Firstly, apologies for being a bit M.I.A this past week but it has been a bit mental and when things get mental, ClaireySweetie.com suffers so forgive me.
So! A couple of months ago, I nipped out to the local Sainsbury’s near my work and within the small line of shops next to it as a charity shop. To be honest I do not go in that often but on this particular day, a large framed picture of some trees was leant against the window outside and cutting a short story even shorter, I decided for £3, it was coming home with me. However, I did not have any cash on me and the shop demanded that I pay £5 to use my card so I had to find some things to make up the difference.
I do not know if I have mentioned this before to you guys, but I rarely ever buy non-fiction books from new/full price, I 99.9% always purchase them second hand. On this particular day, amongst a couple of other books, I picked up Zoe Sugg’s aka. Zoella debut novel, Girl Online, for 25p. Two things here, 1. I never find books for sale in charity shops for 25p, 2. I categorically know that Girl Online has not been written for women nearing thirty years old. However, for 25p I am going to give it a go just to see how Zoe scores as an author, and to see if this book is actually any good.
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Without giving the whole story of Girl Online away (which is actually really hard because I really want to go into detail about everything!), the story fundamentally focusses on 15-year old Penny Porter. Penny writes anonymously on her blog, ‘Girl Online’ as well as being a very keen photographer. She lives with her parents and her older brother, Tom, in Brighton, and her best friend, Elliott lives next door. All very dreamy so far. However, Penny suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and there is a particular moment in the book where this explodes. Again, without going into detail she fortunately gets the opportunity to escape her life temporarily in Brighton and goes to New York City with her parents and Elliott. Here, she meets Mr too-good-to-be-true, Noah aka. Brooklyn Boy.
Is Girl Online a bit cheesy? Yes. Is it a bit naïve? Yes. Would I let my hypothetical teenage daughter read it? Yes and I absolutely would have ADORED this book if I was a teenager myself. Girl Online is what Footloose by Kate Caan, as well as all the Animal Ark series (Google them) were to me as a teenager. Girl Online does at times get a bit unrealistic, I mean, 10,000 followers to Penny’s blog, which is essentially a collection of naïve teenage musings? Nevertheless, that aside Girl Online is still a perfectly pleasant read and anyone who has been to secondary school and experienced the whole friendship mix will relate.
While it is hard to not think of Zoe when reading about Penny (because at the end of the day, you write about what you know), there is obviously going to be some people, mannerisms and material things that are quite similar. I have not read anything online about Girl Online, but I definitely won’t be the only person who thinks of YouTuber, Tyler Oakley when reading about Elliott, surely I can’t be? Regardless, I really liked Elliott as a character and the scene towards the end of the book in Choccywoccydoodah was brilliant.
Obviously fairly soon after Girl Online got published, while it was raved about, a huge internet backlash rose up and punched poor Zoe straight in the face, over allegations that she possibly wasn’t the real author after all. You know what? Who cares? Even as an almost thirty-year old, I got absorbed and I am already on the look out for a non-full price copy of Girl Online: On Tour (the book’s sequel) because I want to continue the journey of Penny and Noah.
Have any of you guys read Girl Online? What did you think?
Until next time xFollow