I will preface my review of this banned book series, “ttyl,” “ttfn,” and “l8r, g8r,” with a most raw confession of my unadulterated hatred of text and IM lingo.
I have never loathed something as much as this brutalized form of pig English.
Why, why is acceptable to write “you’re” as “ur?”
Why, in heavens name would you ever write “laughed” as “laffed?” What time does that save? Why not just spell it as it is meant to be spelled?
My god, people, stop this insanity!
That being said, once I was able to give up my sacred worship of excellent English, I was able to enjoy this book series.
I won’t say I particularly identified with characters at first- my high school experience was far more isolated and nerdy, but I did find these books enjoyable. I had to get over my dislike of reading about cutesy female behaviors- which actually, as it remarkably turns out- I have things in common with.
In case it wasn’t obvious, all three novels in the series are written via IMs or texts through the perspectives of 3 girls: Angela, Zoe, and Maddie. Their stories begin their sophomore year of high school, with all the wonderful experiences one can have at such a time in one’s life.
…which to be frank, can be quite awful.
As I have previously said, I do not believe in banning books for any reason whatsoever, however, it is easy to see how somewhat high strung parents might find their knickers in a twist if their child was reading about first time sexual experiences, underage alcohol/drug use, and outright rule breaking and defiance.
On the other hand, like most books I have experienced on my banned book list, the material presented is not gratuitous. That is to say, whatever objectionable material is there, is there for a reason. Coming of age stories rarely are about going to tea and petting your wonderful cat Mr. Fluffy Bites A Lot.
The characters in Lauren Myracle’s story are very real-to-life teenagaers who are stubborn, smart, curious, protective, scared, vindictive, and kind. They experience depression and joy, nervousness and excitement.
Sometimes their actions are annoying and sometimes impressive; I found myself often speaking out loud to them, trying to give them advice like, “why.thefuck.would.you.do.that.no.STAHP.”
I’m pretty sure if I wrote a story about my high school experience, I would say the same thing to myself.
So like I said, I enjoyed this series, even though I thought I really wouldn’t. And… even though I seriously disagree with English mutilation, I very much appreciated the uniqueness of this style of writing that is incredibly specific, personal and intimate.
I would recommend these books to any teenage girl, or even my 20 year old friends who want to read something genuine (even if you’re full of angst and hateful of cutesy things).