Penny Porter is a quiet girl, she blends into the background and she likes things that way. She has no intention of being the lead in the school play or the most popular girl in school. She just wants to get by. Unfortunately for Penny, life gets in the way.
Penny becomes an internet sensation when a video is posted on Facebook of her falling over and flashing her comfortable but worn thin unicorn pants to the whole school. Penny is mortified and vents the only way she knows how to – through her secret identity as Girl Online, her anonymous online profile.
Rather than going back to school she is whisked away to help her parents organise a wedding in New York. The Big Apple – with the help of her new friend Noah – makes her see the big picture. However, will Penny’s life be the same after this adventure?
Ok, it would be impossible to talk about Girl Online without mentioning the recent “ghost writer” scandal surrounding its publication. The use of Zoe Suggs online identity has assured that the book has sold a ridiculous amount since its release. Whilst I am one for supporting authors’ integrity I have to pose the following question – do we all really believe that Beyonce sits in a lab and creates her own brand of perfume? Or that ~David Beckham actually designs his own brand of sports shoes? No, didn’t think so. However, the brands of “Beyonce” and “David Beckham” do sell products. This is pretty much what has happened in this case. So Zoella had some help or a ghost writer, it is not like this hasn’t happened throughout history.
So with that now being aired onto my review of Girl Online – it is actually a pretty good, easy YA read. It is the kind of novel that deals with issues that teenagers go through i.e. losing friends, falling in love and the dangers of the internet. All of which are hot topics surrounding youths today.
You cannot help but like protagonist Penny. She is clumsy, insecure (but not in a needy way) but comfortable with who she is. She doesn’t want the lime light, she wants a nice comfortable easy life and when she has her several misadventures you cringe for her. When all of the embarrassing things happened to Penny I instantly had flashbacks to my awkward and mortifying teenage days; if I had read a book like this back then I probably would have handled them a lot better myself.
The grand storyline of falling in love with a celebrity seems implausible in our much media saturated society, however, I personally read books to suspend my disbelief so I can forgive that faux pas – plus, who of us hasn’t had the dream that we fall in love with a rock star?
Online Girl is an entertaining 300+ page distraction from life. It isn’t going to change your world like some of the contemporary teen fiction but it might just brighten up your day…whoever the author may be.
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg is available now