Review: Who R U Really?

Who R U Really Book CoverWho R U Really? by Margo Kellypublished August 2014 by Merit Press.

Read: January 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Thriller
Source: Author
#Pages: 240
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Thea’s overprotective parents are about to drive her nuts. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her on-line time so much that Thea feels she can’t do any of the things her friends do. When she discovers a new role-playing game on-line, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. Soon, 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 near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates 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 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 very fate her parents feared most.

The Review

I have no idea where to begin with this review… The premise of this story is very topical – “Internet predator” is a recognised term now, with fully grown women falling for their charms, let alone 14 year old girls. When I was younger, my friends and I regularly frequented chat-rooms and were often warned about Internet safety. But, this is the age of the Internet – everyone has tried on-line dating, we have multiple email accounts, PayPal accounts, and of course blogs and YouTube… so where do you draw the line? How do we monitor the safety of the Internet? And what happens when it all goes wrong?

OK, I’ll start with the couple of negatives I have, before I go into detail about why I did enjoy this novel. First up, I felt the narration of this novel was, at times, a little young. Obviously, it’s being told from the POV of a 14/15 year old girl, so that’s to be expected, but often YA doesn’t read that young, which is why us adults enjoy it! Because of this, the main character began to frustrate me at certain points in the novel with her stubborn attitude and inability to accept the strange scenario she was in. The only other real issue I had with this novel was the simplicity of the writing style at times, it felt very – “I went to the kitchen, I poured a glass of juice, I walked to the back door and looked out”, does that make sense?

Moving on to the positives, I felt this was a story that needed to be told, and I think it was done quite well, the novel was engaging, well paced, and tackled multiple issues facing teens today. Younger teens and their parents would benefit from reading this, which in the end is a realistic piece of fiction. I was playing the guessing game throughout the novel, and even though one of my guesses ended up being correct, I did fall for the red-herrings too. Towards the end of the book, I will admit my heart did race – the thrills and build-up were reasonably subtle but well delivered and overall I found it to be a pretty enjoyable read. Reading this following the events of last year, I have to say, it made me consider my on-line safety and the measures I can take to try and be more responsible on-line.

The Rating

3/5

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11 comments

  1. I love the concept of this book, it’s is just so relevant nowadays. Not sure I like the plain prose, I don’t like overly flowery writing but I like to admire lines and expressions as I read and this sounds a bit dull. But I love how action packed it seems. I’ll add it to the tbr and give it a shot sometime.

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    1. Yep, the prose was a bit problematic for me, because relationship-building was pretty good between the MC and her family, and the general plot was interesting, and I got the spooks towards the end, so in many ways it was hitting the mark, but like I say I felt at times it just read too young and was lacking in that gripping, appealing writing that I love. Would definitely give it a go if you spot it on offer 🙂 R x

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  2. I recently read Watched which was all about online child predators and seriously it freaked me OUT. I kind of avoid these books now, just because I get freaked too easily. (This is the real kind of horror. Ugh.) I get what you mean about it reading too young. And that kind of writing where it details everything…nugh. I think that’s unnecessary anyway. -_-

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    1. There’s probably a few out there, and most likely non-fiction too, that would make me disconnect from the interwebs forever! I like description, but meaningful description, you know? It’s so hard to get that balance right but I know some authors who say that if you describe the “bigger” stuff, readers fill in the blanks with their imaginations, and then the story flows a little better. Each to their own though, as I know some people who either love or hate flowery verbose descriptions… R x

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  3. I think I’d like to read it because of the interesting and relevant topic but that writing style would probably drive me crazy. I love descriptive books. I need them to be made alive and real rather than lie dead on the page. Lovely review ^_^

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    1. Luckily it isn’t like that the whole way through, towards the middle/end it picks up a little due to the mystery/thriller element, but for a while at the start I found it off-putting. I think it’s very topical, and great that we’re drawing attention to it now in fiction too, but I’d be interested to see what else is out there on the subject. Thanks, Marian! R x

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  4. Great review. I like the sound of the premise but I’m not completely sure this book would work for me. I really dislike when the narrator feels very young, it’s something that just bugs me so much when I’m reading. And the writing style is another thing I don’t feel will work for me. I don’t know… hmmm.

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    1. Thanks, Charnell. I’d definitely be interested in reading more books about this subject – I think knowing your tastes though this would be a library borrow as opposed to a purchase! R x

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