Zoe Sugg: Girl Online
I´ve decided to start a blog.
Why, you might ask?
„You know when you shake a Coke can and then you open it and it explodes everywhere? Well, that´s how I feel right now. I have so many things I want to say fizzing up inside of me, but I don´t have the confidence to say them out loud. “
That is the beginning of the book „Girl Online“ written by the YouTuber Zoe Sugg.
The 15-year old Penny starts a blog using her nickname Girl Online to write about her feelings. She also discusses her current problems with boys, her lovely but strange family and her panic attacks, which she suffers from since she had a car accident together with her parents. Luckily, nobody was hurt. During her writing process on this blog she experiences an embarrassing moment in school, which changes her school life immediately. Looking for a way to escape these problems, Penny is relieved, when she hears that her parents have to go on a work trip to New York. Of course Penny wants to come with them and so her journey begins. During her time in New York she meets a sweet boy, Noah, with whom she falls in love. They spend the entire Christmas holiday together and when she and her family return home Penny finds out, that Noah had kept a secret from her. Will Noah's secret expose Penny's virtual identity forever?
When I started to read this book I was very curious what a YouTuber novel would look like. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by this “blog book“. The characters were particularly interesting to me. The way she builds them and their different relationships and utilizes them to describe the difficult teenager life of a girl, creates a compelling plot. Mainly the new relationship between Penny and Noah affects me personally because it describes the process of two young people who fall in love with each other. The whole book is also full of many firsts: The first kiss, the first love and the first break of a friendship.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that Penny feels very safe and comfortable in her blog, even though social media platforms are not the best places to share personal information, as she will experience first-hand later in the book.
Taking everything into consideration I can say that this book has its own charm. Telling this story of a young girl fighting with problems, which the readers themselves have or had to deal with as a teenager is interesting by itself. In connection with this blog style it gets even more captivating.
With this blog-like book Zoe Sugg deals with the topic of a teenager's life in the context that today's teenagers share everything everywhere. But it also includes a more general critique of the influence exerted by the media and how far it can reach. Because the important message of this book is: The media has an immense power and has the capability to spread lies and rumors, where normal people could be charged with character assassination.
Julia Winter, Year 12