Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. No spoiler review.
Hope you've had a great February! I've been absent for the better part of it but I am trying to get back into the swing of things and post at least once a week. With a full-time job and a newly started MA program I don't have much time for anything. No one promised it was gonna be easy, right?
Commuting to and from work I read quite a lot. Books have always been a big part of my life. Call me a book worm, a nerd or a day dreamer, they are my way to escape, to learn, to discover. I was considering building a new blog where I can write about literature but decided against it. After all, reading is a passion of mine, just like fashion is.
With time (if you stick around) you'll find that I read quite a few different genres - non-fiction fashion and beauty books, contemporary, mystery, dystopian and post apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy and magical realism, classics, graphic novels ... the whole lot.
Today, I want to talk about a book surrounded by a lot of controversy and strong opinions. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg took the world by a storm selling more copies in its first week than J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Soon after, an information leaked that the book or parts of it was actually ghostwritten by Siobhan Curham.
I am not going to discuss whether or not that diminishes the value of the book or deceives Zoe's audience. I am just going to share my feelings and opinion about the story.
I enjoyed Girl Online much more than I expected. While the writing is not exceptional and I found it hard to relate to a 16 year old girl now, I found most of the characters and their emotions and struggles very realistic and believable.
Penny with all of her insecurities, goes through such an amazing character development, facing her fears, confronting the toxic people in her life and dealing with her anxiety that I think she's and inspiration not only for young readers, but for anyone at any point of their life. I have felt many of the feelings she felt, and asked many of the question she asked.
At the beginning, the book is mostly plot driven with the main protagonist reacting to what is happening to her rather than moving the story along herself. However, that changes towards the end demonstrating how much Penny has changed and developed.
Even the more unrealistic parts of the plot served their purpose in putting the character through hard, scary situations that led to emotional growth. The side characters were great as well. Loving them or hating them I couldn't stay neutral.
Another aspect I think is very important is how the story demonstrates that unless you are personally involved in a situation you cannot really make assumptions about it and that way too often we are really quick to judge.
As a whole I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I were younger and could relate more to the characters. However, I think that no matter the flaws in the writing Girl Online is an adorable and entertaining contemporary read that can help many young girls face their fears, accept themselves and end any toxic relationships in their lives.
What about you? What have you been reading lately?