by Margo Kelly
Merit Press, September 2014
ISBN: 9781440572760 (hardback, out of print - collector's item!)
ISBN: 9781440592263 (paperback, audio, and e-book are available from most retailers)
Winner of the Idaho Author Award for Best YA Novel
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 her control.
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Here are a few things industry experts have had to say about WHO R U REALLY? --->
"Kelly's first novel is a suspenseful page-turner with multiple suspects, a little bit of romance, and a strong but not overbearing message." --Kirkus Reviews
"Suspenseful novel that's guaranteed to give readers goosebumps--particularly as events heat up toward the end. A good choice for families to read together." --School Library Journal
"Who R U Really? is a fantastically creepy book that is surprisingly realistic and totally engrossing.... Once I opened it, I couldn't close it. Who R U Really is a satisfyingly unique YA thriller that left me guessing up until almost the very last page.... This book is very realistic and I really enjoyed the writing style." --Tempest Books
"Based on actual events, the story should be required reading for all teens." --VOYA Magazine
"Kelly shows us just how terrifying, dangerous and unknown the world of online gaming can be--especially for a young teen.... The book is well-written and the story believable and engaging...I strongly recommend this book. It was a great read and delivered a strong, important message." --The Idaho Statesman
"This book is sure to spark a dialogue between parents and teens as well as tell an appealing cautionary tale to a younger audience and would be a good addition to any middle school, high school, or public library." --The Idaho Librarian (A Publication of the Idaho Library Association)
"This tense thriller offers useful lessons." --The Horn Book Guide