Audacious author Lauren Myracle accomplishes something of a literary miracle in her second young-adult novel, ttyl (Internet instant messaging shorthand for “talk to you later”), as she crafts an epistolary novel entirely out of IM transcripts between three high-school girls. (Source: Goodreads)
ttyl challenged in the Ponus Ridge Middle School library in Norwalk, CN in 2010. Their complaints ranged from the incorrect grammar, language to the questionable sexual behavior. It was also challenged in the Round Rock, TX Middle School in 2008. They objected to the sex, porn, alcohol and inappropriate teacher-student relationship. (Source: ALA)
The instant messaging approach novelty wore off on me in the first 20 pages. Trying to piece together what is happening at school between the three friends through short snippets caused the story to be a bit stiff and disjointed. I also had a hard time caring about the three girls. Basically, they annoyed me. I wanted to take their heads and bonk them together, like Moe. Maddie was pretty bitchy, moody and kind of a hypocrite. Angel is too light and fluffy and caught in denial most of the time. Zoe is the goody church go-er that gets sucked into an inappropriate relationship with a teacher.
The ONLY thing that made me finish it was to see why it was challenged. I guess this lends to the creed that “I read it, because it was banned.” But of course, I’m not the audience that they were trying to protect. I can kind of see where a middle school might think it was too much, but I really felt it was pretty tame. Tame, but not innocent. The girls do go to a party or two and there is drinking. But one of the girls does go to a party, drinks too much, takes her top off and pictures end up being spread around the school. I think her story is a cautionary tale. I don’t recall any porn. I was uncomfortable watching Zoe explain away the creepy, church going teacher’s behavior. CREEPY. But thanks to her BFFs, she comes to her senses before anything horrific could happen.