Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Want to Go Private?” as Want to Read:
Want to Go Private?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Want to Go Private?

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,700 ratings  ·  647 reviews
Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.

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,
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Want to Go Private?, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Schly I think she just wants her readers to be aware of the dangers of the internet. She's also written Backlash which is also kind of about internet danger…moreI think she just wants her readers to be aware of the dangers of the internet. She's also written Backlash which is also kind of about internet danger and friendships.(less)
ttyl by Lauren Myraclel8r, g8r by Lauren Myraclettfn by Lauren MyracleWant to Go Private? by Sarah Darer LittmanThe Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
YA Internet Novels
188 books — 176 voters
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareForever by Maggie StiefvaterSilence by Becca FitzpatrickPassion by Lauren Kate
YA Novels of 2011
1,155 books — 7,141 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,700 ratings  ·  647 reviews

Sort order
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Fourteen year old Abby is starting high school. She starts having trouble with her best friend because they don't have many classes together and she feels like they are drifting apart. Her little sister is Satan and her parents are just too old to understand. She is that smart girl at school so she never will be one of the "Clique Queens." No one seems to understand her.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Until she starts talking to Luke on a new teen website. He gets her. He is always interested in her day and takes her side aga
Dec 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
I know what this book is supposed to do, and I understand that the topic is difficult, but... This was just a bit too over the top for me.

I have a lot of online friends, and I've met quite a few weirdos and creeps in my day but the things Abby does for Luke are just... Everything happens way too fast, and she just does whatever Luke tells her to do. I know she's completely in love with him, but even if I did have feelings for him, I wouldn't take off my clothes after talking to a guy for only a
Aug 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
I feel bad about putting this book to my realistic fiction shelf, since it's obviously unrealistic bullshit. And now I can officialy declare my 2016-reading-year the Year of Good Ideas Executed Really Poorly.
This review would've been completely pointless without minor spoilers out of spoiler-tags from the first 30% of the book, so read at your own risk; major ones are hidden. There is a lot of f-word in this review, too, so if it bothers you, stop reading it right now.

14 y.o Abby is entering th
Megan Johnson
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to come....
3 and a half stars

It's a bit hard for me to write a review on this, in a way. I do think that the message is important and that teens should definitely be wary and super careful when it comes to communicating with strangers on the internet.

However, to begin with I think this idea could've been written sooo much better. It was an idea I haven't seen in Y.A so I was intrigued by it. They made it a bit after school special for my taste. After reading "But I love him" by Amanda Grace, this falls fla
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wow - one of the scariest contemporary YA novels I've read in a long time. BlueSkyBoi made my blood boil whenever he said anything to Abby because he's just so manipulative and disturbing. Also, while it's easy for an adult or teen to say that they wouldn't fall for the things he says, I really believe that it's easy for young people to get caught up in the way Abby does. They've all been told not to talk to strangers, but the people they meet online don't feel like strangers anymore, and in the ...more
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Want to Go Private is a realistic and powerful look into the reality of teens and the temptation of "meeting" new people online. Being from a generation where AIM was new and exciting, it was very tempting to talk to random people, esp. those who would tell you that you were pretty and showed an interest in you that people in your everyday life might not show you. Abby feel a victim to that in this novel, and I think this book is not only powerful but necessary in a time where social networking ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is not my habit to negatively review books, as I can generally find value in anything I read, but I have to be honest, I hated this book and I don't know how it got published.

If you are looking to read this book because you think there's a mystery to solve, or intrigue surrounding the disappearance of the main character, back away now, because this is not the book for you.

If you want to read a poorly written after-school special, well then, this is the book for you.

I really thought I was goin
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I saw my friend, Shelby's review of this book, I just knew I had to read it.

