Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Let me just say that had it not been for my best friend’s incessant pleading that I read this, I wouldn’t have. It’s not that I regret reading it–it wasn’t positively horrible–but I’m just saying that there are much better uses of my time. Like studying.
Girl Online is the first novel written by Zoe Sugg. For those of you who don’t know her (like me, before the aforementioned incessant pleading), Sugg runs an ubër famous YouTube channel under the alias ‘Zoella’. Her book was published by Penguin Random House after consulting the CEO’s 13-year-old daughter (theverge.com).
I’m not going to criticize the fact that her book deal was–according to many very angry goodreads reviewers–due primarily to the fact that she’s, well, her. What I will criticize, however, is the book and how it was written.
Girl Online can be summed up in one word: cliché. There is nothing original about it! In almost any contemporary novel, the MC is either a) ex-friends with the Miss Popular or b) currently friends with but drifting away from Miss Popular. They also always have an unattainable love-interest and either a) end up with them or b) find someone better. The MC is usually struggling with some internal secret issue too.
In Girl Online…
- The MC (Penny) is currently friends with but drifting away from Miss Popular.
- The MC has an unattainable love interest but finds someone better
- The MC also suffers from panic attacks.
There are a thousand other clichés that I will not state because SPOILERS! but believe me, they’re there. Now I’m not saying that cliché is entirely a bad thing–there are plenty of good books that are or contain clichés. But the writing is too simple, too bland, too… juvenile to make these work.
Here are some other things that bugged me:
- Insta-love: They meet. They click. By day 2 they’re struggling to go without seeing one another. Less than a week and Penny’s blogging about how their love is not just some fling but the real fairy tale perfect love.
- Double Personality: At home, Penny is awkward and shy-ish and manages to embarrass herself in pretty much every way possible. With her soon-to-be former unattainable love interest, she makes the stupidest mistakes. But in New York, she’s friendly and comfortable and… un-awkward. With her new beau, she’s flirty and goofy and dare-I-say confident the very second they meet. But then there are these times when it’s like she remembers the kind of person she’s supposed to be and makes an abrupt and temporary switch back into her awkward self.
- Unrealistic: Her blog gets insanely popular, insanely quickly; it’s popularity increases even quicker. The ways that she embarrasses herself are too outrageous to seem real. I get that that’s kind of the point–to show just how much Penny screws up–but they just seemed weird.
Suffice to say I did not enjoy this book. It was a light, cute, quick read but that’s pretty much all the positive stuff I can say. Feel free, however, to disagree. Let me know what you thought!
Click here for the book synopsis on Goodreads!