Monday, October 20, 2008

ttyl by Lauren Myracle

I wasn't sure what to think of this book, but it is on my list of the top-ten most challenged books of the past couple of years, so I knew I'd give it a try. The story is told entirely through instant messages between the three main characters. You would think that this might limit the author's storytelling abilities, but Myracle definitely pulls it off. She manages to tell the story, and even get some pretty decent characterizations in there as well, though some characters are just cookie-cutters.
Angela, Zoe, and Madigan are three high school sophomores who have just begun the school year. They have been best friends for years, and they are determined not to let high school split them up or cause them to drift apart. Instant messaging helps them to stay in touch even when they aren't seeing each other every day. We learn about each of Angela's new crushes and relationships, Maddie's new "friend" Jana, and Zoe's bordering on scary relationship with a teacher. As difficult as things get for the girls, they always try to be there for each other, and nothing too absolutely devasting or life-ruining happens.
I enjoyed this book, more than I expected to. It is simplistic, and it ends with all its ducks in a row and every loose end tied up very neatly with everyone having learned their lesson. But instant messaging is an engaging way to tell the story, and the story is told very well through these three girls' conversations. It never feels forced or strange that we learn everything in this way. And it is interesting to think about what might be left out, what they discuss in person. All-in-all this is an entertaining book, and would be greatly enjoyed by many teen readers.


Charley said...

Since you liked this book, I would also suggest How to Be Bad, which Myracle co-authored with E. Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski. Then, if you read and like that, I would also suggest The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, which I just read and loved.

Jeska said...

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll definitely keep those in mind.