Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg | Review


After many months I have finally finished girl online and I wanted to give you a little review of it. If I'm completely honest, I wasn't drawn into the story at all and by the time the main character Penny meets this mysterious Noah, I already could tell where this story was going. I just want to say that just because I love Zoe and all the work she does, I'm not going to let that effect the review of the book. I'm going to try and just base this on what I read and I'm not going to lie about my thoughts on the book. It came out that the book had been ghost written which means "ghost-writer is a writer who writes books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person. Celebrities, executives, and political leaders often hire ghost-writers to draft or edit autobiographies, magazine articles, or other written material." I had no issue with this as everyone needs help, I'm trying to write a book myself so I know how hard it is. I just feel like the fact that there was someone at penguin helping write this book that it would have been better.

Here is the blurb from the book " have this dream that, secretly, all teenage girls feel exactly like me. And maybe one day, when we realise that we all feel the same, we can all stop pretending we're something we're not... But until that day, I'm going to keep it real on this blog and keep it unreal in real life.Penny has a secret.Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, 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." 

I really loved Penny as I felt I could relate to her, I have an anonymous blog and embarrassing things happen to me, she has her insecurities like every person does. I just felt like it didn't touch on a lot of issues, I read reviews that said it talked about homophobia, anxiety and different things like that and although it did touch on the subject, I think it could have been explored much more to give children a better understanding of it. 

I did enjoy the book and I think the work that went into it was great, I just feel like this could have been so much more. I love Zoe and really admire her for her blog and videos, I understand that she is basing this on experiences she has had and I think that is a very brave thing to do. I think the subjects like anxiety were handled really well and could be really comforting and helpful to anxiety sufferers and I also loved the blogging aspect to it. I know how I would feel if anyone found my blog so it was nice to have a character to relate to. Parts of the book I just didn't find believable, for example when something really embarrassing happens to Penny at school, she has time of and then goes away to New York for her parents work, she then meets a handsome stranger and without even knowing him she just gets in his car and drives round the city. I'm sorryy but to me that's no believable, I think it sends the wrong message to girls and boys, which is that if you see someone you like and they can play guitar, regardless of whether or not you know them it okay and safe to hop in their car and go on an adventure in New York? 

I really admire Zoe for the hard work she put in but in my personal opinion I just think this has been aimed at girls of about 10-12 years old. Considering a lot of Zoe's following are teenagers and pre-teen, I understand why it was aimed more towards that group but I also know that Zoe has a massive following of people in the age group of 16-25 and there could have been more to get those readers engaging with the book. It was a good book but I think that maybe because I'm used to reading more adult takes on romance where there's not always a happy ending which is a little bit more realistic than meeting a celebrity, falling in love and then getting in a relationship with them. Up until the part where she meets Noah, I was really enjoying it but there was no real element of surprise as to what his big secret was, I think if you're older then you would pick up on little things that are said and they would just give it away. I loved the design of the book and I did like the premise of the story. 

I think because there was such a big hype over this book, it just didn't meet my expectations. I would recommend this book to younger teens as maybe a starter, to get them into more mature romantic novels. The book was about this anonymous blog, Penny's struggles with anxiety and struggles at school. I just feel like it fell short of something for me. I think this is a lovely book for younger kids, my cousin loved the book and I can see why she enjoyed it, I just feel that because I'm that little bit older, I have a better understanding that life doesn't always have happy endings and that you need to face your problems and not hide from them. When something embarrassing happened to me at school (Trust me, there were many embarrassing things that happened) I couldn't just stay at home, I had to go in and deal with them embarrassment and get over it.

I just want to say that all opinions are my own and even though I love Zoe I was reading this book from a readers perspective, who is used to reading books in this genre and I wasn't just reading the book as one of her viewers. I would love to hear you thoughts on the book, do you agree or disagree with some of the things I thought of it, let me know in the comments.

Bye for now xxx

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