Want To Go Private? by Sarah Littman
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Published  August 1st 2011
Hardcover, 336 pages
Challenges:  100 Books in 2011, A-Z Reading Challenge

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.

Want To Go Private? is the perfect PSA for internet safety, not just for teens but for everyone! Sarah Darer Littman has superbly combined the realities of teen emotions and the dangers that lurk just behind the computer screen.

Abby is a very smart girl – she’s a straight A student and follows the rules to a ‘t’. In an attempt to share her fears of being a new freshman in High School and all the changes that she knows are on the horizon, Abby visits a virtual Teen world. There she meets Luke. Luke is understanding, listens to her rants and complaints… Luke is the perfect boy! Or is he? Abby learns quickly that he is not as young as she is, but that doesn’t matter. She doesn’t know much about him: where does he work? where does he live? But again, that is all okay. Abby finally feels like someone understands her. Soon she starts to act in ways that never crossed her mind. But for Abby it is all for Luke, so there is nothing wrong… Right??

At the same time, Abby and her best friend, Faith, start to drift apart. No one notices the changes in Abby. Then one day, Abby is gone.

Abby where are you? How could you just be here one day and gone the next?

While Sarah Littman shows Abby’s side of the story, her emotions and thoughts, she also shows the affect that Abby’s decisions and disappearance has on those surrounding her. Her family and friends are left to wonder where she is, is she hurt, and what exactly happened. Some even feel to blame.

But I can’t help thinking that there must have been something I could have said or done or noticed that would have stopped her.

Writing on any “social” issue can be difficult without the added fear of the response. But Sarah Littman’s writing shows no hint of failure. Want To Go Private? touches upon our fears, concerns, emotions and the reality of a technological world. Her characters and the consequences of their actions are real. By throwing a real life danger in our face, Sarah Littman has created the perfect novel on Internet predators.While this novel was very difficult to read, as it is very raw, I highly recommend everyone to read this.

My Rating:
** Disclosure: I received this book from The {Teen} Book Scene in exchange for an honest review.