Welcome back to our read-along on Girl Online! If you haven’t already, click here to check out our discussion post on keeping a diary vs blogging.
Author: Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: November 25, 2014
No. of Pages: Hardcover, 352 pages
Synopsis and Review:
Celebrities writing books is a new trend in the publishing world. Not only are biographies very common, fiction books written by celebrities are also gaining popularity nowadays. While people may be skeptical about fiction books written by celebrities due to general belief of low educational level and hence poor writing skills of celebrities, Girl Online is an impressive novel with eloquent writing and realistic characters.
A debut novel by Zoe Sugg, better known as Zoella on YouTube, Girl Online follows the journey of an adolescent named Penny who begins to shape her own identity in the world. This book is targeted towards those who either have a passion for blogs or dream of starting one themselves. Since Zoe’s followers fall into this category, she does a fantastic job in engaging the perceived audience.
Penny is portrayed as a very believable and realistic character as she seldom talks to her parents but instead keeps her thoughts to her personal blog. This makes her very relatable for teenagers nowadays as teenagers have the tendency to write their thoughts down instead of sharing with family. Zoe Sugg also makes her character very lively by incorporating many fine details such as Penny’s weird fetishes and her secret codes with her best friend Elliot. One special thing about Penny is that she has to constantly deal with anxiety and panic attacks, which Zoe Sugg herself has experienced before. This not only supports adolescents or teenagers who suffer from anxiety, but also serves as a mini guide as many personal tips and experiences are included inside.
All the interpersonal relationships in the book are styled in a detailed manned. With Penny’s family members being supportive in her chase of her dreams and being encouraging during her panic attacks, she soon learns to overcome her fears. The friendship between Penny and her best friend Elliot is also described brilliantly with its ups and downs, from the essential element of caring and sharing secrets to the inevitable subject of jealously. Zoe encourages young friends to talk problems and conflicts out and reminds teens again and again not to let jealousy get the best of you.
Zoe Sugg incorporates many wonderful important lessons in her novel, yet the lessons do not get in the way of the plot. The plot may be a little bit predictable but the overall novel is certainly enjoyable. Things may get a little too dramatic but given that Penny has to deal with anxiety attacks, this is definitely justified. Although the beginning starts off a tad bit roughly, the story starts to go on smoothly once the main plot kick starts. Overall, Girl Online is a cutesy fluffy novel with great life lessons ingrained in it. It is absolutely a remarkable debut novel.