As many of you are beauty or fashion bloggers, you probably know of the beauty vlogger, Zoe Sugg or Zoella. She just recently published a book, Girl Online, that released at the end of November. I am a huge fan of Zoe and have been for quite awhile, so when she announced she was publishing a book, I was very excited. I practically pre-ordered it as soon as it was available. I know a lot people would like to buy it as a gift this season, but before wrapping it up and placing it under the tree for that special someone, there are a few things I would like to mention first.
Girl Online is about a 15 year old girl that has issues with boys, friends, and embarrassment as any teenage girl goes through in high school. That is all fine and dandy. I have read many books with a younger character than me and enjoyed them all the same. However, this character has the tendency to act as if she is about 12/13, which really takes away from the story. The way the MC would react to things made me feel like really...that's what you just said? I understand we all don't know everything, but as a 15 year old, some thing should have just come as common sense to her. The fact that the character acts so immature causes the book to really decrease in maturity as well. Maybe girls in the age range 12-14 will enjoy reading this book, but me being 20 years old, I found it really hard to get invested in. From the beginning, Zoe said it was young adult, but this is just way too young...almost like a watered down mixture of the book I Heart New York and Gossip Girl with the whole running off to New York, finding a boy from Brooklyn, and putting it all on a blog.
Another aspect I found odd was how the book was physically written, meaning words, sentences, sentence structure. I feel as though some of my high school essays were better than this book. Like come on. Moving passed the excessive use of exclamation points, everyone sounded the same, had the same thoughts, and were practically the same people. The parents would talk to their kids as if they were 15 years old themselves, and the 'boyfriend' was very feminine. It was as if the MC and her 'boyfriend' were the same character just different names and ages. In the end of the book, they even have the same exact reactions to the truth that came out. I am almost positive that no boy would act like a 15 year old girl at 18 years old. I guess the MC's immaturity rubbed off on him.
I also had a few issues with the characters in this book. They were all very, um, well typical and predictable. I could practically tell you exactly what happens by only reading the summary in the book jacket. There's the MC, a shy clumsy 15 year old, the gay best friend, the crush, the two-faced mean girl, and the boy who just so happened to be perfect. The only character that I semi-enjoyed reading about what the gay best friend because he was the only one who knew what common sense was, pointing out that [Spoiler alert] you can't fall in love with someone after just meeting. I just think that everyone and everything imperfect fit together a little too perfectly.
Like I mentioned before, I respect Zoe and am a huge fan of hers, but this book is not one of her best works. I have seen that it's been said Zoe had a ghost writer for this book, and I believe that was a huge mistake on her part. Her blog posts are so beautifully written and entertaining, so if she would have actually sat down and written this book herself, I think it would have turned out 100% better. To beat out JK Rowling in sales, I was expecting a MUCH different book than what I read.
If you still want to support Zoe and buy her book, just know what you're getting in to. I don't mind spending the ten dollars on it for her, but I almost wish I hadn't. Sorry, Zoe. Maybe the second book will be more entertaining.