Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly
Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.
Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.
~ Rae's Review~
Wow! Just coming off a roller coaster read from my last book, I didn't realize I was diving into another tense read. Who R U Really is definitely a thriller with much relevance to teenagers today who grow up in the internet and gaming age. I couldn't help relating to the characters as I found myself thinking about my own teen years on the net as I identified with Thea (full name Cynthia in the book) but also wondering how I'd navigate a similar situation with my own daughter as Thea's mother does.
At times I couldn't help wanting to yell at my reader to Thea to listen to her gut and the cues that her online friend Kit was giving her. I had an inkling of what he was about when she discovered the true origins of his username and what he was saying when she wasn't around. Who R U Really is a lesson in not only safety but also recognizing warning signs when they are made apparent.
I loved that this book had so many elements where I thought I knew what was coming, but was surprised at every turn. Ms. Kelly writes the characters in a way where you can't help but be sucked into their lives and situations. I read that this book was inspired by a similar situation the author's daughter went through and, considering the final act, I can't imagine the terror of her situation. Thanks to Ms. Kelly for writing this book and for sharing the story in talks around the community.
One of the library journals said this is a book families should read together and I couldn't help thinking this as I read it. Thea goes through many events in a young person's life that can spark some great family discussion like first loves, eating disorders, dating, trust, internet gaming and friendship and even restriction of rules.
If I have a daughter, this is definitely a book I'd like to read and discuss with her. I hope this gets turned into a film one day. I can't recommend this book enough!
1 print copy of Who R U Really?
Open to US only
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