Review: Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman

Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

July 30th 2013,  Scholastic Inc

 

4.5 Stars!!

Right from the authors dedication at the beginning of the book I was hooked.

“To the dedicated men and women of the law-enforcement community who face ugliness every day in the effort to keep our kids safe”

Yes, Thank God for them. I can’t even imagine the horrible things they have to look at every day. The dedicated men and women who not only put their lives but also their sanity on the line for us. Plus anyone else that helps children either by intervening before something happens or taking care of them after something has happened. Nurses, Counselors, Psychiatrists, Teachers, Social workers, public speakers on Internet safety the list goes on. And to the dedicated parents who are trying their best to protect their children.

Abby is 14 years old and about to start high school. She doesn’t want her friendship with her best friend to change because they won’t be in the same classes. She feels like she doesn’t fit in. Abby thinks her parents want her to be perfect and feels sometimes like they don’t love her for who she is. To her it feels like everyone is always telling her to do her hair or make up “to make an effort”. She just wants things to stay the same and feels like no one understands her.

Then she meets Luke online. HE understands her. He agrees that her parents are too hard on her and that her best friend should be paying more attention to her. She feels like Luke is the only one who truly gets her. When Luke tells her that he’s older than her, at first she is nervous, but he helps alleviate all those fears. Saying things like boys her age would never understand her…. But he does.

Abby has had those Internet safety talks at school and she knows that he could be some 50-year-old dude in the basement somewhere, but she figures it’s not like she’s ever going to meet him.

However, soon Luke is all that Abby can think about. She’s his girl. And after a particularly bad fight with her parents, Luke asks her to meet him and Abby decides to go….

Teenagers are impulsive. They still have that “it will never happen to me” thinking. Maybe not every single teenager would make some of the decisions that Abby made, but some would. Predators are experts, they know what they’re looking for, they know how to talk, and especially how to “groom”.

Although it may seem that things move fast in the book, teenagers really do move that fast sometimes. Their brains have not stopped growing and they don’t always think things through. They are living in a world that many of the adults I know don’t understand (all I have to do is look on Facebook).

Even though they may have had Internet safety talks at school there still needs to be more education.

I have a teenage daughter and some of the things she tells me blows my mind. I feel lucky that she is so open with me (and I really hope that never changes). But she’s still a teenager, I’ve seen some of the impulsive things she’s done. For example posting something without really thinking it through and immediately regretting it. She’s not going to be perfect. It’s not realistic of me to think that she would be.

As parents it’s hard for us to keep up with everything out there. We may think we’re doing a good thing by not allowing our children to have a Facebook account or if they have one to monitor it. And yes I think monitoring is very important. But Facebook is now considered old school and I’ve been told that teens know to be very careful on there because their parents check it. But we have Instagram, Snapchat, askFM, and so many new social media sites popping up every day that parents know nothing about. Unfortunately, it would be very hard to live in a completely social media and Internet free world now. I’ve seen children posting their cell phone numbers on public social media quite often. They think because cell phones are not listed that it’s safe to do.

But again it just goes to that teenage brain. Not all of them are going to make poor decisions online. But considering how much of this stuff is still happening we need books like this plus more education, open dialogue between teenagers and parents etc.

Because there’s no way now that we can keep our children completely off-line. Our teens are going to speak to people online. We just have to work harder at educating them to hopefully make better decisions.

This book is scary but it’s important. Because things like this are happening. I felt like it was a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl in many ways. I may not have liked everything about the book but, I’m really glad I read it.

 

Goodreads Monday – Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part,  simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is: Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill

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Expected publication: August 22nd 2017 by Mira Books

Goodreads Description:

For readers who love issue-driven fiction, Melissa Hill has written a breakout novel exploring the “to vaccinate or not” debate and the tragic consequences of one mother’s decision on another.

Single mom Kate O’Donnell is living her worst nightmare. Her young daughter, Clara, who has a medical condition that doesn’t allow her to be vaccinated, becomes critically ill when one of her classmates, Lauren-whose family chose not to vaccinate-contracts and spreads the virus. While Lauren has no trouble recovering from the disease, Clara’s condition worsens. With time spent by her daughter’s bedside, Kate loses her job and slides deeper into medical debt. But when another school parent points the blame at Lauren’s mother, Lucy, and the media begins an attack, we see two very different views on parenting and how badly things can spin out of control when all either of these two women wanted was to keep their daughters safe.

 

I haven’t had KEEP YOU SAFE on my TBR for very long. As soon as I read the description,  I knew it was one I really wanted to read. It sounds like a very interesting and emotional read.  We all want to keep our children safe and the “to vaccinate or not” debate is something that I haven’t yet read about in a fiction book. I’m intrigued and I am looking forward to seeing how the author has handled this sensitive issue.

 

Review – Last Breath (Good Daughter 0.5) by Karin Slaughter

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Last Breath by Karin Slaughter

Published May 16th 2017 by HarperCollins

 

I had just started reading THE GOOD DAUGHTER, when I happened to come across this prequel to the novel. I decided to stop reading TGD and read this first. I’m happy that I did.

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

Charlie Quinn was just thirteen years old when a sudden act of violence changed her life forever. In many ways she blamed her lawyer father for what happened. However, she still ends up becoming a lawyer herself. But she’s not going to be like her father. Charlie wants to make a difference and really help people.

The book opens as Charlie is at a career women speaking event with the Girl Scouts. It seems like most of the girls don’t care that she’s there. She’s also not feeling well. Suddenly, she knows she’s about to be sick and bolts for the bathroom. It’s there that one of the girls decides to talk with her. As the girl, Florabama Faulkner (Flora) starts to talk about her life, Charlie feels a kinship with her. At first, Flora is hesitant to say what she really wants to say, but finally blurts it out….

“I want to be emancipated”

Flora tells Charlie about everything that’s going on. Charlie feels for this seemingly fragile, young, and lonely girl. She wants to help her. People like Flora Faulkner are one of the main reasons Charlie chose to move back to Pikerville, instead of working at some hotshot firm in some big city.

But not everything is what it seems. Normally as a defense lawyer, she knows more about her clients, their friends, and family etc. than they know about themselves. But this time, Charlie isn’t sure just what she’s gotten involved in.

I thought this was a really good prequel. I found the plot really interesting and it really helped give some insight into some of the characters especially, Charlie Quinn.

At 176 pages this was a nice quick read. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to read it before reading THE GOOD DAUGHTER but I think it adds a little something.

Now, I’m really excited to get back to reading THE GOOD DAUGHTER!

View all my reviews

Throwback Thursday: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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Published March 5th 2007 by Atria Books

Goodreads Description:

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families.

Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

 

My thoughts:

I know I’ve chosen a few Jodi Picoult reads for Throwback Thursday, but I have really enjoyed many of her books. This one was especially gripping. I believe I read this in just one or two sittings. Her books usually take hold of me and don’t let go until I’ve finished the last page and closed the book….and most of the time long after that. NINETEEN MINUTES was definitely one of those reads.

“In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn; color your hair; watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump off it.”

NINETEEN MINUTES is a well written, emotional, and intelligent read that I highly recommend.