Author: Lauren Myracle (Shine)
Genre: Contemporary/New Adult
Publisher: Amulet Books
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.
When I first heard that there was going to be an unexpected addition to the Internet Girls series, I was both excited and worried – excited because I really liked this story of three best friends connecting with each other through IMing, but worried because what if this new addition, which takes place during their freshman year of college, wasn’t what I expected and tainted the rest of the series for me? Luckily, it didn’t do that – it felt like this book was always expected to be a part of the series and now I want more!
I was a bit worried at the beginning due to the earlier worries and because it felt like Lauren Myracle was trying a little too hard to make the book sound very current. My main issue was that the characters switched from writing “ur” to “yr,” which is such a little thing to nit-pick but I just couldn’t help it! It looks like you’re saying “year,” not “your”! Get it straight! But back to the point, I was uneasy at the beginning and just needed some time to get into the story.
This book is a true “New Adult” story, dealing with the growing pains of one’s freshman year of college. There’s a high school relationship trying to withstand the stress of long distance (Zoe), trying to connect with one’s new roommates (Maddie), and dealing with the Greek system and all of its pros and cons (Angela). There’s plenty of times when the three friends are each feeling depressed and overwhelmed and in need of their friends – and these friends are still together and there for each other despite the distance between the three of them, which I love.
Maddie and Angela remain my favorite of the three best friends, but it was great getting to know some of the winsome threesome’s new college friends. My favorite thing about this book remains the dynamic between the three girls, though – even when they’re all separated by many different states and even a time zone difference, they’re still always there for each other. Even when one girl is trying to pull back and be alone and depressed and generally not in a healthy headspace, the other two girls will do their best to be there for them and refuse to let them wallow.
The girls are at three different colleges – the small Kenyon College that is a haven for writers and other creative types (which I actually wanted to go to and applied to but changed my mind for the most part since it wasn’t the best choice for becoming a teacher), Zoe’s school all the way in Ohio; a state school with a thriving Greek system, which is Angela’s school still in Georgia; and a small, very liberal school all the way in California, which has been Maddie’s dream since l8r, g8r. It was interesting seeing how the three girls were doing in their various schools, and I definitely think it would have been nice to go outside of the text messages to see what their experiences were like without being second-hand (although I still do like the format of text messages and such).
The Adult Situation
Since it was all IMing in the past books, there wasn’t a huge adult presence, but it’s definitely gone down even more now that the three girls are experiencing true freedom for the first time in college. So, it pretty much comes with the territory that you wouldn’t see their parents or many other adults too much.
There’s some romance for all of the girls, but yet again, the friendship is at the front of everything, so the romance shouldn’t be the main thing you come for because you probably won’t be satisfied. There are two relationships at the beginning of the book and two at the end, but only one beginning relationship makes it to the end.
The ending was both hopeful and fitting – but I wanted more! The hardback I read clocked it at just under 200 pages, which is not nearly as much as I wanted from these friends! I don’t know if there are any plans for a future book, but if there are, I will totally read it! I just want more from them – I’d totally start reading even more adult fiction if Myracle stuck with these friends after college!
So, yeah, despite all my worries, this book turned out pretty well for me. It never felt like Myracle was milking this series because I genuinely wanted to reunite with these girls and read about college experiences that go beyond sex and angst like many of the New Adult books currently out there. I want more from these awesome friends!