Book: Girl Online
Author: Zoe Sugg, Siobhan Curham (Ghostwriter)
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Book 1 – Girl Online Series
Published by: Penguin Random House UK
Rating: 3/5 Stars
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.
“Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren’t actually real.”
I love Zoe and I love her YouTube channel. I’ve been watching her videos for a couple of years now and I instantly knew that I’d have to read her book when she talked about it for the first time.
For some reason it took me almost two years to finally pick up the book but now that she’s already announced her third book, I knew that I had to finally get myself a copy.
Since the book has been announced, I’ve heard lots of negative things about it which, next to the book having been ghostwritten, made me be really skeptical about actually being able to like this book.
It took me about two days to get through Girl Online and it definitely wasn’t one of these gripping reads that glues you to the book. But even though I didn’t absolutely love the book, I also didn’t hate it and I’m giving it 3 out of 5 stars.
Penny, the female protagonist, was a character I really liked. She was a sweet teenage girl and I liked how she wasn’t one of these perfect characters, but more of a clumsy one with some flaws. But even though I liked that, I was also felt like she was a character I had already seen many times before. She was not only clumsy, but extremely clumsy and embarrassed herself in like every situation possible. In some situations I felt like there was just too much clumsiness and she turned into one of these overly clumsy characters you see in so many Young Adult books.
The male protagonist was Noah, an eighteen-year-old guy from New York City. Many said that they would want to have him as a boyfriend, but I must say that I don’t belong to that group of readers. It’s not only because he’s 18 and I’m 19, I would be okay with that. But my problem with him was that he doesn’t act like an eighteen-year-old boy. He was very innocent and also a little childish; he did things and said things guys his age wouldn’t usually do or say. I’m not saying that there’s a specific way you should act when you’re 18, but he’s an adult after all and was still acting as if he was Penny’s age, who’s only 15. From personal experience I know that there’s a big difference between being 15 and being 18 and you change a lot throughout that time. I just felt like he should’ve acted a bit more mature and I was genuinely surprised when I read that he was 18. I thought he was 16.
Penny was a character that also seemed to be very similar to Zoe which means that anxiety also played a big role in this book. That`s what I really liked about Girl Online, I thankfully don’t have a problem with anxiety and panic attacks but I know that lots of people out there are struggling with both. It was really interesting to learn more about it and kind of get to know what it may feel like to live with anxiety.
I also loved to be able to read her blog posts and how all the text messages she received and sent were displayed in little bubbles, the way you also see it on your phone. But there was also one thing that really annoyed me. I liked the writing style of the author of the book. I might not have loved her style and her writing style won’t become one of my favorite one’s ever, but the book was easy to read and there weren’t too many repetitions or other things that annoyed me. But like I’ve said before, there was something that really got on my nerves. It were the “OKs”. Yes, you read that right. The OKs. Whenever one of the characters said that something was okay, it was spelled “OK”. And even when the author described something as okay, she wrote: “It was OK.”
Maybe I’m the only one who was driven crazy by that but it was just getting on my nerves to see this on every page. She used OK so often and whenever I got to the next page of the book, several OKs immediately caught my eye. I made notes while reading the book and I realized the OKs at around the 15th page and from then on, I was about to go crazy whenever I saw another OK (you can open the book at some random place and you’ll definitely find one to 6 OKs). It’s weird how two capital letters managed to get on my nerves so much.
But all in all this was still an enjoyable and sweet read. Girl Online definitely has its flaws and it definitely didn’t manage to get on the list of my favorite books ever. But I’ll still read the second book from this series because many said it’s already way better than the first one.
3 out of 5 stars for Girl Online.
Have you read Girl Online? And if you have, did you like it?