Today is a post that I’ve been really excited about doing. I haven’t done a book review in a while and due to being such a huge bookworm it’s something that I love doing as when I find a fantastic book I naturally want to tell people about it and recommend it due to the genius within it’s pages! Today is super exciting for me because it’s a double book review! I’m sure there are many of you who’ve already read Zoe Sugg’s books, however with Girl Online: On Tour still being recent, I felt it were an appropriate time to share my insights with you all on both books, Girl Online and Girl Online: On Tour!
First up, Girl Online. My first impressions of this book based on it’s general appearance and the blurb are that it’s very pretty and aesthetically pleasing whilst not being too ‘overly girly’ as some books can look. I’m going to take a wild guess that not many of the male population will choose to read it anyway, however due to both it’s lack of being ‘girled out’ and the fact the book is actually a pale blue it may prove to potentially not discourage male readers. The blurb does exactly as it should, it has just the right amount of information about the book without giving away too much and it has the key elements included which are a perfect hook for readers.
The blurb portrays the notion that this will be an easy and really enjoyable read for both teenagers and older readers alike – it holds it’s own form of magic yet clearly notes from the start that there are disasters waiting to happen. From the get go this makes you want to pick up the book and wrap yourself up in it’s pages. The fact this is based from a teenage girls blog gives it a very modern feel which then gives added points for relatability.
I were instantly drawn into the book with Penny’s first blog post before the first chapter had even started, it gets straight into the heart of it, showing Penny’s personality through her writing whilst instantly connecting with teenage readers due to the identification of every young girls typical annoyances and irritations with teenage life. Penny’s natural flow with words and the language she uses in order to engage with her blog readers helps to naturally engage the reader sparking interest and instantly making you thirsty for more, this is apparent throughout the rest of the book and keeps the readers interest high.
The book is written in first person and has a mixture of first person narrative, blog posts and personal texts, this gives the book authenticity also individuality from many others on the market, another surefire way to maintain the readers interest. Penny is an easily relatable character and it were impossible for me to not become caught up in her life and the daily dramas included, from the very first pages you find yourself utterly immersed and are compelled to continue reading. I found myself feeling different emotions throughout, this were dependent on which direction the story were taking me at particular times. Due to the main characters and much of the plot being so completely relatable it really does take you on a thorough journey throughout the experiences of Penny Porter’s life, you see her world through your own eyes and are left at moments feeling inspired whilst also dipping into plot points of which prove to be incredibly thought provoking.
There are hidden little lessons within which contain both helpful guidance and messages of positivity for the reader. In correlation with this is the phenomenal message contained of which to think first and be nice to other’s at all times, if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say it. This is a lesson I feel everybody absolutely MUST learn to accept and put into practice at all times. Whilst reading this it fits perfectly with the fact that Zoe were given such a huge amount of abuse and negativity after this book were published due to the fact she had been ghost written, whilst on this topic I would like to say something. Does anybody who isn’t a writer know just how much time and effort is put into this type of work? When you think about how much time she will spend working on her blog, YouTube and other many endeavours it’s hard to imagine she would have much time left at all for such a thing as a personal life and to be writing a book also. It’s a given, to me at least, that she would have a ghost writer. Zoe has celebrity status, how many celebrities who aren’t full time writers will have a book published without a ghost writer? More to the point, just because you are ghost written does not mean that the plot and characters are not your own, it means you have had help, yes. What’s wrong with a little help though? Everyone involved will have been paid for the job they have done and with books come a huge editing team anyway! Unless of course you opt to self publish and don’t get your work edited – but the majority of self published writers will STILL get an editing team to work on their product before it’s finished and is the smart thing to do, too! Fresh eyes and perspectives working together achieves greatness and who on earth cares how and who this book has been written by at the end of the day, as long as it’s an enjoyable read?
To conclude with a few final points, Girl Online tells a magical story making it feel as though you have just stepped into a fairy tale for the large part, it’s simply impossible to not be sucked in and lifted along with the happiness and positive vibes it creates. Everything slots into place seamlessly to make for a very well planned, easy and enjoyable read. It’s beautiful and leaves you wanting more. At the end of the book there are the first two chapters included from the sequel, ‘Girl Online: On Tour’, I feel this is a really generous amount and undoubtedly ensures you’re then hooked to the second book as much as the first, speaking of which we will now move onto.
