Yolo by Lauren Myracle
First impression: Omg YESS
Last impression: Awww. I want more!
Format: Library hardcover / 208 pages
Publishing Info: August 26th 2014 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: Internet Girls Series
Through texts and messages, the mega-bestselling, beloved Internet Girls series followed the ups and downs of school for three very different, very close friends. Now it’s freshman year of college for the winsome threesome, and *everything* is different. For one, the best friends are facing their first semester apart. Way, way apart. Maddie’s in California, Zoe’s in Ohio, and Angela’s back in Georgia. And it’s not just the girls who are separated. Zoe’s worried that Doug wants to break up now that they’re at different schools, and Maddie’s boyfriend, Ian, is on the other side of the country.In the face of change and diverging paths, Maddie’s got a plan to keep the friends close, and it involves embracing the present, making memories, and . . . roller derby! Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets.
The Internet Girls/Winsome Threesome are back! I was so excited to see this book in Barnes & Noble a few months ago. I read the Internet Girls series back when the books first came out and loved the style. The books are written in instant messaging format, so they’re super quick reads. The first three books in the series were written over seven years ago and followed three best friends through high school. This follow-up book brings the three girls into college, where there are new forms of technology and social media to deal with. I loved hearing about their new college experiences but wish I remembered more about the previous three books. Since I read them so long ago, I didn’t remember much about the boyfriends or their social situations; I only remembered basics. Luckily that was enough to get me through the book without much confusion! I liked that this book was a realistic portrayal of college life and how it affects friendships and relationships. I had experienced almost everything these girls did when I went away to college. In some ways, their stories seemed a little superficial or stereotypical… but I still think they were realistic. It’s not that easy to fully explain what each character is thinking or going through when you’re only using IM format. Regardless, the three girls were dealing with very different issues, so it seemed to encompass the variety of “paths” people choose during college. Angela, at one point, had an experience that was exactly like the one in this article. I couldn’t tell if the author was trying to mimic that exactly, but it seemed a little too convenient to me. It was almost a complete rip-off of the exact event. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book. I wish that it included the actual tweets or Facebook statuses that were referred to. The synopsis of the book says that she brings the series into the “brave new virtual world of texting and tweets.” Well, she didn’t really. The girls were still instant messaging or texting in the same format as the other books. They would sometimes be like “Hey, I saw your tweet, what’s going on?”… but the book wasn’t really brought in to that world as much as I had hoped. I think it would have been more interesting and relatively easy to do from a formatting perspective.
- Angela (SnowAngel): Angela decides to pledge a sorority and has to deal with the ins and outs of Greek life. She seemed to have the most fun out of the three girls, but I think that aligned mostly with her personality. She was always the positive one who tried to be happy and work with what she was given. She could be irritating and selfish sometimes, which bugged me, but everyone has one of those friends I guess!
- Maddie (Mad Maddie): Like her screen name suggests, Maddie was the wilder one in high school. She heads to the West Coast for a change of scenery and leaves her boyfriend, Ian, in Georgia. He ends up going to the same state school as Angela. She tells them crazy stories about her roommates, who are all high school friends, but seems to be hiding some things. I thought her storyline was kind of weird in this book.
- Zoe (Zoegirl): Zoe is the quiet “good girl” friend of the three. She and her high school boyfriend, Doug, end up at schools two hours away from each other. They experience some tension when she first gets to school and I totally felt for her. Zoe’s situation was almost exactly like what I went through when I started college. I liked watching her come out of her shell and try to enjoy the college lifestyle. She was a little too mopey towards the beginning/middle, but I was happy to see her grow. Plus, as I said, I could relate to her a lot.
Like I said, this book is written completely in text/IM format. This makes it incredibly quick and easy to read. I finished the book in under three hours. I think everything flowed together nicely and took place over a good timeframe. The book starts with Zoe and Angela already at college, since they’re on the eastern side of the U.S./in the south; Maddie is headed to California for school and arrives later than them. It took place from around September through November, so there was enough time to get acquainted with the girls’ new lives at school. The book’s “digital age” feel could have been taken to the next level a bit more by including the new types of technology they referenced.Anyone who read and enjoyed the Internet Girls series! This book is definitely geared towards the same audience, especially because that audience is more grown up now. The books reference some explicit sexual things, which I don’t remember happening as much in the first three books, but it helped fully explore the college atmosphere I think. This book grew up along with its readers.I really liked this one. It was a nice addition to an already lovely series. In fact, I would love to see more of these books that follow the girls through college. The book kind of had an open ending! There was a big “twist” towards the end, where two of the girls caught on to what the third girl was going through, and they didn’t really resolve it too much. Beyond that, the book ends right before Thanksgiving break. (This isn’t really a spoiler, I promise)… I wish I got to learn a little bit more about what their lives were like when they headed back to school after coming home and seeing each other over break. There were some loose ends that could use tying up. Otherwise, this book really worked for me! It was super easy to read and made me smile a lot. (+) Revisiting old characters that I didn’t realize how much I missed
(+) Realistic portrayal of college life and the different paths you can take as a freshman
(+) Also realistic portrayal of how friendships and relationships with friends from home can change/develop at college
(+) The book grew up along with its readers(-) Would have been SO much better if it included tweets and statuses that were referenced, instead of just mentioning them. It would have fully brought the book into the digital age like the synopsis said it did
(-) Somewhat stereotypical experiences that could have been fleshed out a little better
(-) Twist towards the end was a bit weird and the loose ends could have been tied up better