I received this book for free from Merit Press, Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Who R U Really?: Margo Kelly}Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly
Published by Merit Press, Simon Pulse on September 18, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Merit Press, Simon Pulse
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Spoiler Alert Below

{Synopsis} –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 Thoughts} – Thea is a girl of few friends and not well liked by boys it appears. She has a best friend named Janie and that about sums up her social life in the pages of the book. One day her brothers friend Marcus shows her an online multi mass player game called Skadi and she becomes hooked. She ends up allowing the game to take over her life. Her parents begin to notice it is all she does and they worry that she is spending too much time on the computer and the Internet in general. Eventually some rules are enforced.

Her friend Janie becomes worried about her and well because Thea is to absorbed in her Skadi romance with a character named Kit she doesn’t even notice that her friend is fading before her eyes. Janie is dealing with the fact that boys don’t like her and because of it she doesn’t feel she is thin enough so she takes matters into her own hands. When the book begins Tim and Josh two boys in their grade are at the bus stop with them and Josh calls Janie a Marshmallow which she takes the way he intended her to take it and it hurts her feelings something fierce. She ends up feeling like her weight is why no guy likes her and she starts to starve herself little by little each and every day.

I can understand where Janie was coming from. I went through a lot of those kinds of moments growing up where I didn’t think I was good enough, pretty enough or special enough for a guy to like me. I did however eventually get a boyfriend but he wasn’t ideal. I wish I’d known then what I know now, but that’s usually how life works isn’t it? You usually want things you know now to be the things you should have known in the past so you could skip over all the hurt and heart break. I think that’s true for the most part.

Back to Thea, she got so wrapped up in this person Kit on the game, that everything became about him. She obsessed over him. Her parents were worried for her, thought she might be talking to him too much, that she might be giving him too much information about herself. But that was before they knew what they learned in the end of the book. It seems it didn’t matter how much information she shared online, because he lived in her area. He was her self defense teacher. He was their with her mom and her through self defense classes, yoga classes.

This book is so true to what can happen when you build an online relationship with another person. It is true that you don’t know who they are. That they could be anyone that simply claims to be someone. That they could be telling you one thing and doing something else altogether. The thing is that people online have the ability to be whoever they want to be. That they can be any age, any name anything they choose and their isn’t much you can do about it because when you find out, the damage they did is already done. There is no fixing what they did or said or taking back the things you did our said. You just have to learn to live with your poor choices.

Thea made a lot of poor choices in this book. she gave out a lot of personal information and trusted the wrong person. In the end the Kit character she had fallen for wasn’t anything he had claimed to be. He was much older, he was much bigger and stronger, he was very creepy and overall a bad person all together. She learned many things about him after the night she finally met him for him and face to face. After that night to much had changed for both her and Janie and all the changing was for the better. However, she was forced down a horrible path that could have ended very badly had she not been able to keep her smarts about things near the end of the book. Her determination to get away from the Kit character is what ultimately had saved her life.

A lot of individuals are not as lucky. The book itself used an example of a girl in Hawaii that had also played the game and Kit had also met and apparently killed. It also mentioned others he had hurt that came forward. This book is a wonderful book for teenagers and young adults to read. I think that because it is a story that could most likely come true for any individual that is too trusting to another individual online. There isn’t always a happy every after and in this case there really wasn’t, but at least she survived although had she kept her personal information to herself she wouldn’t have needed to survive.

The other thing about this book is that Kit was someone she personally knew. That part is a terrifying thought. When you think of it though it makes sense. Most people that hurt others are people that know each other. Most the time the victim know the offender, however, it isn’t always obvious to them. Like in this book She had mentioned small things that made her think she knew the person but she couldn’t place them. The thing I most don’t get is how she didn’t recognize his voice when they had talked on the phone, I would think that would have been the first red flag.

I don’t know, I’m not sure, but I am glad this book was written. It has the potential to save lives if those that read it have the ability to take it’s message to heart.

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.