A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this third installment in the popular series features more sex and bad behavior than in the others, all conveyed through instant messages and chats. One main character loses her virginity, while the other two also have romantic, physical relationships with boyfriends. Teens drink heavily and throw up, participate in drinking games, and there are references to using drugs and abusing prescription drugs. Mean-spirited pranks include posting a faux ad for sex. A stepmom has an affair. An aunt has a party with a sex toy theme. But young adult readers who are ready for the mature content will find a decent beach read about three very close, caring, and unique friends.
What's the story?
L8R, G8R is third in the series by Lauren Myracle. BFFs Angela, Zoe, and Maddie, in their senior year of high school, work out problems, share secrets, become angry, apologize, cry, and more -- all through texting, IMs, and chat rooms. In this installment, they've got a lot more mature stuff to talk about: especially sex, but also drinking and drugs. Zoe, the academic, gets center stage as she explores her relationship with Doug, her boyfriend. She loses her virginity and becomes blinded to her unyielding dedication to this relationship. The mature content is balanced by the immaturity of scheming against school enemies. They go as far as breaking into someone's house and hiding in the back of a car.
Is it any good?
Young adult readers who are ready for the mature content will find a decent beach read about three very close, caring, and unique friends. In the end, the girls finish their senior year with more understanding about who they are, excitement about their futures, and the security of knowing they're only a computer connection away. The book is a great lesson for parents in Teenspeak 101.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about communication through instant messaging. Is something lost in the translation? Do the IM messages sound like the ones you and your friends send? This could even lead inspired parents to talk about Internet safety. Check out Common Sense Media's tips, articles, and research.
These characters drink, have sex, and pull some mean pranks -- yet they are good friends to one another and do grow up and learn lessons along the way. Do you think they are role models?
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