GIRL ONLINE is a debut novel by the very british and very famous vlogger Zoe Sugg aka Zoella. Her beauty, fashion and lifestyle vlogs have gained her millions of YouTube subscribers, with even more viewing the vlog every month. So she has decided to go on a new adventure - writing stories for her audience.
And of course, I had to find out for myself if her attempt of becoming a writer has been successful. When contemporary YA is involved, I am there!
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, her crazy family and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah: a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. 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.
Let's talk about the edition first. I own the hardback published in 2014. It's a blue book with pictures on the cover and a big red title of the book. Modern. Simple. But I do like it. 344 pages divided into 44 chapters. A quick and easy read.
Now the writing... Firstly, let me point out how disappointed I was when I learned a big juicy secret. It seems that Zoe actually has not written the book herself. The story line and the characters are her idea, but the whole writing of the story it's not. And the way she was going about it - putting her name on the book, writing a big thank you note on how she stayed up all night writing.. - that all made me angry when I found out that she hasn't actually written the book. Shadow-writing is not something I am a fan of. Period. There is so many talented authors and young writers out there who have an idea and wrote a great story and didn't have enough credit for it. But someone like Zoe just puts her name on a book she even didn't write and it becomes an instant best-seller... I am not sure where the literally world is going if this would continue. Rant over.
Now, let's talk about the writing. It was easy to read. Relate able. Funny at times. But at the same time I felt like the quirkiness of the main character was forced. The so called embarrassing situations were too boring and too predictable. Actually, the whole story was like a bad take on cinderella story. It's more like a Cinderella story has gone from bad to worse.
A girl starts a blog. She becomes famous overnight. But she is shy in real life and has plenty of mortifyingly embarrassing situations under her belt. When she hits a rock bottom a miracle happens and her parents whisk her off to New York, where everyone praises her photographic abilities. She meets a boy who turns out to be a rock star. Really?!?! Could you be even more predictable?
Anyways, there are some good points to the story. I know, I am surprised myself. But I do like the fact that the book addresses the issue of panic attacks. There are so many young people out there who are struggling with this issue. And not many know what are they going through or how to cope with them. So I am very happy that the author ( and hopefully this was one of Zoe's ideas too) decided to share the experience with the readers and give them a deeper glimpse into this problem.
So all in all... This is a book with too predictable development. It is very easy to read so if you fancy a quick read which won't make your head hurts, you have the right one for your list.
I am so sorry Zoe, but your book failed to impress me.