Book Review: Girl Online

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

So unless you've been stuck under a rock for the last few months then I'm sure you've heard about leading vlogger Zoella releasing a book: Girl Online. I have to admit that when I first heard about the book, I wasn't particularily fussed about reading it. If it had been an autobiography then I would have been really excited but as its a fiction book I was a little unsure. When I saw that the hard cover copy was only £5.00 on Amazon my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to preorder it. It sounds like a good book from the outside but I was a little hesitant because of who wrote it. It seemed like she came out of nowhere with 'oh yeah I love to write and now I have a book deal' whereas a lot of authors will work hard for years and still never get anything published.

Girl Online is about a girl called Penny who has started an anonymous blog called Girl Online. She lives in Brighton with her family and next to her gay best friend, Elliott. Penny is having a bit of bother with her friend Megan and crush Ollie when she gets whisked away on a family trip to New York. Once in New York she falls for a brooding, musician called Noah. He leaves her swept off her feet but romance doesn't come without some drama. She also suffers from panic attacks after being in a car accident, like the author.

So what did I think of the book in the end? I had pretty mixed feelings about it. It was a very addictive read and I read it within a day but I still don't think it was very good. It was definitely an easy read so you can fly through it but sometimes it was really really cringey. There were some really nice moments but then also some things that made me laugh out loud at their awkwardness. I found the characters to be a little one dimensional, predictable and that the way they spoke did not flow well.

The book is written mostly in first person narrative but also includes text messages and blog posts. To be honest, the blog posts were my favourite part of the book. That's what Zoe writes well, blog posts. They seemed very real and followed the same sort of narrative and conversation style that I see on my favourite blogs. If this book had been made up entirely of the blog posts, I think it could have been amazing.

In the end I ended up giving this a 2.5/5 star rating. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. I really wanted to love it but I just don't feel like its well written enough to justify a higher rating. The plot and the characters had a lot of potential, the execution was just poor. If you want to keep up with what I'm reading them you can add me as a friend on GoodReads.

Have you read this yet? What did you think?

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