Girl Online (Zoe Sugg) Book Review SPOILER FREE
Everyone is talking about Girl Online by YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg (Zoella). She was one of the first YouTuber's to write a book, preceding Connor Franta, Joey Graceffa, Miranda Sings, Dan and Phil, Louise Pentland and more!
So, of course, after seeing it in Asda (British Walmart) for £6, I couldn't resist. It was very promising and widely praised after all.
In the end, I actually didn't like it. Here's why:
In a nutshell:
Penny, aged 15 runs an anonymous and secret blog which she shares much of her life on. So secret in fact, the only person that knows about it is her best friend Elliot, who lives next door to her in Brighton. But after an embarrassing event inflicted by her friend Megan, Penny's anxiety disorder worsens.
But, in a wonderful turn of events, Penny, her family and Elliot get whisked off to New York to organise a wedding for a wealthy American couple. This is where she meets Noah, a gorgeous boy, but one who threatens to reveal her 'secret'.
The actual review:
What did Kenneth Hurren write in his 1985 review of Les Mis?:
Watching it is like eating an artichoke: you have to get through a lot to get very little.
Well, that is how I felt about this book as I found myself having to seriously motivate myself to carry on reading.
Having never really watched Zoe's videos I bought the book simply because it sounded interesting!
I didn't like the characters: I thought they were underdeveloped and cheesy and cliché (The gay best friend, 'The Walking Selfie' (?!), the mean other friend, the super hot boy that loves the girl etc..).
I didn't really like her writing style. I thought it was simple and more appropriate for older children not young-adult's.
I also think that Penny is stupid. So, she arrives in New York and sees a random boy playing on stage at a wedding venue. He is not a member of staff nor is he a wedding guest, and she knows this. Yet she agrees to go, with this 18 year old stranger she has just met, to a downtown restaurant run by squatters!
I also think it would have been better if Zoe or Siobhan or whoever the hell wrote the book (saying this, I don't actually care who it was that wrote the book, my views on the plot, characters and writing would still be the same) hadn't tried so hard to be relatable, because believe me, young-adults don't like to be talked to as children.
But, despite this I still thought the ending was okay and certainly not as tedious as the rest of the book.
The first star is because I read it.
The second star is because the ending was ok
⚫️ It was badly written and not appropriate to the target audience
⚫️ It was a book ofclichés
⚫️ It is unrealistic
⚫️ The ending is ok and not as tedious as the rest of the book
⚫️ I think it is good that it touches on teen issues like sexuality, bullying and online safety
⚫️ I won't be reading Girl Online 2
A note about Siobhan Curham:
When her book was released, Zoe revealed that the book wasn't in fact, entirely hers: It had been partially ghost written by Siobhan Curham. This is not a problem for me, I accept that Zie hasn't always been a writer, and that she would need help. I also do not doubt that some of it, including the characters and plot are Zoe's.
I do not bear a grudge to either Zoe or Siobhan and I respect both of their decisions. The fact it has been ghost written does not change anything for me. My views on the writing, plot and characters would not have been changed by this. Nor is this a review of Zoe! This is a review of the book.
Timeline of (unfortunate) events:
Finds the book in Asda: