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Katie.com: My Story Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452282535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452282537
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Our lips met... I felt a few stray whiskers... and suddenly I realized that this was a grown man who was giving me my first real kiss... Something inside me snapped. Now I didn't want this at all. But I couldn't speak." Fourteen-year-old Katherine Tarbox wasn't sure how things had gone so wrong. She had planned to slip away during a school trip to meet 27-year-old Mark, whom she had corresponded with on the Internet for the last six months. Instead, she discovered that "Mark" was actually Frank Kufrovich, a man in his forties with a history of pedophilia. Katie.com is Katherine Tarbox's true story of how Kufrovich used the Internet to manipulate and molest her, and how she fought back by prosecuting him under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and sharing her experiences so that other teens might avoid a similar situation.

The saddest thing about Katie's memoir are the reasons she sought company on the Internet in the first place. Over and over she states that her mother was a workaholic who had little time for her. She was growing apart from her childhood friends and her oldest sister and confidante was always away at school. Like most teens, Katie was searching for someone or something to connect with--a search her own parents tragically didn't seem to recognize. Articulate, strong and brutally honest, Katie.com should be shared between adults and teens alike, not only as a warning against Internet dangers, but also as a reminder that a computer can never be a replacement for a caring, listening parent. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1995, first-time author Tarbox was leading an upper-middle-class life of quiet desperation. At age 13, she rarely saw her workaholic mother, who seemed only to care about her daughter's swim-team performance, and got on poorly with her stepfather. Overscheduled, ignored and less than perfectly attractive, she felt invisible in her wealthy Connecticut town. Now, at age 17, she evocatively describes how her first romance permanently altered her life. She first encountered Mark in an early AOL chatroom. While his stated age (23) gave her pause, he seemed the perfect boyfriend: he called her every night, listened to her opinions and encouraged her to relax. When he wanted to meet her at a swim meet in Texas, she agreed--but Mark turned out to be a middle-age pedophile named Frank, who molested her in a hotel room. When her family pressed charges (eventually making her the first person to prosecute an Internet pedophile), her entire town found out about it and, according to Tarbox, treated her like a whore or a mental patient. Her mother was furious with her, her stepfather told her she had ruined Frank's life and other kids avoided her. Eventually, Tarbox left for boarding school and began to write. While she is angry with Frank, she rather disturbingly assumes a great deal of the blame, believing that, at age 13, she should have known better than to engage in the relationship. And while her family appears to have been quite cruel, she feels she betrayed them by causing them social humiliation. Strong, articulate and conservative, Tarbox evokes pity and admiration with her heartfelt account of a precocious girl who was deceived and then betrayed. 10-city author tour. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It seems like it were written by my little sister.
jenny kranston
The basic outline of what happened to her is very sad, but if you're going to fill a book, you need a lot more skill than she possesses.
Tao Neuendorffer Flaherty
It's like just sitting there going through a teen girls email inbox.
Taylor Michaels

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

503 of 517 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the other people who have had bad comments about this book. It is poorly written and not enjoyable. She seems to be begging for sympathy. She made a dumb mistake and has little common sense. Skip this book
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478 of 491 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There are real victims whose lives provide inspiration for those around them. But Katie Tarbox is not one of these people. She ignored all of the lessons we are supposed to learn as young children, those lessons that are meant to take us through our lives and threw them away with reckless abandon as she searched for comapny on cyberspace. The lessons taught to children should extend into the realm of the intenet. How she got a book deal is beyong me, the quality is poor and the message, and age old tale of plain stupidity.
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1,097 of 1,136 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who pays for their own internet domain should boycott this book. Neither Katherine Tarbox nor her publishers, own the right to the katie.com domain. Katie Jones, the owner of katie.com, has essentially had her website destroyed by the release of this book with it's chosen title. The proof lies in the abusive and misguided entries on katie.com's guestbook. Katherine Tarbox owns and operates her own domain, katieT.com, so there was no reason at all for her to steal someone else's for the title of her book. I refuse to support this internet piracy by buying this book.
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541 of 557 people found the following review helpful By Alex K. Lee on June 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At a glance, it is easy to sympathize with Katie Tarbox: a young, lonely teen who finds an online friend, but is betrayed by his facade and with sexual molestation. She is definitely brave, since of those who are unfortunate to be rapped or molested, only a fraction comes out to tell about their traumatizing experiences.
But with Katie's book, Katie.com, this is where the sympathy ends. With the first glance at the title, it's clear that Katie wants to make important points about meeting people online (which was what led to her unfortunate meeting with "Mark"), but she fails with nothing more of a poorly written sob story. She spends too much time trying to communicate her emotional distress while little attention is paid to the single most important factor that led to her encounter: at 13, she was lonely and naive when she realized how flawed society was, she let that get the best of her when she met "Mark" online and failed to stop her teenaged vulnerabilities from ruling over common sense. Her story could have been more unique, despite the quality of her writing, if she lived up to the promise of telling the lessons learned from her online/offline experiences as an insecure teen, so others could be properly warned.
With her web site, katiet.com, it's insulting that she even gives the impression that she is blaming the Internet for her experiences. It is analogous to being raped while walking down a street, then blaming that street for that shocking event.
In short, Katie.com is the result of emotional fallout expressed in dry writing that does not convey itself effectively. It would have been much wiser for Katie if she had waited several more years before starting on this book. But instead, she shows herself as if she is still that exact same girl she describes herself as at the start of her book.
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488 of 502 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry, I know she's only eighteen, and there's a good story - *somewhere* in here! I just can't get beyond the poor quality of writing, the incessant rambling about nothing, stories with no point. I suspect the reader doesn't need more than half of the background on what it's like to be thirteen - not to mention those who may not sympathize with a girl who is growing up in privilege and complaining about it. I wouldn't waste the money - there are plenty of less painful ways to learn about the dangers of the internet than reading this book.
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505 of 520 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is, as an understatement, a disgrace to the average human being. Katie has no concept of decent writing and her story should not have been published. As a student of Katie's age, I can honestly say that she doesn't know what suffering is. Living in privilage is all that Katie has ever, or will ever know. Her pathetic attempt to win sympathy in the public eye casts a shadow of contemptablility on all SPS students. Although, in a different context, her message could be useful, her blatant bid for pity disgusts me. As a 14 year old, Katie should have known what responsibility meant when she started using the internet. Being clueless on the web is more than stupid. She was asking for it. Not that it should ever happen, but you can not be careless! EVERY 14 year old knows that! Everyone, obviously, except for her. SAVE YOURSELVES! RUN!
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385 of 395 people found the following review helpful By jenny kranston on April 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I often struggle to find a good book to read. When I read the amazon review, I thought it would be a good, well written novel about the dangers of the internet. After reading the book, I was shocked with the first reviews of the novel, for they seemed unreal and fake, as if the person never read the book. After the first pages, I felt like I was listening to someone complain, and as I read, it seemed to get worse and worse, making absolutely no sense with no application to my life. It seems like it were written by my little sister. An interesting topic, but dissappointing product. I feel cheated. If you are about to buy it, Please reconsider and spend your money on a book with real substance, that has some value towards your life. Even if you think you can relate to the topic, it doesn't address the issue intelligently. I find it hard to imagine anyone appreciating this as a piece of "literature." There are thousands of great books out there. BUYER BEWARE, THIS IS NOT WORTH IT.
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