For those of you who didn’t know, last week was Banned Books Week! In honor of Banned Books Week, I decided to read ttyl by Lauren Myracle, which has appeared on the top ten most challenged books list four times in the past decade.
ttyl is a book written entirely in Instant Messages. I was a little bit apprehensive about reading it because of this, and I figured that it wouldn’t be possible to develop much of a connection to characters when they are only able to speak through IMs. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Lauren Myracle was able to develop her characters throughout the book, even though the readers is only reading their IM conversations.
While the writing is somewhat superficial, mainly because of the format of the book, Myracle is still able to tell a great story. ttyl follows three girls in high school and deals with a lot of issues that teens face. The three friends struggle to maintain their friendship as high school pushes them each in different directions. I definitely connected with this book because it reminded me of my days in high school, racing home to IM my friends about everything that had happened that day.
According to www.ala.org, ttyl has been on the frequently challenged book list due to drugs, nudity, being sexually explicit, offensive language, and being unsuited to the age group. What many people don’t realize is that many of these things occur in high schools today and this book is just an accurate depiction of being a teenager in America. I liked how real and truthful this story is. Myracle doesn’t try to sugarcoat anything, and that makes the story much more believable and makes it easier to relate to.
Overall, ttyl was a fun read that brought me back to my own days in high school. I really enjoyed this, even though the format was something different, and I’m glad I gave it a chance.
ttyl was released on April 1st, 2004 and is the first book in the Internet Girls series.
For more information on Banned Books Week, or challenged books in general, you can check out these sites:
What banned books have you read over the years? Has anyone ever tried to ban a book in your school/community?