Girl Online is the first novel released by Zoe Sugg, an incredibly popular British YouTuber who I’ve been watching for years. It’s a fictional novel that I believe has roots in reality that we can all relate to.
I read this entire book in a day, a feat that I used to reserve only to Harry Potter books. I must admit, some of the writing is lacklustre (every book has its pitfalls) but the story and characters are well thought out and highly developed.
Penny Porter is a shy, awkward, anxiety-stricken teen who falls in love with every girls rock god dream. I must admit, I don’t see that much of Zoe in Penny, while Zoe has spoken about her anxiety in the past, and I admire how she’s opened up about it in the book, I’ve never seen Zoe as awkward or shy. But then again, I only know Zoe from YouTube, and who knows what she’s like behind closed doors? I related to Penny on a spiritual level, her struggles with guys (hello #foreveralone), her difficulties opening up to her friends and family, and finding comfort in an online community, and finally, what bullying and harassment can do to a person, whether it happens online or in person.
Another thing I love about the book is the character of Elliot. Adding in a young gay character is in my opinion, a brave move. But a great one. It’s so heartwarming to see an author acknowledge the issues that young gay people are still facing. We like to talk about how much things have changed, and how much easier it is to be gay in this day and age, but in reality many young gay people still struggle to come out to their families and friends, and are bullied at school.
Lastly, their ought to be a law against being as sweet as Noah! He’s the perfect man. So cute, sweet, smart, spiritual, and musical. Damn boy, if only you were real (and older).
Now, as to the plot, I won’t give much away. If you want a story about love, life online, and the impact it has on the real world – this is the book for you.