Literature / The TTYL Series

The ttyl Series - ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r - is a trilogy of teen novels written by Lauren Myracle, notable for being written completely in Instant Messages among our three heroines. The books chronicle the lives of Madigan "mad maddie" Kinnick, Zoe "zoegirl" Barrett, and Angela "SnowAngel" Silver, starting with their sophomore year and ending with graduation.

The series has come under fire for some mature content and language, but overall, it's fairly realistic in its portrayal of teens.

A sequel, yolo, was published in 2014, and deals with the girls' experiences in their first semester of college.

The series also got a "makeover" to adapt it better to more modern methods of communication, TV shows, fashions, and celebrities. Instead of instant-messenger, the girls communicate by texting. They also reference each other's tweets and watch Netflix shows like Orange Is the New Black.

This series contains examples of:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Doug breaks up with Zoe partly because he falls for a girl in his dorm.
  • Alpha Bitch: Jana Whitaker, the Dragon Lady herself, and to a lesser extent, "superficial psycho-slut" Tonnie Wyndham.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Maddie on why Angela was better off without Rob: "He treated you like dirt. He's a dick. And he looks like David Spade."
  • Attempted Rape: Angela witnesses some guys trying to rape a girl at a sorority party. She manages to stop them, but the incident ends up souring her on sororities in general.
  • Bi the Way: Zoe experiments with a female friend and her boyfriend not long after her breakup with Doug. It doesn't really go anywhere, though, and she says that it was just a one-time thing.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In ttyl, Jana takes of Maddie at a party, and passes them to everyone in the school, thoroughly humiliating her. Then, in l8r, g8r, Jana brings the pictures back into the public way of a Craigslist "Casual Encounters" ad. Complete with Maddie's phone number.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The dead bird that Angela finds in her truck in l8r, g8r. She thinks Jana put it there as part of their prank war, which causes said prank war to continue to escalate until it ends with Jana stealing Angela's boyfriend. At the end of the book, though, it comes out that Jana wasn't responsible for the bird; it just flew in Angela's window and died, and had Angela let the prank war end there like she'd originally intended, it wouldn't have ended as badly as it did.
  • Compliment Backfire: When Angela catches her boyfriend cheating on her, her mother tries to comfort her by saying "he's probably the sort of boy who only cares about appearances."
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Doug, in ttyl anyway.
  • Education Mama: Mrs. Barrett certainly qualifies, especially in l8r, g8r, though it's arguable whether she truly thinks Zoe would be better off at Princeton or whether she's just a pretentious snob who doesn't want her daughter at a local college.
  • Experimented in College: Mentioned in yolo since the girls are at college. Zoe has a threesome with a female friend and her boyfriend after breaking up with Doug, although it doesn't really go anywhere.
  • Friends with Benefits: Maddie and Chive in ttfn.
  • Hot for Student: Zoe's English teacher, Mr. H, in the first book, starting innocently enough when he takes her to a church group. Although she enjoys the attention at first, it keeps escalating in creepiness to the point where she finds herself hot-tubbing with him - and not at all sure she's as comfortable with him as she used to be. Then Angela and Maddie crash their little party.
  • In Love with Love: Angela. Zoe even mentions this.
  • Long Distance Relationship: Zoe and Doug between ttfn and l8r, g8r, then again in yolo. In the second case, it lasts for all of 30 or so pages before Doug drives to Kenyon to break up with her, saying the distance is too hard. The ending implies that they might get back together, but it's not really resolved one way or the other.
    • Also, Maddie and Ian in yolo.
  • Maybe Ever After: Zoe and Doug by the end of yolo.
  • Painting the Medium: Not only is the story told through instant message, but each girl has a different typeface, and the pages themselves are framed with an IM window.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The source of most of the girls' problems, at least intra-friendship.
  • Title Drop: In every book, generally at the very end.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Poor Angela has an unfortunate tendency to be on the receiving end of this. In the first book Rob cheats on her with Tonnie; in the third book Logan cheats on her with Jana.