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ttyl    by Lauren Myracle order for
by Lauren Myracle
Order:  USA  Can
Harry N. Abrams, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Lauren Myracle tells the story of ttyl (Internet-speak for talk to you later) by using only instant messages between three friends. Angela (SnowAngel), Maddie (mad maddie), and Zoe (zoegirl) are the 'winsome threesome' just starting their sophomore year of high school. Each night they meet online to re-hash the events of the day.

Zoe is smart and fairly innocent. Though dedicated to her schoolwork, she is definitely interested when her twenty-four-year old English teacher begins to invite her to church and other fellowship events. All Maddie wants is to be accepted by her popular peers. She's very insecure about herself and actively seeks the attention of the most popular girl, Jana. Angela is the social butterfly. She hops from boyfriend to boyfriend, always sure the current guy is 'the One.' Though occasionally split apart by fights and misunderstandings, the three girls manage to stick together through all of the joys and heartaches of high school life.

Lauren Myracle has written an exquisite young adult novel. She captures the language, mannerisms, and struggles of teens perfectly. Each girl has a unique personality whose weaknesses are supported by the others' strengths. The imperfections of talking online are clear as well. It is easy to misinterpret what people mean when communicating via instant messages, and the girls hit quite a few roadblocks in their relationships, because it takes a while to get the real picture. They are refreshingly open and honest with each other (occasionally two keep secrets from the third, which is very interesting) and makes their friendship fun to experience along with them.

This book includes some graphic sexual discussions, which make it most suitable for older teens. This is a fantastic read, which kept me up late in the night to discover what would happen in each of the girls' lives. I'm hoping the author considers a sequel so we can find out more about Angela, Maddie, and Zoe. ttyl is about friendship, honesty, integrity, and difficult times - things we all experience and need our friends to help us get through.

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