Title: Want to Go Private?
Author: Sarah Darer Littman
Summary: Incoming freshman Abby is dealing with a lot these days. Her best, and only, friend Faith is branching out by making new friends and developing new interests. Her father is always working, her mother is barely managing, and her younger sister lives to tell on her. Abby feels like a freak and is tired of being told by her family and Faith that she needs to make more of an “effort” with respect to her appearance.
Then Abby meets a boy online and suddenly things seem a little easier to deal with. Luke is always on her side and he listens to her. He thinks she is beautiful, smart, and funny. He doesn’t ask her to change and accepts her exactly as she is. Abby has heard all the lectures about safety online, but what harm is there in talking to a boy online. It’s not like she is giving him her address and inviting him over to her home.
The only thing Luke asks of Abby is that she keep him secret from her family, which is fine by her. How could she ever explain to Faith and her family that she meet her boyfriend, whose almost twice her age, online and has been secretly chatting with him until all hours of the night? After a blowout with her parents, Abby decides it is time to meet Luke in person. That night Abby doesn’t come home. The police are called, but it is up to her family and Faith to piece together the clues in time or they may never see Abby again.
Who will like this?: Fans of Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson will find this gritty cautionary tale on the workings of an internet predator riveting. This is also a book for anyone who thinks the internet is a safe place or that predators are easy to spot.
If you like this, try this: Hate List by Jennifer Brown; Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott; Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher; or Dark Song by Gail Giles.
Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian