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Saturday, January 10, 2015

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Blog Tour: Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly - Review + Giveaway

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Who R U Really by Margo Kelly

Who R U Really?
Margo Kelly
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository
Publication Date: August 1, 2014
Publisher: Merit Press
Reviewer: Sophia

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.
Review copy provided by the author for review during the blog tour

For awhile after finishing Margo Kelly's Who R U Really?, I had the thought of doing a dual book review with Mari Mancusi's Gamer Girl, which I recently finished before I started Who R U Really? – sort of like a comparison review of two books. I then decided not to for the sake of confusion, but do be aware there may be references and some comparison – nothing that'll give away what I'll put in my review for Gamer Girl later on in the month.

Margo Kelly's Who R U Really? is a very realistic version compared to Gamer Girl – a dash of darkness, drama, and a whole lot of reality rolled into one. It reminded me of another book that came out around 2007-2009, a book that I may have the title correctly, the author is completely forgotten from my mind, and the font is almost the same: Want to go Private?. Both books take on a realistic version of bullying, not only in real life (in Gamer Girl's case), but a heavy emphasis on cyber bullying, online predators and online safety, whether in a chat room (in Want to go Private's case if I remember correctly), in a game (in Who R U Really's case), or anywhere else on the internet.

Who R U Really? revolves around a girl named Thea, a ninth grader who gets bullied (along with her friend, Janie) at her local high school by a few ninth graders who apparently act like the local sixth graders at my school (seriously. Worse batch this year). After being introduced to the game Skadi by her older brother's friend, she becomes addicted to the game and meets a guy named Kit, who claims to love her. Thea feels Kit can understand her more than anything else and vice versa. As they get to know each other and their relationship online becomes more deeper, Thea has to cover it all up from her parents and her real life friends, who are concerned for her safety and well-being.

It was obvious to me as soon as Thea met Kit that Kit would be the one up to no good – it is revealed early on that Kit is short for Kitsuneshin, and as Kit reveals to Thea, Kitsuneshin is the Japanese word for "young fox." But it's not just any young fox – I'm not terribly familiar with Japanese history, but I have heard about Kitsuneshin once from my Astronomy/Chemistry teacher. I just didn't want to pinpoint it. It ruins my fun. Guessing ruins my fun. My definition of fun is not as skewed as one of my friend's.

I love Margo Kelly's writing style, and the way she uses quotes (I'm a sucker for those) throughout the book as Thea learns who Kit really is. Who R U Really? is very realistic – there's enough drama, and it's not fluffy or light-hearted where it's very obvious the book will end on a happy note. It's a must read, even for those who are not big fans of realistic fiction.

5 Owls

Author Bio

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margo welcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Sophia Waterheart

Sophia Waterheart is one of Sophia's main characters and is technically a retired wizard (she pops up here and there), even though she is still in the Twizard community. Contrary to what many people think, her character does not have green hair. She comes up with the occasional gaming post, but has ultimately decided her true passion lies in sharing her thoughts on things related to books. She may or may not consider finding a replacement.