Want to Go Private?

Want to Go Private? - Sarah Darer Littman honestly, i don't know where to start with this book. i want to say that i loved it and thought it was powerful and important but... that's just not how i felt about it. i'm the kind of person that the most important part of a book for me will always be the characters, particularly the main character, and i thought that abby was shallow, selfish, childish, and (for lack of a better word) stupid even before she met luke on cheznet. the way she handled life was infuriating: she wants people to accept her how she is, but then she complains about how no one pays attention to her or cares about her or dotes on her while she wears generic clothing, puts no effort into her appearance and overall just sinks into the background of everything. she's clingy and dependent on her friend faith, to the degree of thinking badly of her just for making new friends. she's a real negative nancy, always talking down about everything without even giving it a chance; she wants things to stay exactly the same even though she's in high school, wants to be her low maintenance self, and yet she's always mourning the fact that the hot, popular dude who sits behind her doesn't remember her name. she isolates herself and acts like she's too good for everyone around her, but... then she's angry at how people treat her. she's a silly little twit from the very first page of this book.

all of her family and friends are just fucking awful people from abby's pov and surprisingly, when we switch to her sister's pov, she's still a fucking awful person. she's selfish and bratty and completely unconcerned with her sister, despite claiming to be every five sentences so you don't forget that she's meant to be an okay girl, just a teenager. she is one of the most self-absorbed, shallow girls i've ever had the misfortune of reading about. did the author intend to make her seem like an emotionally-stunted, idiotic little girl with less empathy and understanding of the world than your average newborn? if so, bravo.

her friends, however, turned out to be decent enough. faith did nothing wrong other than wanting to move on with her life and, well, have one, and abby couldn't stand that because she's not even her own person, honestly. billy was a sweet, albeit unrealistic, boy that stood by abby and still wanted to be with her no matter what she did or what happened to her, which i thought was a very sweet sentiment, in a way. in another way, it's shitty that he only supported her and wanted to be there for her because he had a romantic interest in her. if he hadn't thought he could end up as her boyfriend, would he have stood by her side? probably not. but no one asks those questions - everyone pushes her to date him or act on her crush on him, less than a week after she returns home from this huge "trauma" with a "monster." some goddamn support system.

her parents were shitty. her mother wanted to brush it under the rug and forget about it and her father blamed her. he was a horrible, unsupportive parent. i hated her family so much. but i also hated abby, so... it makes sense that she would sprout from such rotten roots.

the way that her "situation" with luke plays out is absolutely ridiculous. later on in the book, everyone talks about how he groomed and conditioned her so that he could exploit her but truthfully, from what i read, he didn't actually do very much at all. abby was desperate and needy, a codependent girl who couldn't stand that her friends and family had a life outside of her -- it was called loneliness but in reality, it was a complete and total lack of a sense of self. she fell into a badly-woven trap very, very easily. she was a selfish, naive little girl and at the end of the day, barely anything even happened to her. sure, she's traumatized, but... she got out of her situation with little to no consequences. when she escaped, she was in love with luke still, yelling at everyone about how he was nothing like what they thought and then at complete random with no actual development, she was talking about how much she'd been through and having horrible nightmares and dealing with, and i quote, "post-traumatic blasts from the past."

on top of everything else, the author tried much too hard to sound like a teenager - their im dialogue, their actual dialogue, their actions, their personalities, their thought processes, literally all of it was fucking stupid and horrible and unrealistic. it was all cheesy. it was all stupid. there was a complete lack of any character development/growth, and no changes of heart that happened ever got explained. there was quite a bit of pov hopping that, in my opinion, was a complete copout so the author didn't have to write about what happened or why it happened or how it happened, she could simply pick up after it did and expect everyone to be ok with the character's thoughts and opinions suddenly being starkly different. that's sloppy, and it's lazy.

more than literally anything, i would like to make it known that this book is absolute bullshit: it's exploitative of victims of abusive situations like this, and in all honesty, it's a thinly veiled psa about internet safety, the book equivalent of a lifetime movie. it's actually kind of insulting.