I’ll start right off by saying, I will cry myself to sleep if the Girl Online series is a two-booker.
Around about midway through this book (which is about when I started to suspect where it was going) I started furiously googling ‘Girl Online Book 3’ and various forms of this phrase to no avail.
So my fingers are going to be permanently crossed for the next however many months until the internet deems it appropriate to answer my question.
The Girl Online Series (if I am allowed to call it that) is a narrative which follows the life of Penny Porter, a blogger/teenager who lives in the world we live in – with internet and phones and lots of social media – but she lives in it while falling in love and dating a super celebrity Noah Flynn. The first book (Girl Online) is about them getting together, and the second (Girl Online On Tour, which I am about to review) is about their relationship in the kind of world we live in. It also deals with issues like friendship, forgiveness, and anxiety.
Written by YouTube sensation, Zoella, aka: Zoe Sugg
Anyway, so given the context and type of novel that Girl Online is, I figured it an appropriate time to try a new form of review. Where I address the author, rather than you the possible reader.
So here we go.
Zoe, I’m not sure if you realize this or not, but the last two years your books have become a part of my Christmas prep.
I purchased Girl Online early December (I think??) and devoured it in 24 hours while drinking a lot of coffee which is the combination of three really excellent things for me.
Good Books + Christmas + Coffee.
I have been looking forward to Girl Online – On Tour for ages, and while I usually google reviews and spoilers like crazy this was one book and one set of characters I valued too much to want to know the ending of.
I wanted to feel it as the story unfolded rather than knowing where it was going – although I’ll admit I sort of supposed it was going to end how it did.
So what did I love about Girl Online – On Tour from here on out known as GOOT (which is not a cool sounding acronym sorry I did that!)
Firstly, the development of characters was on point. The book takes place a little while after the first novel, long enough that situations have changed – such as Elliot’s dynamic, or Penny’s new friendships etc, however not so long that it’s hard to catch up. Starting this book felt like seeing old friends again, ones that I was desperate to get updates from.
Secondly, despite the online whining of random know-it-all-reviewers and whatever, this book has a lot of authenticity. The characters are raw with their emotion, the way that you write about anxiety both respects the implications of having that kind of problem (which I have had at times) but doesn’t dig deep into the problem without offering solutions or tips to cope better with it. Penny gives young people answers about some real questions, and your characters have been painted lovely, but not perfect, which made the novel beautiful to read.
Penny is at is a difficult age – I think we can all agree on that. I think back on my teen years and while they were amazing, they were also difficult and a struggle to understand myself and who I was going to be. Zoe, the way you have written about this time of life is SO wonderful for teenage girls who may be feeling a similar way.
You encourage them that:
- they don’t need to know exactly what they need to do for the WHOLE life as a sixteen year old
- that they don’t need to settle for boys who are gross, treat them like rubbish and sit around waiting and pining
- that they should have confidence in who they are, and as Leah says ‘aim higher than what you think you’re capable of’
There is enough in media today telling girls they are not enough, and that they don’t matter. You book is a reminder otherwise.
All and all, despite how torn up I was at not having the ribbon tied on the top of the present ending, I adored Girl Online On Tour. So I will continue to rave about it to everyone ever, and tell them they need to read it and that while people feel they need to seek these fancy pancy ‘sophisticated’ novels about dark and emotional things, sometimes the people who tread lightly on difficult things are better.
Zoe, you have outdone yourself, and while the internet hasn’t quite answered my questions yet… I’m holding out for a book three
Seriously though, readers, if you haven’t read the first book Girl Online, totally do. I’m twenty five years old and a month away from being married and this is totally classified as teen fiction but I think it is bad to ever say you’re above something or beyond something.
We all need a little happiness in life, and Zoe Sugg has formed hers in the shape of a book.
Girl Online – On Tour by Zoe Sugg, I am pretty sure you can buy it everywhere.