Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Want To Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

Want To Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

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 have never read anything by Sarah Darer Littman before so I wasn't sure what to expect from this. But wow! I was completely blown away. This was a riveting, frightening, and intense look at one girl's life that is affected by an online predator.

Abby is about to start high school and she feels all alone. Like her family doesn't have time for her and that she and her best friend are growing apart. When Abby meets Luke in a chat room she suddenly feels... loved. Luke crawled into her life and worked his way into her heart so sneakily and almost unbelievably fast. It was scary how much Luke's "presence" in Abby's life changed her. Her grades were dropping, she was withdrawing from those close to her, and she was doing things she never imagined herself doing. Their talks soon stray from innocent banter and become more serious. Unfortunately Abby is completely under Luke's spell and she doesn't realize that she is walking right into a trap.

The novel alternates in various perspectives so you can see how Abby's ultimate decision affects those around her.

I used to think how crazy young girls had to be to fall for online predators, but Littman presented Abby's story in a believable light and made me feel for her. I still think she should have realized what she was doing was wrong earlier on. This was a powerful novel though and I am glad I had the chance to read it.

There are a lot of serious topics explored in this book and Littman definitely didn't shy away from going where she needed to go.

Want To Go Private? was an intense and fast paced read that will open readers eyes to the extreme dangers that comes with sharing personal information online. I am anxious to read some of Littman's previous novels because they also deal with serious issues and I'm sure they will be just as impressive. I definitely recommend picking this up!

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

August 1, 2011/Scholastic Press/336 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books by this author: Purge, Confessions of a Closet Catholic, and Life, After


  1. I'm really excited to read this one. Sarah is a terrific writer and it's very interesting to me (especially as a parent) how someone can be lured into this situation.

  2. Wow, this one sounds like an intense story. I'll definitely have to check it out when it releases,

    Wonderful review, Kelsey!

  3. Can't wait to read it! You should check out my brand-new blog Strung Hearts to the Young. I'll be doing book reviews, too! (Plus some other juicy stuff, too.) (:

  4. Part of me really wants to read this book, but the other part of me is absolutely terrified to read it. Just thinking about this book freaks me out and I think reading it would freak me out even more. The world we live in is a scary place, but I'm happy that authors aren't afraid to tackle such hard topics. Great review.


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