Reviews for Ttyl


Booklist Reviews 2004 May #2
Gr. 6-10. The story of three friends' tenth-grade lives is told entirely in IMs, replete with g2gs and CAPS LOCKED SCREAMING. At the start of their sophomore year, Zoe, Maddie, and Angela promise to remain best friends for life. But soon Zoe is spending way too much time with her vaguely creepy teacher; Maddie abandons her real friends in favor of uberpopular Jana; and both Maddie and Zoe tire of Angela's never-ending Boy Drama. The plot is familiar and often pedestrian, but the girls' distinctly compelling IM voices are the hook here. Myracle cleverly manages to build rich characters and narrative tension without ever taking the story outside of an IM box. Although some backstory is awkwardly inserted and a few of the pop-culture references are already dated, Chat-savvy readers will identify with these teens and their problems, and Myracle neatly demonstrates how IM can bolster real-life friendships. ((Reviewed May 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
Maddie wants to be in the in-crowd, Angela always has to have a boyfriend, and Zoe develops a crush on her teacher--who reciprocates. All three tenth-graders experience disaster and help pull one another back from the brink. Written as instant messages, this confusing novel will quickly be outdated with popular references and slang, but IM-junkies may want to grab this for a quick fix. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 March #1
Told entirely in instant messages, this modern epistolary tale prompts both tears and LOL (laughing out loud). Best buds SnowAngel (Angela), zoegirl (Zoe), and mad maddie (Maddie) IM with one another constantly when not in school. Tenth grade is tough, with obnoxious trendy classmates, unfair parents, and sex. Friends can help each other get through the year, but only if they manage to stay together. Angela flits through a series of rotten boyfriends, Zoe discovers Christianity while becoming disturbingly close to her English teacher, and Maddie befriends the class bad girl. Since cynical Maddie can't cope with Zoe's emerging faith, and trusting Zoe won't see anything wrong in her growing relationship with Mr. H., the trio might not survive. But best friends are always there for each other, and a series of emergencies pushes them further apart and then brings them back together, closer than ever. After a slow start due to the unusual format (a glossary would probably help), this develops into a surprisingly poignant tale of friendship, change, and growth. Perfectly contemporary. ROTFL. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 March #1
Myracle's (Kissing Kate) approach is creative, even if her newest novel is somewhat formulaic: three best friends hash out their lives-from new relationships to conflicts with one another-through instant messages. As they start 10th grade, social Angela catches her new boyfriend on a date with another girl; tough Maddie is befriended, then humiliated, by a popular girl; and "good little Zoe" finds herself crushing on a teacher-who seems to be interested in her, too. Though the main characters and the plotting seem familiar, readers will appreciate Myracle's portrayal of the supportive friends: they listen to one another, plan a surprise party and a road trip, and when Maddie is low, Angela and Zoe make her a care package with a poem that Angela calls "mushy but not 2 mushy." Their messages at times contain too much plotting to seem like realistic chats, but the style makes for an engaging, quick read. Flourishes such as emoticons and Internet lingo add realism; the book's title translates to "talk to you later," and Angela adds stage direction to her messages, writing "*stomps foot*" (when she believes Maddie is withholding information) or "*jumps up and down and squeals*" (when Zoe promises her a makeover). As might be expected, there is a falling-out among the friends. But while Maddie's reaction when she catches Angela and Zoe discussing her behind her back seems too extreme, readers will cheer their reunion, which happens just as Zoe's teacher makes his move. Ages 13-17. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 April
Gr 8-10-Three high school sophomores, lifelong best friends, are now facing a variety of emotional upsets in their personal and social lives. Angela is boy crazy and emotive, but able to lend support to her friends when they need it. Zoe is the quietest and most self-effacing, considered by some to be a goody two-shoes but in fact headed full speed into a very dangerous relationship. Madigan is the hothead, less certain of how to grow up than she allows anyone, including herself, to see. The entire narrative is composed of the instant messages sent among these three, from September into November, as they each get involved with dating, sort out how to have friendships with others, cope with disasters that range from wardrobe issues to getting drunk, and offer one another advice and defiance. Each character's voice is fully realized and wonderfully realistic in spite of the very limiting scope of the IM device. Page layout mimics a computer screen and each girl IMs in a different font and in her own unique verbal style. (The title is IM jargon for "talk to you later"). Myracle not only sustains all this but also offers readers some meaty-and genuine-issues. Both revealing and innovative, this novel will inspire teens to pass it to their friends and will suggest to nascent writers that experimenting with nonnarrative communication can be a great way to tell a story.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2004 June
Three friends in tenth grade, Angela, Maddie, and Zoe, use instant messaging (IM) to discuss the events and issues in their lives. This novel is written entirely in the IM format and gives the reader a voyeuristic view of high school life in Atlanta. In addition to the usual chatter about outfits, jobs, and homework, the girls face problems with friends and with a lecherous teacher, and they discuss spirituality and family issues. Each girl has a distinctive personality: Zoe is reserved and interested in church, Maddie is outgoing and searches for new experiences and friends, and Angela lies somewhere between them Myracle captures the banter and shorthand style of instant messaging, and she successfully conveys personalities and settings through the dialogue, but the format does not allow a complex plot to develop. Instead it is an episodic slice-of-life story. Younger teens will enjoy the novelty of its style, and the names of current television shows, movies, and restaurants scattered throughout the book will make it easy for them to identify with Angela, Maddie, and Zoe. But just like the latest technology, this book will be discarded when the next new thing comes along. Leisure readers should enjoy it before it becomes outdated.-Jenny Ingram 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2004 Voya Reviews.

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