"Want to go Private?” is the story of Abigail Johnston who is just starting high school. She is scared of changes and when her best friend seems to drift away she looks to confide in a stranger, “Luke,” who she happened upon in a teen chat room website. She becomes more and more involved with this guy who she has never met, and all the while her straight As slip and she becomes more distant from those who care for her. Abby notices “Luke” becoming possessive but she thinks it’s because he really loves her. An argument over grades between her and her parents leads to Luke convincing Abby to run away with him for a bit, “just to teach them a lesson”.
This book really opened my eyes to the risks and dangers of online chatroom. Though it is obvious that we shouldn’t talk to strangers or give them any information about ourselves, this book really brings to light what can happen even if we think we know what we’re doing. The book talks of how Abby was smart but because she was feeling a little insecure that made her the perfect target for an online predator. “Luke” had “groomed” her, a term used in the book talking of how he earned her trust and abused it for a period of two months. The book itself is split up into 3 parts. The fist part talked of how Luke really became a part of her life and emotions of both terror and disgust were raging as I read how Abby was being sucked in by this sexual predator online. The content was a bit too graphic in some parts, but I think this was to really make a point of the kind of sick people that are in these “innocent” teen chatrooms.
I finished this book within a day, just because it was so hard to put down. The story line flows well, even as the point of view switches from Abby, to her sister, to her best friend, and to another friends constantly in the last two parts. I would personally recommend this book, but would warn that it contains graphic, mature content.