I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has - I can't believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! - and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes...
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.
A while back, I heard about this book, and I was curious. But I also didn’t want to read it at all, because it was a book written by someone who isn’t an author. Okay, she’s a blogger who technically write a lot as well, but still she’s not an actual author. But in the end, when I found it on bol.com for cheap (I mean 9 euros for a hardcover?! Y E S PLEASE), and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Girl Online is about Penny who owns a blog. One she keeps secret from her family and the people she knows in real life. But she has another secret, she’s been suffering from panic attacks, and when this happens in front of her parents, they take her away to New York for a small holiday (and a wedding to plan). There, she meets Noah. But Noah also has his secrets.
It did sound a bit like the typical ‘girl meets boy’ story, and that was also what made me a bit reluctant, but sometimes it’s really good to read a story like this. So yeah even though it’s not really my kind of book, I enjoyed it. Maybe it was because of the blogging part of the story (though there weren’t that many blog posts in the book, I had hoped for a blog before each chapter, but alas). The story was really nice, if very simple, but like I said sometimes you just need a simple story like this.
I loved the fact that Penny was into photography, because I am into photography myself. I would have loved to see some of her pictures in the book though (apart from the ones on the cover, which I assume were supposed to be taken by her). The only thing that I noticed, as a photographer, was that she takes all her pictures with a flash. And that annoyed me a lot. I know it’s only a story, and I know she wasn’t a professional – but she wanted to become one, and one of the first things you learn when you learn more about photography is that pictures without flash are a lot prettier than with. So yeah, I don’t know – it just annoyed me a little bit. But I got past that so I could enjoy the story better.
The writing was very simple, seeing as it was written for teenagers, but it was enjoyable. I had heard that this book wasn’t really written by Zoe but by a ghostwriter; and honestly I can’t judge on that, because I have never read any of Zoella’s blogposts (I am not a make-up kind of person). But it was written nicely, and that’s what it’s about, right?
In the end, I enjoyed Girl Online even though it’s not normally my kind of story. If you really like fluffy stories, you should try out this book!