Girl Online is the first book by Zoe Sugg, the apparently famous Youtube star? I don’t know her at all, but I got curious after hearing about this book everywhere.
I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has – I can’t believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! – and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes…
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.
I have very mixed feelings about this book.
The story was fast-paced and entertaining. The story starts in the UK where Penny lives, goes to school and blogs about her life. Penny has been in a car-crash and now has panic attacks every now and then because of that. She also is really clumsy and always seems to say the wrong things because she gets nervous. It kind of felt like a high-school drama book, and I think I’ve outgrown that genre. I would have loved reading this book when I was 15, but now I’m not that much into it anymore.
Some things were so relatable and there were situations I recognized from my own life. Things like being desperate for a friend and therefore just befriending the first person you meet in school (that literally happened to me, pathetic right?), or having an amazing idea in the middle of an exam but not being able to write it down and then forgetting what the idea was. But somethings were a bit overdone, it was just a little too extreme. Just like the characters. The side-characters were a bit one-dimensional and felt like a stereotypical instead of real people. Elliot was the gay best friend with a love for fashion and facts, Megan was the bitchy ex-best friend, Ollie the self-centered handsome high school kid, and then Noah… I don’t know what to think of him. He had more to him than just the cool guy from NY who loves music, but still he felt a little off…The book and the characters somehow felt a bit too perfectly imperfect if you know what I mean.
I didn’t really like how blogging was portrayed. Penny is the writer of Girl Online, which is where she puts her thoughts and ideas anonymously. I have been blogging for only a few months, so maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t gain 5 thousand followers over two days even if you write the most open-hearted post ever. Blogging isn’t easy, it costs time and energy and is not only writing posts. You write, read, comment and connect. Penny didn’t seem to do anything but write. After reading this book I am pretty sure I will never reveal my real name nor face on this place, nor will I tell my family or friends. Blogging is my way of getting my thoughts out, and I can’t handle having other people judging me based on that. I would absolutely hate it if the things that happened to Penny would happen to me.
Even though I didn’t like some things and it felt a bit over-done, and therefore not very realistic, I did enjoy reading it. I read over half of it in one night and just kept reading until it was done. It took some time to get into the book, but once I was I just kept reading.
I am giving this book 3 stars and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading contemporary YA fiction with a bit cliche cheesy romance.
Also in the mean time I’ve watched half of a video by Zoella, I quit halfway because I was bored and it was a tour through her office… Do you watch her videos and do you like them? Have you read the book and what’s your opinion?