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
BAYA Librarian
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
The first quarter of the book is narrated by freshman Abby, who is school-smart, but feels like she does not fit in with her fashion-obsessed mother and sister, absent father, and best friend who is starting to make new friends in high school. When she meets "27-year old" "Luke" online, her self-esteem goes up as Luke showers her with compliments and attention. They soon go to private chatrooms where Luke convinces her to have web-camera sex with him. He sends her a secret cell phone and they en ...more
Jan 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
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 acc ...more
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

- - -

Abby and her best friend, Faith, are beginning high school. Faith has been encouraging Abby to be more outgoing, positive, and maybe more stylish as well. Abby just wants to be herself, and feels nothing but nerves at the thought of dealing with high school - because surely, it's going to be just as terrible as middle school.

Shortly after school begins, Abby feels as if Faith is leaving her behind. Her parents want her to be perfect; A
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have to say I haven't read many (zero really) books on internet predators. It's obvious that's what the book is about from just the cover. What did shock me was how young our main character Abby was, 14!
She is a freshman in high-school. Yes, some parts were cheesy, but on the whole, this is a pretty important read.

Spoilers coming up:
Abby is lonely and confused. She is a normal and smart 9th grade girl. She makes some incredibly stupid decisions, ie., giving "luke" her address, telling him her
Hannah (The Irish Banana Review)
As soon as I got finished reading this book, I texted a friend and said, “If I could put one book into the hands of every 13 year old, this is that book.”

Want to Go Private? is a powerful, moving, and emotional rollercoaster of a book that is not only horrifically accurate, but gracefully written. Sarah Darer Littman pulls no punches as she describes how easy it really is for a predatory to worm their way into your home.

Abby is the typical American teenager. She feels awkward, out of sorts, and
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
so I'm a bit behind on reviews, but on the brighter side of things I've reached my reading goal which although sad and pathetic compared to karen and greg was not insignificant. meaning I am a success, and this book here deserves credit for being part of my success being a book that I read. congrats book you are helpful.

The book is actually really quite well written, but clearly a propaganda piece, it reads like a giant well written scare tactic screaming THE INTERNET IS FOR SERIOUS! okay that
I hated this book, I hated it. I hated. Yeah, I can see the significance of it, but I was just creeped out and disgusted with it. It did a great job of opening my eyes to something that I thought was foolish and that no person would ever do and showed me that it really does happen. I just couldn't even finish it. I could not feel anything for the main character, it just makes me want to shout out, "ewww, you're stupid. Don't do it. Why would you meet him?" The character actually seemed like she ...more
I started this book and couldn't stop--I read it straight through. This is the story of
Abby, who is having trouble adjusting to high school, especially since she doesn't see
very much of her best friend anymore. They don't have classes together and Faith is
getting into new activities, like school plays, that Abby is just not into. So she
relies more and more on her online friends at a teen targeted chat site. Especially
Luke. He compliments her, he agrees with her, he's THERE for her when no one el
Cass -  Words on Paper
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it

(PS. This review contains slightly personal information, since this book addresses such a sensitive issue.)

The world is not a safe place. Books like this are vitally important to help prevent minors from falling victim to sexual predators from the Internet. I know what it's like, I used to prowl online chatrooms, Habbo Hotel and the like as a high school student, and trust me, there was an abundance of creeps out there. Luckily I never did come across any creeps who had the opportunity to e
junie ✧
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book explores the dangers of online predators. Our main character is a 14 year old who meets someone online who she forms a connection with, but who is not who he seems.

I feel like this is a very important topic, but it’s definitely geared towards a younger audience. This hindered my enjoyment of the book, as the writing felt very simple and juvenile. I also felt the characters were not very fleshed out and we hardly knew anything about them.

It’s a good book for younger people to learn ab
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I can't decide how to rate this book, so I just went down the middle.

Sometimes the pacing felt off and the drama was too easy and I felt like I was watching a cheesy thriller starring Tara Reid.

Other times, I'd think...yeah my students are this clueless and they'd totally do this, this is pretty realistic.

I've read a lot of Littman's books and this is by far the most mature and dark...I mean Luke says, "I'm so turned on, I could break your door down with my c---." at some point, and I'm the o
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teenage-lament
First Impression: Yes, I did pick up this book because of the summary and because of how important this type of knowledge is. I am so glad that this is actually a "young adult" novel and I found it in the teenage section. Of course it is crammed between other novels with ideas of 'boyfriends' and 'love' and 'friends' and the reality of being a teenager. But in the midst of these tales, there is the little fragile hope a teenager has. To grow up and have a typical, easy-going, spectacular life. A ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a doozy. It's almost too life like for me to like it, but for the same reason it's why I appreciate it.

