BOOK TITLE: Girl Online
AUTHOR: Zoe Sugg
RELEASE DATE: November 25th 2014
NUMBER OF PAGES: 352
MAIN GENRES: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
This review includes minor spoilers, proceed at your own risk .
I know what people are going to say. They're going to say that Zoe Sugg only got a book deal because she's deemed famous now, and that she doesn't deserve to be published as much as some other people do. They'll say it's unfair. I disagree.
Now before anyone starts furiously typing that I'm wrong, I'd like you to consider this: Everyone deserves to succeed. Yes, I agree that it is unfair that many people are unpublished. And yes, Zoe was fortunate enough to be approached concerning a publication deal. However, these two things are not mutually exclusive. Penguin didn't decide to only publish books by Zoe Sugg. It they had I'm sure they'd of changed their name by now to Penguinella or something equally as amusing. She didn't steal someone's spot on the shelves of book stores.
She earned it, as did all the other writers who's books sit beside hers.
Right, now that we've established this, let's move on to what's really important: the actual content of the book.
I won't say that Girl Online is the best book I've ever read because that would be a lie. I read around 100 books a year, and while that may not seem like a lot to some of my fellow book reviewers out there, I feel that based on that number I can safely say that I know a good book when I see one. Well.. when I read one.
For me, Girl Online was a great book. It had everything I look for in a Young Adult novel. An interesting plot, a protagonist I could relate to and character development. Admittedly it wasn't flawless. I personally found it to be predictable at times and a little cheesy, but then that's really not uncommon for Young Adult reads. I found it heart warming and enjoyed the book as a whole, and honestly? I'd read it again in a heartbeat.
This read was a little different for me. Like most people, I like to immerse myself into a different world when I read, and so the majority of the books that I choose to read aren't based in the UK because I find it hard to fully immerse myself in a book when things seem too familiar.. (Is this just me? Let me know in the comments!)
I think it probably goes without saying that Girl Online hit a little close to home for me. I mean the protagonist is a teenage Brit who suffers from anxiety, has next to no self esteem, is incapable of talking to members of the opposite sex and blogs. I mean honestly, if my name was in the dictionary that would be it's definition.
Note to self: Stop being so honest.
And whilst Girl Online does maintain a Young Adult vibe through the romance aspect of the novel and the writing as a whole, Zoe addresses some topics that are very important to me, such as anxiety and cyberbullying and the effects that they can have on an individual.
I know that anxiety is currently considered a 'hot topic' or sorts, which I believe is due to the fact that Zoe has talked about it on her blog and YouTube channel. And as with everything, people have seemed to become bored of the topic and sometimes forget that it's something that really does affect many members of society. So I'm happy that it's being addressed more and more in literature too because I think it's important for people to understand that yes there are different forms of anxiety, and they should all be understood.
I'm glad that Zoe managed to show multiple ways that anxiety can affect someone life and didn't just focus on the panic attack aspect of anxiety (although that too was well covered). For instance, when Penny experienced her Glass Slipper Moment (read the book to understand), all she wants to do is crawl into a hole and live there for the rest of her days.
There's no place like hole. *Snorts*
I think that by writing a protagonist who suffers first hand from anxiety, Zoe was able to comfort those with anxiety whilst allowing those who are fortunate to not suffer from it to understand how it feels to experience anxiety on that kind of scale.
Furthermore, a round applause for some of the secondary characters.
My personal favourite was Noah for obvious reasons. You guys know I'm a sucker for musicians, I mean really is there anything more attractive that being able to play an instrument? No. No there isn't. Truthfully though, I liked that Noah was an actual developed character. With Young Adult novels I frequently find that the love interest is a little one dimensional and I was glad that Noah was given a backstory and some character development.
But really, the award for best secondary character has to go to Elliot. If nothing else that for his fashion sense because the boy knows how to work his vintage, which is always a plus in my books.
I'll wear your Grandad's clothes, I'll look incredible.
I think I'm going to round off the review here because I think I'm starting to ramble a little bit. If you have any questions concerning the book feel free to comment below or send me a message (you can find my contact details above in the 'Contact Me' tab)
So to conclude, I'd recommend Girl Online to anyone who's looking for an easy romantic read. If you like Sarah Dessen or Cathy Cassidy then I'd say this is definitely one for you!
Have a lovely day wherever you are!
Over & Out, T xx
PS: HAVE YOU READ GIRL ONLINE? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW BELOW!