Lets jump straight in with my initial thoughts, shall we? The aesthetics of the second book, ‘Girl Online: On Tour’ feel as though it’s all a little more girly compared to the first book although it’s been done in a very tasteful and mature feeling way, if that makes much sense. It’s kind of hard to describe but what I’m trying to say is basically that it doesn’t feel tacky or overdone. A bookmark is included in this book and is located at the back, with corrugated edges making it easy for removal. I think this is a really nice addition and something that isn’t often done, personally I’ve chosen to leave my bookmark inside the book however as I don’t want to feel as though I’m spoiling my copy of the book in some way. It all comes down to personal preference but it’s a lovely little inclusion none the less!
Again the blurb of this book hops straight in. You’re presented with what feels to be an almost perfect situation yet it’s tinged with what if’s and the potential for ruin! This makes the reader excited to get straight in as you’re interested to learn more and are worried about the implications the scenario will have on the truly magical romance!
Like with Girl Online it’s remained very relevant, modern and up to date. This again will instantly engage readers, especially the young, as it includes many of today’s typical social networking influences and other such things of which are ‘down with the kids’. Penny is still as she were before, captivating the reader with honest descriptions of which resonate with typical teenage life. She explores the thoughts and feelings we will likely have all felt at some point in our teenage years, some of which are larger issues that feel so daunting such as not knowing which direction we want to take with our lives. Instantly you find yourself back in step with Penny’s life with it’s humorous and uplifting story line and character depictions. Just like Girl Online, On Tour is a very easy and enjoyable read. It gets fired up and into the good stuff very quickly, leaving no time to become bored or agitated waiting for the story to get going. This book instantly enraptures the reader in magic.
Of course not everything can be all smiles and rainbows. Like any good book it includes it’s fair share of turbulence within the plot, each situation of which does just as much to make you continue reading, because the characters are all so vivid within your imagination and realistic you feel as though you actually know them, that they aren’t only simple fiction. You simply have to keep reading to find out if everything turns out well for them, it’s as if along the journey throughout the two books they have become your friends or sometimes you will feel as though you’re Penny yourself. This ties in well with the fact that you feel throughout as though you’re experiencing her emotions with her, at many points I found myself feeling anxious on Penny’s behalf or really happy about a fantastic opportunity or event unfolding. There are of course some very unrealistic events to that of what the majority of us have or will ever experience but isn’t that the case for most fiction, it’s our chance to escape into what we’re reading, fundamentally it remains real throughout due to different driving forces behind the main event, infused with typical every day teenage drama all the while making it easily relatable. This book is packed with hidden twists and turns, some things may seem predictable but then there will be totally unexpected moments lurking where you least expect them, whilst everything ties together seemingly effortlessly.
Just like the first book, GO:OT contains more important life lessons within it’s pages and although this book is merely fiction many of the situations Penny sees through and has to overcome will resonate with the reader so naturally and on a personal level that it will inspire them, to do what is personal to the individual but this book will demand action and a life evaluation. It’s hard to keep the same story alive for so long and will often be hard for a person to create a successful series especially if the characters have already seen so much and been taken so far. I can see potential for the continuation of Girl Online, however. I aren’t aware if this is something that Zoe is planning on or likewise, not planning to do – the option to do more is there in any case due to the books being written so well with easily relatable and likable characters. Girl Online: On Tour were a real roller coaster of a book but incredibly enjoyable throughout.
To summarise, I really enjoyed both books. I can see why they’re so popular and will continue to be, there’s definitely potential for more and I’d recommend these to fellow bookworms. I already read Girl Online a second time for the purpose of this book review and I could see myself re-reading both books in the future. There is plenty available to ponder and to aid the evaluation of our own lives due to different parts in both books. they prove to shine a light on many important everyday issues.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed the books and the following write up of my thoughts on both. I’ve been pondering creating a list of different books I own in order to provide the allowance of requests for future reviews. If that’s something you’d be interested in me doing then please don’t hesitate to let me know! Likewise, if you have a great recommendation for me then I’d love to hear it.
Disaster Davis x