In the first part, even though I knew this book was about online predators, I couldn't help but start to like Luke. I honestly started bawling as the book went on. How could someone enjoy preying on innocent children? And just watching everyone's life crumble because of this one man's horrible actions made feel like I'd been punched in the stomach.

Even though it's "just a book" it
Kai Patterson
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was really uncomfortable to read at time but really adorable at other parts. I understand the message of the book, don't run off with anyone from the Internet. This book could have been a lot better. I predicted what was going to happen just after reading the cover. "Don't judge a book by its cover" well I did and I was right. I read this book until 2:30am to see what was going to happen. So it was interesting but it seems to be another cliche about child predators. This book=ehh okay
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
pretty inspirational
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Today’s teens spend a lot of their free time online, and they are taught early on by teachers and parents about Internet safety and the threat of online predators. They are educated to only interact with kids they know and to not give out personal information. Why then are predators still able to lure some Internet savvy kids who have been taught to know better? Want to Go Private is the chilling story of fourteen-year -old Abby Johnston who falls victim to one such predator. This gripping cauti ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-literature
Edit, August 2015: I think about this book still and it actually pisses me off how... preachy? Not quite preachy, but this is a problem novel. This is a novel where the sole intent is to warn about the dangers of internet predators. (Which is fair, and which is dealt with pretty well, but still.) There's nothing else to the plot, really, and that bothers me a year and a half after I've read it. Lowering my rating to two stars mostly because I can't remember anything else that happened in this bo ...more
Jun 11, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a dark book. It really shoves you up into the real world of online predators. Even though I'm already very careful, I definitely will be even more now on the internet. Which is a good thing, although overall this book is very teenish. What I mean is that the characters are childish and not too developed, plot line rather thin since you know what is going to happen, and filled with unimportant romance.

First off, I seriously need to get it out of my system how UNSUPPORTIVE her family and
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is what happens to girls who think they're not important and think they're lonely. There's at least one person you can talk to.

Personally, this book should be shoved into the hands of all teenagers because they don't realise how much danger they are in.

This book is about insecurity and you should think about the consequences before you post things on the net or who you talk to.

Moral of the story ;

- Don't talk to strangers on the internet
- Don't send nude photos,
- Don't accept to meet some
Madison E
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has 330 Pages. The main character in this book name is Abby I connect to her because I like to be on the internet And she shy just like. I gave this book 4 starts because it was good and i really liked it this year it was one of my favorite books this year and i liked it because she meets someone online but never she doesnt like she going to meet him or anything but does she really after she thought it over it reminded me of someone that went missing because of this kind of stuff the e ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Pearl
  • My Beating Teenage Heart
  • Sharks & Boys
  • Lie
  • Family
  • Small Town Sinners
  • Rival
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Going Underground
  • Back When You Were Easier to Love
  • Circle Nine
  • Ordinary Beauty
  • Losing Faith
  • Faking Faith
  • Popular
  • But I Love Him
  • Like Mandarin
  • The Implosion of Aggie Winchester
Sarah Darer Littman is the award-winning author of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, PURGE, LIFE, AFTER, WANT TO GO PRIVATE? and the upcoming CHARMED, I'M SURE and IN CASE YOU MISSED IT and middle grade fairy tale retellings CHARMED I'M SURE, and FAIREST OF THEM ALL. She lives in Connecticut, in a house that never seems to have enough bookshelves.

Tweeters follow Sarah @SarahDarerLitt
“I was so mad, I reached into the drawer for her fake sushi eraser and put it in my pocket. Serves her right for being such a big, fat, Eggo-scarfing liar.” 8 likes
“Just you wait, Abby Johnston. My coolness will hit you like a tsunami. You will be carried along by its raging power. You will be turned into a freaking icicle by the frostiness of my cool.” 7 likes
More quotes…