Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Review: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Hello everybody!
I got so excited when Girl Online came in the mail on Friday. After I instagrammed a picture of it and wiped away my tears of joy, I sat down on my bed and read the whole book. It's your standard Young Adult book, so it took less than three hours to finish. I was really scared I wouldn't like the book since my reading taste has changed recently and I've been having a hard time finds good books to read. I didn't actually read the synopsis before I bought it. All I knew about the book was that Zoe wrote it and it was about a blogger with anxiety. I'm happy to say I was not disappointed at all. I will try my best to give an honest review (I'll try not to be bias towards Zoe) and avoid spoilers.

ISBN: 978-1-4767-9745-8
Pages: 344
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I have this dream that, secretly, all teenage girls feel exactly like me. And maybe one day, when we realize that we all feel the same, we can all stop pretending we’re something we’re not. That would be awesome. But until that day, I’m going to keep it real on this blog and keep it unreal in “real” life.

Penny has a secret. 

Under the alias GirlOnline, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, her quirky family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse at school, her parents accept an opportunity to whisk the family away for Christmas at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. There, she meets Noah, a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. Suddenly Penny is falling in love—and capturing every moment she spends with “Brooklyn Boy” on her blog.

But Noah has a secret, too, one that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover—and her closest friendship—forever.

The plot line of the story is kind of predictable. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, have a fall out, make up, live happily ever after. That's pretty much every other Young Adult book out there. What I liked most were the characters. 
There's the main character, Penny, her gay best friend, Elliot, her best friend in school, Megan (Or Mega-Bitch as Elliot calls her), and her crush, Ollie (aka the Walking Selfie). Then Penny goes to New York and meets Noah and bam, true love.

Penny is a very relatable character: she's so awkward and clumsy. There were times where I literally got second hand embarrassment from her. I love the way she's so awkward around Ollie. She over thinks things sometimes and comes up with ways things could wrong. I know I do that a lot. Penny goes from a girl who runs and hides to a girl who faces her problems head on. I don't know what I would have done in her position, probably curl up and die. She also learns to love herself. In the beginning of the book, she looks into the mirror and sighs, it's a daily routine. Towards the end, she stops hiding her freckles under a layer of foundation and starts loving her red hair. 

Penny and Elliot are super supportive of each other and have a great friendship. They're always there for each other. Even though they fight, they always make up. Elliot helps Penny through her anxiety and Penny helps him with his family problems. They even have a secret knock code to talk to each other through their bedroom wall. 

Then there's Megan and Ollie. Where do I even start? Megan is a self-conceited bitch who is so mean to Penny. Ollie is very self absorbed (his Christmas present to Penny... seriously?) and Penny only likes him for his looks. Not very wise. Those two got what they deserved at the end of the book.

Her relationship with Noah is so freaking cute. I almost died from all the feels. They get each other and click right away. She isn't as awkward around Noah as she is around Ollie. She feels comfortable with Noah and opens herself up to him, even though she just met him. I guess when you cry/have a panic attack in front of people, you show a more vulnerable side of you and the causes people to open up to you. Sometimes Penny does something and immediately panics, thinking Noah will think she's weird, but he does't. In fact, he laughs it off and reassures her. Their relationship is such a contrast to Penny's relationship with Ollie or Megan. 

Can I just say how much I love Bella? She is sooo adorable. I love how she gives good advice to Penny, despite her age. Ah, the innocence of a child. But seriously, where can I get a Bella?

Zoe did a wonderful job making the book feel real. Often times when I read Young Adult books I find unrelatable. Zoe's writing style makes Penny come to life. You see all of her fears, insecurities, and doubts. Most of them are things almost every teenager feels, like worrying about what others think of you. The one thing I found most relatable was Penny constantly thinking about her embarrassing moments. I always tell myself to move on from those moments because the past is in the past and there's nothing you can do to change it. Yet I find myself reliving my most embarrassing moments over and over again at night. 

This book is very Zoe-like. She talks about anxiety and how Penny's isn't the only one with it, even though Penny feels like she is. There are other people like her out there. Penny's readers supported her and gave her happiness. At one point in the book, Penny feels like everyone hates her and she's all alone. But she is reminded that she is not alone and there are people who love her and will continue to support her no matter what. I was so happy that Zoe put that in the book because I know that sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you and you forget that there are people who will love no matter what happens. Other Zoe-like things include fairy lights and bath bombs.

Overall, I think I'll give this book a 3.75 out of 5 stars.

I am so proud of Zoe for writing her first book and breaking the record of most copies sold for a debut writer. Keep up the good work, Zoe!

Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you soon!

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  1. Ooh book review!! Look at you, writing so much :)
    The book sounds really awesome


    1. haha thanks Riv! ikr, I was so surprised I wrote so much too XD