Girl Online By Zoe Sugg
Girl Online #1
Published 24 Nov 2014 By Penguin
Summary: 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.
Where do I begin with Girl Online?
I love Zoe (or Zoella, as she’s known on Youtube) and I love Young Adult. But there’s something about Girl Online that irked me. It wasn’t that the book was ghostwritten and it wasn’t that she’s a youtuber-turned-author. As skeptical as I was, I wanted to like it, I wanted to read it and form my own opinion. But finishing Girl Online was a struggle.
Even days after finishing it, I can’t put a finger as to why I didn’t enjoy it as much. Girl Online was an okay read; it has its funny moments and in parts, it resonated with me but it came off as too juvenile for my taste. Penny behaves like someone who is much younger than 15 and its funny when Noah’s little sister comes off as more “adult” than she is. Girl Online is probably (and definitely) catered to the younger audiences (my library catalogues this as one for 10-year-olds and above). That, is my problem, not the book. So for that, I can’t fault it.
Girl Online reflects much of Zoe’s real life and though it is fictional, you do get to see bit and pieces of her life through Penny. One of the few things that both Zoe and Penny have in common are their blogs, them living in Brighton and of course fairy lights. Penny also suffers from panic attacks, something that Zoe herself has struggled with for many years.
The book is filled with sentences that aren’t necessary and doesn’t push the story arc forward. Its filled with silly little thoughts and descriptions that made the book seen more juvenile and childish. And don’t get me started on the insta-love. Penny falls in love with Noah in a span of 48 hours or less. Its ridiculous how crazy-in-love they are when they barely knew each other. Penny recognises this and so does her best friend Elliot, but Penny chooses to ignore this fact. She chooses to ignore the fact that she doesn’t even know his last name or background other than he’s presumably a rockstar and his grandmother is a fantastic caterer. Instead she’s off making plans to make this relationship work long distance.
Girl Online is somewhat predictable. I could guess Noah’s secret from the way he was being so shady about things, though I have to admit that the last couple of chapters were more interesting than the rest. That was the real highlight of the book — the drama — and its a shame that it ended too quick and began too late.
Again, I am not the target audience of this book. Its incredibly fluffy and better suited for those much younger than me. This book isn’t incredible; it is flawed and could have been better. It isn’t a “how-to-deal-with-your-anxiety” book either. It shifted to “girl-falling-in-love” with anxiety on the sidelines.
I tried, and as much as I love her, its not something I would necessarily recommend. Maybe for the younger folks, perhaps. Okay to read, but probably not a must on your bookshelves.