“Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realise that they aren’t actually real.” – Zoe Sugg.
Zoe Sugg is better known online as Zoella. Zoe has her own blog as well as YouTube channel with over nine million subscribers.
Despite the multitude of books which have been released by YouTubers over the last year or so, I haven’t read a great deal of them. Before reading this book I had only read All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher, whose book I reviewed here. As a result of this, I didn’t know what kind of quality of writing to expect going into this book, but I am thrilled to be able to say now that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Every time you feel sad you should think of three happy things to chase the sad thing away.”
Girl Online is written in first person and through blog posts by Penny, a girl who suffers from panic attacks and secretly runs an anonymous blog. Penny doesn’t have the best of luck, but when she visits New York she has a chance at a fresh start without people knowing the embarrassing stories of her past. Whilst in New York, Penny falls in love and writes about it on her blog. However, Penny isn’t the only one with a secret.
“Even though I sometimes feel as if I’m the only person who struggles with this thing called ‘life’, I’m actually not.”
I cannot believe that I stayed awake until past two thirty in the morning in order to finish this book. When I picked it up at about ten in the evening I was approximately fifty pages into this book! Honestly, I didn’t have very high hopes going into this book, especially after having read some negative-ish reviews. However, I must admit that I am very impressed and even proud of Zoe.
I really enjoyed this book (I must have to have read three hundred pages barely noticing the time passing me by). I loved the characters, although Noah did feel a bit too perfect, except for the lies of course, but his actions did also make sense. I suppose the beginning of their relationship went too well so that something had to go wrong and it did. I loved the character of Penny, I felt really attached to her, and she had such a lovely friendship with Elliot; I wish my best friend lived next door!
I loved all the unique similes and references (especially the Harry Potter one!) and I love Zoe’s writing. I think part of the reason this book has done so well is because Zoe stuck to what she knew to an extent: blogging and as a result she made a main character who was relatable, especially to other bloggers out there. It was lovely to see a book written about anxiety in such detail, especially because usually when mental illnesses are touched upon the obvious choice is depression. However, again Zoe has written about what she knows enabling her to write a superb book people can connect with.
“I’ve decided that I’m not going to try to squeeze myself into a friendship that hurts me any more. I’m going to let her go and just be friends with people who make me feel good about myself.”
My only real flaw with the book is that it was very predictable, but at the same time I really liked the book and the predictability didn’t make it a less pleasant read. It reminds me a little of The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne and Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher mixed together, but also with Zoe’s own little twists thrown in.
This book is cute and sweet, addresses real life problems, and I haven’t stayed awake like this reading a book for a long time. I definitely recommend it for a pleasant and gripping read.
“It doesn’t matter what a place is like, what matters is the people you see that place with. If they are up for adventure then you can make anywhere fun.”
To me, a book that keeps me awake until the early hours of the morning and a book I can read without noticing the time passing me by, especially if I read three hundred pages in one sitting, is an indicator of a good book. As a result I rate this book 5/5.
Keep up the good work, Zoe! I look forward to your next book being released next month: Girl Online On Tour out October 22nd. While I was unsure about the new book following on from the first, I am now happy because it will be lovely to see Penny and Noah’s relationship properly now that they both know each other’s secrets and it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the world react.
What were your thoughts on Girl Online?
“I’ve found that life’s a whole lot better if you get a little crazy sometimes.”
P.S. Sorry for all of the quotes in this post, I couldn’t help myself.