Thursday, September 23, 2010

Alexis: My True Story of Being Seduced By an Online PredatorAlexis by Alexis Singer
Release Date: Aug 2nd, 2010
Details: 168 pages, paperback
Source: Publisher (Thank you HCI Teens!)
Series: Kinda (Louder Than Words)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Summary (goodreads):
At the age of sixteen, Alexis Singer was solicited by, manipulated by, and eventually became involved with a married thirty-seven-year-old man over the Internet. He coerced her into having cybersex with him and sending him explicit photos of herself.

I feel incredibly awkward rating someone's personal experience. 

Alexis takes us on the journey of what it's like to be seduced by an online predator. I had a few mixed feelings about this book... I've been on the internet for years, and maybe it's just me, but I've never given out my real name to someone I don't know. The only time I've given out my name online was on a forum my real life friends were on, but even then, I gave out only my nickname. To me, the funny thing about the internet is, you can be whoever you want to be. And when I was younger, I wanted to be someone else. So I always was (to be completely honest right now, Marie isn't my real name, but it is half of my real name so I guess I'm not exactly lying). I wondered through out the book why she would give out her real name or real life information, but I guess (after discussing this with my husband) it's common for people to not really think about it.

The signs that Alexis' predator gave were obvious ones and she even admits that she eventually knew where this would lead, but yet she still came back for more. She still craved his attention, even though he knew her requests were wrong. What he was doing was wrong. And I can't help but think, she could had easily logged off, or easily turned off the laptop. I know that her addiction to him was hard and unexplainable, but somewhere in there you have to realize that he's married and this is wrong. And just let it go. I hate how that statement made me sound like a jerk, I don't want it to sound like I'm saying "oh well it's just that easy" because I can imagine it's not. I was happy with the outcome and that she eventually did release herself from that situation. I was curious to know what happened to the predator after.

Internet experiences are... crazy. I guess I was lucky enough that my first online "relationship" (which was with a guy, across the country) wasn't anything crazy, but we're now Facebook friends and we still do talk a lot from time to time. And another online "relationship" which ended up much more awkward (and I have to admit, I did form an addiction to this guy at several points, but we're around the same age) is that he completely lied about who he was. His name, his race, his age, and what he looked like. It wasn't until 6 years after I knew him (and keep in mind, we kept in touch all those years!) that I tracked down his real MySpace and confronted him about it. Which resulted in him not speaking to me for a few days because he didn't know what to say. But in the end, I'm glad to know who he really is. At least all other events in his life weren't false. At least, I'm hoping they weren't... 

I do recommend this book for younger teens, especially in these times where they're spending more time online and on social networking sites (I mean come on, my husband's 5 year old sister's TV shows talk about MySpace and she goes online!) which can be so much more dangerous than forums and chat rooms! I recommend it to parents with teens who spend a lot of time on the internet as well, just to be informed of a real life experience of something that can really happen.

*Thank you to HCI Teens for the chance to review this book on my blog!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much reviewing ALEXIS! While I too find many of Alexis' choices difficult to swallow, the truth is, her description of how she went down this slippery slope is true to her, and unfortunately, probably happens to teens more often than we'd like to think. I'm so grateful to Alexis for sharing her story...hopefully it will help other girls make better choices if they're in the same situation, and it can give parents info on the kinds of warning signs that this might be happening with their own children. Thanks again for checking out the Louder Than Words books!
    Deborah Reber, Editor, Louder Than Words