Reviewed by Molly Pettrone (age 11) for Reader Views (7/07)
"Chat Room" begins with introducing some typical teen characters as they are gathered at an assembly. We meet Linda, a shy girl who is the type of girl that sort of blends into the lockers, Janet Beasley, who the kids call `Beastly' because of her appearance and her strong personality, Marc Solomon, who is not only the student council president but one of the most popular kids in school, and Chad Sharp, a quiet kid who Linda finds is as self-conscious as she is during the chain gang relay during the `riot.'
The news at the assembly is interesting. On the school website, planned and set up by Chad, is a chat room that only Wellington students can use. Most kids are excited about the chat room, but Janice thinks it is a perfect place for sickos and psychos to hang out. So when Linda decides to join the chat room as `Roxanne' she doesn't tell Janice at first what she is doing, and in fact, only lurks there reading posts before she gets up the nerve to actually post herself. After that it gets really interesting. Not only is Linda drawn to a chatter by the name of Cyrano, but she is becoming more and more `into' the chat room, spending hours at the computer before she even realizes it.
What happens to Linda next is really confusing for her. Not only does she think she has figured out a way to meet Cyrano, but she begins to receive gifts with notes signed only with `C.' She is both thrilled and nervous about this meeting, but something gets mixed up and Linda finds out the truth about Cyrano and the gifts.
"Chat Room" is a book that is not only a quick book to read, but a predictable book as well. It seems to hit a lot of stereotypical teen types and the ending is pretty easy to guess.
I'd suggest "Chat Room" for kids between 11 and 13, or maybe a little younger if they are good readers and can understand the personalities of the characters. This book is really more of a book for girls to read, though some younger guys might find the situations in the chat room and the confusion of Linda interesting as well. Though it was predictable, it would be an OK book for the younger readers, as older teens might lose interest in the storyline.
Book received free of charge.