Saturday, September 13, 2014

Who R U Really? | 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.

My feelings for this book are very conflicted. On one hand I didn't love the characters but on the other, the actual plot of the book scared the crap out of me, which is good. I don't recommend this as a light read nor do I recommend reading it at nice. It has a great message but I do warn you it's quite scary. 

Spoiler-Filled Review 

The whole idea of an Internet predator honestly freaks me out so much, most probably because I live so much of my life on the Internet and to think that people can hurt you or kill you through it is frightening. 

I'll admit, the first couple pages of this book weren't that great. The characters didn't really give me a great first impression.  One of the first things that Thea, our main character said was "You're a big jerk face!" which made me picture a five year old girl instead of a high school girl. Tim and Josh came across as jerks. 

The plot progresses as Thea discovered the new game of Skadi and starts connecting with this character named Kit. As the book continues, she begins getting close with Kit, exchanging names, emails, and even phone numbers. It gets to a point where he begins obsessively texting her and calling her even though she didn't want to talk to him. 

I know that in these situations, it's not completely Thea's fault, but I can't help but think that she was really needy and desperate. At the beginning of the book she was complaining about how she wanted a boyfriend so badly, but then turned down Tim when he asked her out. Ever interaction she had with Kit online, every time they said "I love you" or exchanged personal information I cringed so hard. Every part of my body felt how wrong and messed up the situation was and I wanted to reach into the book and slap some sense into Thea. She's also one of those people who rebels against authority, not in the screaming active rebel way, but rather subtly. "Don't use your computer with the door closed." Her mother said, spends the rest of day using the computer with her door closed. Not only was the self-dense class important, but someone definitely should have taught her about Internet safety since she obviously didn't believe her parents, or Janie, or Tim. 

Her parents were pretty overprotective, but considering what happened, they had every reason to. If anything, they should have watched her more carefully. The only problem with that was every time they pushed her, she rebelled more and did exactly what she shouldn't, digging herself deeper and deeper into the hole. Thankfully, her mother found out and really stopped it before it ended up a whole lot worse. 

Her mother took her phone and computer, completely appropriate, and called the police who began an investigation. When I was reading this, it was midnight, pitch black except for my room's light and it's an understatement to say that I was freaking out. I had at least three panic attacks during this book.

Times when I started hyperventilating 
1. When the mom finds a chair outside their house directly outside the window where "Kit" probably had sat. 
2. When Thea is talking on the phone with "Kit" and he says things like "Your window is screwed in" or "It's cold outside why don't you have your scarf." 
3. Any and everytime Thea went outside alone. 
4. When Thea found some of her things missing from her room.
5. When Thea found out that "Kit" had killed Red, another player from Skadi

I wasn't too surprised when "Kit" turned out to be Jackson, the instructor from the self-defense class. I somewhat predicted it when the detective kept repeating "He might not actually be in Georgia, he could be living across the street from you!" However, I was surprised that Thea's parents left her home alone the day she got assaulted. Out of everything that happened in this book, I think that was the stupidest. Sure we can justify Thea's actions by saying she was just a teenager and didn't know better. But while this investigation was going on, while a rapist and murderer was after Thea, I don't know what made Thea's parents think it was ok to leave her home alone. Obviously "Kit" could get into the house, if not that, Thea would find her phone and call him. It was just a really stupid decision.

On top of all this, we had the whole issue with Janie. Throughout the book we knew she had some type of eating disorder, but we never got closure on her or her friendship with Thea. Sure Janie's mom didn't want them together, but did they ever resolve that? I just thought adding the whole bit about the eating disorder was too much.That's a different story of its own and did not need to be included in this one. 

Overall, besides how much this book freaked me out, I did enjoy it. Just two tips while reading it: 
1. Don't go into it thinking it's going to be a light read. 
2. Don't read it at night. Read it somewhere where there are people and lots of light.