Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
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.
I felt like it was only appropriate that I write up a review for Girl Online without being an actual review copy because it is about online blogging and I was pretty excited for it! I have been on my little blog here for almost three years where I have been able to write reviews for books that I love and during this time some wonderful publishers have sent me books to review which I have been very grateful for. I honestly never thought anyone who ever read my reviews, but this has become a place for me to tell everyone about the books I love and books I cannot wait for.
A year ago Penny started an anonymous blog where she could write about her feelings and everything that has been going on with her life as well as all the photos she takes. The only person who knows about GirlOnline is her best friend and room neighbor Elliot. I absolutely loved Elliot he was the best friend that you need and his random facts are also pretty awesome too.
Penny gets to head off to New York with her parents to help organise a wedding and thankfully she gets to have Elliot come along. However, Penny doesn't want to go because of her fear of flying and her panic attacks that seem to just keep on happening. Penny's family and Elliot are understanding about what she is going through and help her through her troubles.
New York is one place I absolutely want to visit and I know it is slightly cliche but I want to go in winter because 1) It doesn't really snow here in Australia 2) I think it would be breathe taking and 3) because it is my holiday time in uni. In New York while the whole wedding planning is happening we meet Noah. I knew straight away who Noah was because it wasn't that hard to guess with some of his reactions. I enjoyed seeing how Penny's and Noah's relationship changed and developed throughout her time in New York, while yes some insta-love moments but the romance was kind of like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight which made bearable.
The characterisation of the characters is something that Sugg really managed to get spot on. The way Penny's and Elliot's friendship was created was something that I think everyone should have, the looking out of each other and being there when things do go wrong. The relationship she had with her family was written so it felt like they were your family too at times with everything going on. And finally the relationship between Penny and Noah was really great despite the insta-love moments and seeing how it developed was also great.
This book reminds me of high school and all the dramas that everyone has with friends, highly embarrassing moments (like the time I had a Marilyn Monroe moment with a skirt, oh wait that was last year at uni) and boys. While yes this was a light contemporary YA that I have probably read hundreds of times before but what made it different was that Sugg managed to combine with real issues that happen to everyday teenagers and adults; anxiety and cyber-bulling. This is the generation of the internet and cyber-bulling has just always been around since I was heading into high school, I myself was a victim of cyber-bulling but then again I think everyone is with the way the internet is today.
I loved how you get the GirlOnline blog posts as Penny writes them so you know what she is talking about and the comments that she is receiving about them and how it has become apart of her everyday life.
Overall Girl Online was a fantastic debut from Sugg and I really look forward to see what else she can produce as an author. Girl Online is perfect for everyone still in high school and out it helps you understand what it feels like when someone is suffering a panic attack and how cyber-bulling really effects someone. It was a fun, light and quick read, so go get your hands on a copy!