cover image ttfn


Lauren Myracle, . . Abrams/Amulet, $15.95 (229pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-5971-2

Myracle returns to the trio of friends she introduced in ttyl , again composing her novel entirely in instant messages among the three. In this installment, Angela is heartbroken when her father is laid off, forcing her to move from Georgia to California. Meanwhile, Maddie starts smoking marijuana, trying to impress a boy who has another girlfriend, while Zoe worries that she's "frigid" because she's hesitant about getting physical with her new boyfriend. The author seems to have a genuine appreciation for online culture; she includes emoticons, slang spellings and one character's stage directions ("strikes a tragically romantic pose ")—Maddie even explains googlewhacks, "where u type in words on google and try to get only 1 hit." The fun format does lead to some occasionally clunky exchanges, however, as the friends at times weave too much exposition into their dialogue. A story line about a love triangle among Zoe, Angela and a boy covers well-trod territory, but Zoe and Maddie have a more complex tension between them. When Zoe confronts wild Maddie about her drug use, Maddie challenges her good girlfriend to "name 1 thing u've done recently that pushed u out of your comfort zone." Ultimately, both girls realize they have some changing to do—and they do change, with help from each other. This threesome's doings will keep the pages turning, and readers will enjoy having an opportunity to KIT, er, keep in touch, with these caring friends. Ages 14-up. (Mar.)