Girl Online: The First Novel by Zoella - Zoe Sugg

"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.

 

This book was pretty cute and a lot of fun but felt a little be contrived at points.

 

Though there were a lot of things that looking back I didn't enjoy about this book, I did really enjoy reading it and found it fast paced and entertaining to follow along.

 

I struggled to understand why she continued to hang out and crush on a guy that she referred to perpetually as obsessed with selfies who'd already treated her unfairly. I know not every character is strongheaded, but Penny was a total pushover.

 

The plot twist felt a little forced to me, and I would have liked to see more foreshadowing. Also, the idea of a US/UK relationship working at their age is very unrealistic.

 

I really hated Penny's blogposts. I really did. She sounded so patronizing and, well, dumb, and since this was such a huge part of the book, it really detracted. I also wanted to yell at her to get it together at some points--she was very good at avoiding uncomfortable situations and going with the flow since that was what she always did.

 

I am also very skeptical towards her success with her blog. She blogs about everyday life and her writing style isn't particularly enticing. Also, even with all her follows, I doubt her friends at school would have discovered it.

 

Penny's anxiety and her struggles with dealing with a past trauma were really the only thing that gave this book literary merit.

 

Despite some very obvious flaws and some juvenile writing, this book was a lot of fun to read.