Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: yolo (Internet Girls #4) by Lauren Myracle

Title: yolo (Internet Girls #4)
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release date: August 26th 2014
Pages: 208
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: BEA 2014
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
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.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the Internet Girls series (my review) when I was younger, so I was super excited to see there was a new book coming out! Combine that with the fact that the protagonists are in college, and I knew I had to read this one. (Even if the title makes me cringe so hard. Had to read this one locked in my room so no one would judge me for reading a book called yolo.) And yolo (urgh) turned out to be just what I expected - no, it won't be the most meaningful book you'll read this year, but it is definitely entertaining.

I loved being reunited with these characters, whom I loved in the original series. Lauren Myracle always impressed me with her ability to create such dynamic characters with just the use of their IMs/texts, and she did it again in yolo. In a way, that was easier in yolo than in the previous books - in the first three books, the main characters see each other in real life and have lots of interactions that we don't get to see, but since they're all at different colleges in yolo, it seemed a lot more natural to get to see most of their conversations.

It was great to see how their friendship developed once they all left for college. Even though I liked the individual characters, my favorite part of the series was always the strong friendship between the three of them. And luckily, they manage to continue such a strong friendship, despite the distance. I loved reading about the three of them in the new college setting, and getting to see how these new circumstances affected them. I just wish we had gotten some more exploration of Maddie's story towards the ending - I wanted to know more about what had really been going on.

The last sentence of the jacket copy description goes "Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets," and I found that aspect to be a little overdone. I was excited to see them text instead of just IMing (because really, who still IMs nowadays?), but the other references kind of bothered me. There are a couple of references to Snapchat and Twitter that just seem kind of forced: I didn't think they were necessary for the story, and these kinds of references just mean that the book will be outdated again relatively soon. Then again, I guess that's inevitable with this type of format.

There is one scene in the novel that my feminist heart can't help but comment on. This happens sort of late in the novel, but I wouldn't really consider this a spoiler because it doesn't tell you anything about the main story. Anyways, at a frat party, Angela and her friend Reid see these three guys taking advantage of a girl who has passed out (just from drinking, or because someone slipped her something, we don't know). Angela and Reid tell the guys to eff off, and they take the girl to her sorority house, leaving her a note explaining what happened. For the most part, this event is handled pretty well - I applaud Angela and Reid for stepping in, and for not going public with this without the girl's permission, and for lamenting the fact that so often, the perpetrators in these kinds of situations aren't punished. But I still had some issues with their discussion of rape and sexual assault. Angela wanted to tell the girl not to get that drunk again, which is victim-blaming bullshit, and Maddie told Angela not to get herself into a situation like that, which is, you guessed it, more victim-blaming bullshit. Rape is not caused by getting too drunk or not being careful. Rape is caused by rapists. Also, they talk about rape as if it were such an unusual, rare event - Zoe, for example, believes that something like that wouldn't happen at her school. Sorry, I don't believe that there is a single coed campus in the US where no one has ever been raped, and thinking that the people at your school wouldn't do something like that is simply naive - rape culture is everywhere. Yeah, so... mixed feelings about that scene, but it was a good try, at least.

Really, the only thing that matters is that yolo was a really fun read. You don't necessarily have to have read the previous books to understand this one, but my favorite part was reuniting with these characters I loved, so I do think reading the books in order adds a lot. If you liked the original Internet Girls series and are looking for a quick, fun read, you should definitely give yolo a try!


Post a Comment

Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...