Monday, January 21, 2013
Book Review- Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Litmann
Author: Sarah Darer Litmann
Genre: Realistic fiction
Published: August 1st 2011
Synopsis: 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.
WOW!! that's all I can say. This book transmitted a powerful message to all kids my age. I am a teen, older than Abby, but a teen nevertheless. And I do know what it is like to feel like a total social reject or feel unloved and unappreciated and judged. Abby felt like the whole world was coming down on her, so of course if this really sweet guy comes along and tells her everything she wants to hear,even if he is a virtual person,under the pseudo of BlueSkyboi, she is going to fall for it. And I know what you might be thinking at this point, "Oh well if she falls for it, then she's just stupid". Of course, that's true, but think back to when you were a teen, if you suddenly feel like the whole world is crumbling down on you, that no one loves you, then wouldn't you want someone to make you feel worthy and powerful, beautiful and loved, even if its just for a moment, even if its just a virtual person? Admit nit, of course you would. Now, don't get my message wrong, of course Abby should have known better, she was well aware of all of the Internet safety protocols and she should have followed them as if her life depended on them(because really her life does depend on them), but come on lets talk real, do we teenagers ever follow rules? No we don't, and unfortunately when we don't consequences follow, some just harsher than others. Abby decided to not follow the rules, and she almost paid the consequences with her life, but the good thing is Abby learned from her mistakes and came out stronger and wiser. So these are the life lessons this book gave me:
Always follow all of the Internet Safety Rules
Never talk to strangers online, no matter how sweet and understanding they may seem
If you are having problems, never shut down on everyone and feel as if you're alone. Talk to a responsible adult(parents, counselor, school psychiatrist, teacher,etc...)
When you make a mistake, learn from that mistake, take notes and make sure it never happens again,but don't dwell on it. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and you only live once, so don't spend the rest of you're life feeling like a failure just because you made a mistake, and know one has the right to make you feel that way either.