for Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
Fourteen-year-old Abby has been struggling socially since starting high school. Then she meets Luke online, and her life and esteem begin to revolve around him. She isn’t comfortable when he first asks her to take off her shirt in front of the webcam, but Luke affirms her beauty and how much he cares for her. So she does everything he asks. Part 1 of this novel is told from Abby’s perspective. Part II begins with Abby’s disappearance after she runs away with Luke. The frantic search for her is told from the perspectives of Abby’s younger sister, Lily, and Abby’s best friend, Faith. After Abby is found in a hotel with Luke (who was not as young as Abby thought), her voice rejoins the narrative in Sarah Darer Littman’s chilling novel that goes bravely into uncomfortable territory. Abby’s time with Luke is revealed in flashbacks that don’t shy away from describing Luke’s continuing manipulation and sexual exploitation. Abby’s difficulty letting go of her deep-seated belief in Luke’s good intentions; the impact of her disappearance and abuse on her family and closest friend; and the ease with which most of her peers blame her for what happened when she finally makes the return to school, are all disturbingly believable. So, too, is Abby’s vulnerability, inexperience, and confidence in her own Internet savvy. A climactic scene in which Abby addresses the entire school to share lessons learned feels less authentic but is empowering and cathartic. (Ages 12–16)
CCBC Choices 2012. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012. Used with permission.
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.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.