I am absolutely a great fan of Zoe. I watch her videos on both her main and vlog channel, and I love them all. (OH check out her latest video here!) Reading this in 2015 is super super late because she released this last year in 2014 but nonetheless it was a good read.
Penny is very much Zoe-like. She lives in Brighton, is an avid photographer, writes a blog and suffers from panic attacks. Penny has an awkward embarrassing moment where she fells on stage and accidentally flashes her knickers (British term for panties). Someone uploaded the video of her traumatising flashing moment and now she has gone viral. Penny’s family decides to go to New York with her best friend, Elliot, because of work issues. There, she met Noah. A mysterious, relatable, understanding guy who’s an amazing singer. They connect very easily with and understand each other because they have been in similar situations. Their relationship builds and Penny falls in love with him. Of course, she blogs about her New York adventures and how she feels about her Brooklyn Boy. However, time flies and it’s finally time to go back to the Brighton which somehow seems bleak and boring as compared to the lively and noisy New York. Then something happens. Something that destroys her Girl Online reputation, something that breaks her heart, something that leaves her in a painful mental turmoil. You’ll have to read it to find out what that is!
Girl Online is a romance novel so for people who don’t like reading about romance and love, I don’t think you’ll like this book that much. The story was quite predictable. 2 teenagers fall in love, something happens, they patch up, end of story. But it’s how Penny deals with anxiety and the panic attacks that leaves a mark. I can now finally understand what someone who has panic attacks go through when the attack comes and how they cope with it to keep themselves calm. Another thing that resonates is how much pressure the online world can put on someone. The lies, the rumours, the judgements. There’s just some people that makes fun of and spread rumours about somebody else that they don’t personally know. There’s this part of the book where Penny writes a goodbye message to her followers of her blog and it kind of left an imprint on me because it’s so true.
“Every time you post something online you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away. … So, next time you go to post a comment or an update or share a link, ask yourself: is this going to add to the happiness in the world? And if the answer’s no, then please delete.”
Parts of the book I loved or find relatable or true af:
Top Ten Reasons for Teenage Girls Getting Anxious
Sometimes it feels as if school is one big play and we’re all supposed to perform our set roles all the time.
But then I wondered if sometimes our friendships are a bit like clothes and when they start feeling uncomfortable it’s not because we’ve done anything wrong. It just means that we’ve outgrown them. I’ve decided that I’m not going to try to squeeze myself into a friendship that hurts me anymore. I’m going to let her go and just be friends with people who make me feel good about myself.
the blog post It’s The People, Not The Place
Zoella has released the sequel Girl Online On Tour and I’m so excited to find out what happens to Penny and Noah!!!