though he is the older brother. I recommend this to everyone.  A great thriller that not only captures the readers imagination, but also provides a well meaning lesson on how to present yourself to others online and what red flags to be aware of when dealing with other online.  
LillyBookReads More than 1 year ago
At a Glance/The Cover: I wasn't really sure where I was going with this book. It isn't like my usual reads about romance and high fantasies. Who R U Really? is a deep novel that expresses the everyday concerns of life. This book speaks up about issues of internet stalking and cyber stalkers. And what makes it even more noteworthy is that this is based on a real event. That just proves how much internet stalking actually happen these days. This book was based on a game online, but it can definitely happen on other websites, especially social media networks.  The Characters/My Opinion:  Thea - Well, Thea's a somewhat normal girl, with a best friend. And some crushes. Boy problems. School. The normal everyday teenage issues. Then, she gets introduced to a game. She gets obsessed. Literally obsessed. She meets new people. This is the type of game where players can chat online. Kind of like xBox and Play Station stuff. Yeah, normal.  But when a playmate gets super close and friendly, Thea befriends them and slowly falls into his trap. Keep in mind that Thea is about 14 or 15 years old. That's about my age. #scary. Kit - Thea doesn't really know much about the guy she meets online. She thinks she does, but honestly, it doesn't seem enough. She learns that Kit is 19 and he has issues. And then she shares her number with him. Overall Thoughts:  Who R U Really? gives a huge moral lesson to all girls out there, don't be so quick to trust someone, especially when you don't really know them.  Besides that, I mean obviously, there are actually real people out there that are genuine. You can meet other people online. I've known some people who met online and ended up getting married. It works. But just be sure to double check there background information. And really get to know them.  Even though this is categorized in the YA section, I think this works for middle grade too. Young kids go online all the time nowadays without supervision and who knows what crazy people are out there? Better to start educating kids early and give them an idea of how to protect themselves.  The Rating: (1-10): 8.5
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
Who R U Really? is such a chilling book because its happening as we speak all over the world. So many young people get sucked into things like this on the internet with horrifying results and this is why more books need to be written about this kind of thing, especially in the YA genre. Its also chilling because the authors daughter had something similar happen to her!!  Thea was such a frustrating character but yet so real. She was frustrating to me because I could see what she obviously couldn't but she is like any other teenage girl out there who's in love. While Thea see's nothing except a boy who "gets" her and loves her, we see the creep behind the facade. Kit is sympathetic, loving, trusting and just what Thea needs but he is also damaged and Thea feels for him. He tells her things he hasn't told anyone before and she feels like she can trust him. They hit it off on the game but then carry on in the real world. While reading the book I kept wanting to yell at Thea and say cop on, can you not see he is a creep!!!  One thing I didn't like was that I could see who it was early on in the book. While there is multiple suspects, the predator is pretty obvious. Saying that though, I still really enjoyed this. Its a story that every teenager should take to heart and take heed. I always tell my boys to never ever share personal information on the internet but its impossible to monitor them 24/7. I can only explain to them how they need to protect themselves and hope they listen. In this day and age internet safety is something everyone should know about.  Overall Who R U Really? is a well written, realistic, tense read. Margo Kelly has a way of telling the story that just draws you in. She told the story in such a way where any teenager will relate to it and hopefully listen. Its an eye opener for sure. Who R U Really? should be on every bodies shelf and I know I'll be getting a copy for my niece who is 14 and is always on the internet. 
pfoster More than 1 year ago
This book caught me off guard, I started reading it and then had to leave town on business.  While I was gone I caught myself thinking  of the main character and the plot.  Even woke up during the middle of the night thinking about the thriller it was becoming in my mind. Couldn't wait to get home to finish it!! I did finish it and then read on the cover that it is based on real events.  Every parent and child  needs to read this book.  Even if it only helps one person.  It is written so well that it catches you and puts you in the mystery/thriller story  line, and makes you want to look out your back door, and see if someone is there.  I look forward to Margo Kelly's next book.