Title: Girl online
Author: Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella
Genre: YA contemporary
Status: Book 1 in the Girl Online trilogy
I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has – I can’t believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! – and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes…
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.
A clumsy fifteen (almost sixteen) year old girl, Penny Porter faces a lot of awkward moments in life. *cough, rainbow knickers, cough* Her blog is her therapy and with thousands of followers who support her and make her feel better. One christmas, her parents whisk her and her best friend Elliot off to New York. And *drumroll* she meets
a cute cuter the cutest guy! And he likes her back! This doesn’t normally happen to her, she is a girl who falls into potholes.
After spending an amazing Christmas with Noah and his family, and blogging about it anonymously (him referred to as Brooklyn Boy), she finds herself in the centre of a media cristicism storm. Turns out Noah isn’t at all who he pretended to be, she was lied to and she overlooked those small things like how he never gets online or isn’t addicted to his phone.
I’m not going to spoil by saying what is his secret but it lands her in a really bad place. Her anonymity online is gone, everyone knows who Girl Online(her alias on her blog) is and all her followers have turned on her. Her twitter bursts with notifications from tags on hateful tweets.
The book shows how being a blogger can be extremely therapeutic, sharing all your confessions and getting positive feedback; and it also shows the bad side where everyone (especially YOUR fans and followers) turn against you.
Penny Porter is flawed, extremely, but is a really good blogger and protagonist. Her best friend, who is gay, is the epitome of awesomeness. Noah is a cool character, I don’t have much of an opinion on him. Penny’s brother though, Tom is the best character! He is one of the sideline characters but he is the BEST BROTHER EVER. Noah’s little sister Bella is so cute! Penny’s parents are really supportive towards her and are good parents (who are completely in love and show the occasional PDA).
There is a lot of humour and funny moments which made me crack up and love the book more and more. Here’s an excerpt:
“Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in mud, and cross the road again?” Dad asks me as soon as I walk into the living room. He and Tom are both sprawled on the L-shaped sofa, munching on a huge bowl of popcorn with football blaring away on the TV. This is what always happens when they’re left home alone together.
“Please don’t ask him,” Tom says, looking up at me with pleading eyes.
“You’ll regret it till your dying day.”
“No, she won’t,” Dad replies quick as a flash. “Pen shares my refined sense of humor—good job one of my offspring does.” He pats the sofa next to him and I go and sit down. He’s right; we definitely share the same sense of humor. Whether it’s refined is another story. “I don’t know—why did the chicken cross the road, roll in mud, and cross the road again?” I say, grabbing a handful of popcorn.
“Nooooo!” Tom wails, burying his head under a cushion.
“Because he was a dirty double-crosser!” Dad and I look at each other and start buckling over with laughter. From beneath his cushion, Tom howls.
“How was it down at the shop?” Dad asks, as soon as we’ve pulled ourselves together.
“Pretty quiet,” I reply, and I see a flicker of worry cross Dad’s face. With most people choosing to get married in the summer, winter is always our quietest time, but this year it’s even deader than usual. “Oh, but I did get an American couple asking if we could do their wedding in New York. They seemed pretty serious too.”
Dad raises his eyebrows. “Really?”
“Yes, they want a Downton Abbey theme. But they need it mega quickly. They’re meant to be getting married just before Christmas but their original wedding planner ran off with the bride from his last wedding.” Now it’s Tom’s turn to start laughing.
“What’s the joke?” Mum says, coming in the door and taking off her coat.
“Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in—” Dad begins.
“No!” Tom yells. “That wasn’t the joke. The joke was why did the American couple have to call off their wedding?” Mum looks at us all like we’re crazy. She looks at us like this a lot.
“Because their planner ran off with the bride from his last wedding.” Tom starts cracking up again.
I highly recommend this book to all bloggers (and then some).