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, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke—he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.
Tell us a little bit about the appeal of instant messaging, chat rooms and online social networking.
The best thing about being online is that you can be whoever you want to be. Like no one knows that you forgot your lines in the school play in third grade because you had such bad stage fright and still got teased about it in middle school. I love that I can experiment with being different “me’s” and it doesn’t matter.
You don’t like to wear a lot of make-up or think too much about your clothes. Can you talk about why that is?
It’s a lot of effort, and for what? The same girls are always going to be the popular ones. I know, I know, I should “make an effort.” But guys don’t have to put on all that facecrap and we find them cute. So why do girls have to do it? It seems really unfair.
You talk a lot about how much your parents and sister annoy you. What’s the hardest part about living with them?
How much time do you have?
With Dad, it’s that he’s so obsessed with me doing well and getting into an Ivy League college like he did. I put enough pressure on myself – I wish he would back off and just talk to me about other stuff, you know, see me as a real person instead of a straight A machine.
Mom is just…she doesn’t understand me at all. She wants me to be like her, the way Lily is, and I’m not. I wish she could just love me the way I am instead of trying to turn me into her clone.
And Lily – if you had to invent a sister that was the complete opposite of me, it would be Lily. It’s bad enough having to deal with Amanda Armitage at school, now Lily is turning a home version. Argh.
What is your ideal Saturday like?
Hanging out with Faith, watching a rerun of the Lord of the Rings.
If your parents ever let you get an iPhone or another kind of smart phone, what kind of apps would you download?
Ha! Like that’s ever going to happen…I love that Shazam, which figures figures out what songs is playing so you can download it. And Pandora, so I could make channels for all my favorite bands. I’d download the ChezTeen.com app so I could access it from my phone, and FML, because I like to read about other people’s bad stuff so I don’t feel like I’m the only one.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Abby! Be on the look out for my review of Want to Go Private? soon, and be sure to put the August 1, 2011 release date on your calendars.