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Friday, January 13, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: Girl Online By Zoe Sugg

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.

Hi everyone, 

I know this book came out in 2014 but I’ve been focusing on reading books that have been sitting on my TBR and this week I found Zoella’s Girl Online tucked away in one of my bookshelves and thought now was a great time to read and review it.

First off I have to say just how adorable the cover is. I love the design and the pictures hanging up over lights. I knew I had to read this based on the cover (I’ll say right off the bat I think I’ve seen maybe three Zoella videos; she just seems like a really nice person and I love me a good cute contemporary). This book was really fluffy and cute and one of those I can see making readers smile after finishing it.

I loved how the book involved Penny’s blog posts. I know I’ve said this before but I love when books involves different formats or include texts, blogs and diary entries. The blog posts and when Penny texts her friends were actually my favorite part of the book; she talks about her anxiety (and I’m really glad Zoe decided to include this because it brings a sense of humanness to Penny) and the first couple posts were my favorite when Girl Online wasn’t that popular.

However that’s where my enjoyment of the book ended.

As soon as Penny gets to New York it was insta-love central; I hate insta-love more than love triangles. This was honestly the biggest let down because I was so pumped to read this. 0The rest of the book felt like every other contemporary book out there (and I read A LOT of them) so this book brought nothing new since it felt like every other book I’ve read.

The book itself wasn’t my cup of tea based on the writing. When books get ghostwritten you almost expect it’s going to be not that well written; my assumption is based on a lot of ghost written books I’ve read but I won’t include the titles here. I really hope Zoe had some input on the plot or at least had ideas for the plot; that’s also why I don’t think I enjoy ghost written books because I’m never sure who actually developed the ideas in it and who should be given proper credit for the content. The writing in Girl Online was very juvenile and almost seemed it should be set for a middle-grade audience rather than a young-adult.

Nothing really happens in it either. It has the standard expected contemporary plot and I knew the ending from page 10. I did enjoy the pop cultural references but in about five years I wonder if this book will still be enjoyed by readers. Since that’s one of the downfalls of including current trends and technology; I read a book a year ago that included MSN Messenger and I cringed at how old the book must have been.

I apologize for this rambling review and I had really hoped to be giving this book a higher rating than a one. I don’t know if I’ll continue with book two; I did buy it a couple days after its release but I don’t think I’ll be reading book three unless book two has a lot of improvements. 

One (sad this is only one star) star

Re-Readathon Update

I finished Hex Education and while it didn’t live up to the five star rating I had originally given it, it still was able to get a four and live up to most of what I remembered about liking it. I will say I’ll be the first to admit the plot was weaker than I remembered and the action inside wasn’t as compelling as I thought. There’s just something nostalgic about it that I couldn’t see myself giving it a three. I was still in love with the setting of Mystic and all those weird little magical shops you expect to see in a magical town.

Next up on the re-reads in The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams        

I found this on my shelf and remembered laughing at the title when I first saw it, but I loved the cover and the synopsis sounded perfect for me. I originally gave it a four star rating and am curious to see if that’ll stay the same.

Until my next review,



  1. I love reading books that include multi-media form as well. It's so pleasing to the eye. Try reading S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst or The Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

  2. I won't read Youtuber's books. For me it feels like a bit of a cash grab. Stick to what you know- particularly if you are going to use a ghost writer. If Zoe had tried her hand at actually writing this, I think I would have been more interested in it.

    Great review, Stefanie.

  3. I never read books written by celebrities and would have no interest in reading this one now that you said there's nothing to set it apart, has juvenile writing and contains insta-love. Great review, Stefanie!

  4. Thanks everyone, sorry for the late reply. I forget I have the ability to reply back, still getting used to blogging!
    I've decided to read the second one since I bought it but I have very low expectations for it

  5. Huh, this is the first review I've read for this book since hearing all about the ghost writer stuff. I guess I'm not surprised that you found the book a little bland and done? But still, I feel your disappointment because Zoe does seem like a pretty fun/nice person. Good review anyway, Stefanie!


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