Girl Online | Review

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’t22510983 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?

23 thoughts on “Girl Online | Review

  1. I also thought that the blogging aspect of this book was really unrealistic at the time of reading it, and even more so now after I’ve been blogging. The whole documented experience of blogging seemed so unrealistic because-as you said-while blogging you connect with people and it only seemed like Penny talked with one other blogger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly! It annoyed me that she only responded to one comment in the entire book, while she got so many comments. That’s just rude, if you ask me. People are sharing their stories and advice and you don’t even say thank you personally?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly, Even if there are a lot of comments she could still have replied to more than one! If I get comments it excites me so much and I rely to them all. Obviously she couldn’t do that if she had 10,000+ comments, but it would have been nicer if replied to some.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I also try to reply to every single comment I get. A bit more than one in ten thousand would have been nicer yes 🙂


  2. I personally loved Girl Online! I read it before I started blogging, and looking back now, the blogging part was quite unrealistic, but I loved it nonetheless😊. The one thing I absolutely loved was Penny, as I felt like I could totally relate to her. This book was actually one of my inspirations to create this blog, so I’m really thankful to have read it! Great review!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you liked it and started blogging because of it!! Penny was really relatable at some points, but sometimes it just didn’t work for me. Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s ghost-written? Seriously?? That’s just sad. Why would you do that?
      I started the book thinking “meh” all the time, it just was a little too unoriginal I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh that’s so stupid! I was already annoyed that it beat Harry Potter off the “Most sales in the first week”-list (or something like that, I don’t remember)


      2. I think the whole idea that publishers are making people write books is a bad sign! How can a book be good if you don’t even write it for yourself? And then the fact that they didn’t even mention it!!


  3. So you are also an Anonymous Girl Online huh? and Lia is for Lost In A (story) instead of your real name… hehe.. I like that. I often tell my very close friends that my blog is public to strangers and private for friends and even though I mentioned to them, I still don’t give my link out. Not sure if any of my friends know but no one said anything to me. Oh well, I’m not writing my deepest secrets or anything but yes, it would be worst if something like what happened with Penny would happened with us because the media can be really cruel. I don’t like her as a blogger either because all she does is write her blog post. She doesn’t read all of her comments and she doesn’t reply or read/comment other bloggers’ posts. She’s very self-absorbed and self-centered. 🙂 Excellent review! I like your point of view!


    1. haha yeah I am anonymous (somewhat). Actually Lia isn’t an abbreviation from my blog name, it is just very coincidentally very fitting. It took me months to figure that out!
      My friends don’t know, however I could tell them that I have a blog, but then they would want to know more and I don’t think I would like to know that they are reading it or something. I feel like then I couldn’t be as open as I sometimes am. I like to keep my blog private (which sounds weird when you think about the fact that I’m putting everything on the internet).
      I agree on Penny, she could definitely improve her blogging method 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I noticed your name and your blog name one day when we were buddy reading and I wasn’t sure if I should address you by Lia.. hehe.. but I noticed Megan called you Lia too, so I just go with it.. haha..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree with you. I opened my blog just a few days ago and most of the time i had worked on my page and not in my posts. So i think its so much work needed to keep a blog. But in the end its the best when someone reads your blog and Write a nice comment:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard that a few times before, I’m happy that you started blogging because of it 🙂
      I really don’t know, maybe you can get it cheap second-hand?


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