Girl Online (Zoe Sugg)

>  Nº 45 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book set during Christmas <


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.

This book took me FOREVER! Ok, so not forever, but 5 days is way too much for this kind of YA book.

Girl Online did not work for me. It took me so long to get through it because for the first 100 pages or so, I could not read more than 20 pages at one sitting.  After page 100, when they are in New York, the pace becomes a little more bearable, but still, it’s not a great improvement.

The plot uses all the clichés in the world of YA lit: gay best-friend, clumsy girl, girl who can’t connect with the world, miracle trip, instant-love with a random stranger in NYC who turns out to be pretty famous, hot guy back at school who suddenly likes her back… you get the gist… It’s nothing that others YA novels haven’t used a million times. So, what makes this one worse than all the others?! It’s terrible written! SO BAD!

So, here are some stuff that really troubled me while reading this and had me rolling my eyes and huffing loudly on the train:

  • She’s insufferable. I know that probably every 15 year-old girl has confidence problems, but do you really have to repeat the same bulls*** 1000 times?
  • The blogging. This could have been good, if she actually “lived” online, maybe the storyline would be more interesting. Instead she writes a post once a week, about her everyday life. She doesn’t actually spend that much time online… none at all actually. And the posts?! Mehhh, bleak!
  • The blog. Jesus, do you have a miracle formula to post once a week and have thousands of followers within the first year?


  • The panic attacks. They could have actually worked this, but instead you have a pretty dumb 15 YO who doesn’t know that panic attacks exist… it serves mostly to advance her intimacy with Noah.
  • Her bitchy School-BFF… so stereotypical.
  • The New York Trip. Really?! A couple getting married choose someone from the UL to organize their wedding in a few days that is taking place in NYC? I’m sorry, it doesn’t make any sense. I was always under the impression that the planners worked on a contacts basis, and they didn’t know anyone in NY, so how could they organize the whole thing?
  • So, it’s totally normal to let your 15 yo daughter roam around NY with an 18 yo guy she just met?! Are you serious? I don’t care who the grandmother (you just also met) is.
  • That instant-love with Noah just felt so… weird! Come one… no, no, no, no…


  • The second job – which only purpose was to keep them in the city. At the wedding her mom tells her that the girl she’s doing the second party for is willing to pay all their expenses until the New Year… so why the hell do they leave the hotel to stay in the house of someone they just met?
  • Another thing, nobody thought about what an 18 and 15 yo were doing completely alone and in the dark? I mean, no matter how much you trust your kids, they don’t know this guy… grrrrr!!!


  • Penny doubting Elliott (and being altogether an awful friend). Basically, from the moment Penny met Noah, her head stopped working. Her best friend has to travel alone home and she doesn’t even check her phone? Then shares all this stuff on the web before talking to him? I did not like it. And after that, actually believing that he would blow up the story like that? GGGGGRRRRRRRRR… And then Elliott apologizing?!
  • The scandal…. it just had me rolling my eyes the whole time.


  • The ending. Ok, so the ending is the only reason why this book even has one star, yes, it could have been worse. It’s sweet – too sweet though. The only character that I felt that redeemed himself was Penny’s brother, who turned out to be a pretty cool brother.

This book did not work for me, but hey, maybe I’m alone on this one. And maybe you all loved it. It has a 3.8 rating on Goodreads, so people have enjoyed it.

Also worth mentioning is the slight scandal that surrounded this book a couple of months back. Apparently this book was written by ghostwriter, Siobhan Curham, and Zoe just had the idea and the obvious name-attached to it since she’s a famous YouTuber (apparently… I had never hear of her).

Rating: 1 Star


18 thoughts on “Girl Online (Zoe Sugg)

  1. bambiquim says:

    These “scandals” about ghostwriting just feel like ill-informed people, though – don’t you think? Like, even if you know how to write, that doesn’t mean you write well enough for a publishing house. Publishing is a business. Famous people sell books to their rabid fans. But just because you can flirt with the camera doesn’t mean you can write marketable work.

    Also, while the idea of this book sounds interesting, the execution sounds awful. & what teenage girl these days would only post once a week, regardless of the media outlet? #implausible

    Thanks for reviewing!

    • MyTinyObsessions says:

      True that most famous people sell books, mas mostly they sell autobiographies of some kind, so even if it is ghostwritten, it’s their life, you know?

      I guess the problem here is that is was sold as a “novel”, HER work of fiction.

      Honestly, I couldn’t care less, I had never heard of her. I tried to watch a video, but I couldn’t…

      I felt the whole book so implausible… seriously, worst read of the year so far 😦

          • MyTinyObsessions says:

            I really really liked it. The reviews are a bit mixed, it’s probably the weakest of the 4 books by Rainbow Rowell. But I felt it was so honest… it’s definitely not YA, and is beautifully written.

            Have you read Rainbow Rowell before? Fangirl, Eleanor & Park and Attachments?

          • bambiquim says:

            I’ve read all three of those books. Loved Fangirl, Eleanor & Park was great, but I was so angry at E’s mother. The Attachments was… okay. Felt a bit weak to me, which makes sense, since it was Rowell’s first book. You felt that Landline was weaker than that, but really liked it? What seemed weak about it – the plot?

          • MyTinyObsessions says:

            oh, see, Attachments is probably my favorite…

            I was also very mad at Eleanor’s mother, I never wished so much that I could go into a book and slap someone really hard.

            For me the main problem with Landline is the lack of resolution. It’s not new, Rainbow more or less does it in all her books, but Landlline has some kind of mystical “power” behind it, and the point is never to understand it, so we don’t…

            did that make sense? I don’t want to say anything that might spoil the book for you. I really did enjoy it.

  2. Marwhal says:

    I tried reading this and I just couldn’t get myself through it. I appreciate hearing your thoughts because you summed up a lot of the problems I had with it. Excellent GIF choices!

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