I’ve only ever seen a few of Zoella’s vlogs and they’re fine. I don’t think I am the target audience, so she is certainly not my favourite vloggers, however as an avid fan of all Youtube culture, it was never in doubt that I would end up reading her debut novel, Girl Online. I read the whole thing in less than 12 hours, and I’m surprised to say that I didn’t hate it. Don’t get me wrong, it is lousy with cliches and a rather predictable cast of characters but I actually found it quite hard to put down. Perhaps it’s the fact that I am in love with New York, the concept of ‘insighting instances’ and outlandish gestures, but I found myself regressing back to the romantic fantasies of 14 year old Codie, and I quite enjoyed it. It was completely unbelievable (and I mean that as an adjective not hyperbolic) in so many different aspects, but I loved the character of Elliot (and Noah…) and their friendship.
I’ve read many a novel, where the author has tried to be ‘hip’ and ‘down with the kids’, by including blogs and texts, and they are mainly incredibly cringeworthy. The only person who still uses ‘u’ and ‘2’ in texts is my Nanna. Thankfully, with Zoella (or her ghost writer), this doesn’t seem to be an issue and my cringe glands are grateful! Don’t get me wrong, there are several other areas that make my skin crawl with awkward cliches, but you can certainly tell it’s written by someone who has lived that life and understands the realities. That said, however, I was expecting something a little different from Zoella’s life to be portrayed – but write what you know eh? There are a lot of loop holes and an equal amount of very quick loose ends being tied up, but if you can see through them, it’s got quite a positive message. As a sufferer of panic attacks myself, I’m not sure whether the advice given would work for me, but if it works for someone, it’s nice that it’s dealt with in an easy-to-read story.
Overall, I’m glad I read it (even just for the fact it’s contributed to my Goodreads reading challenge total!) but I don’t think it’ll stay with me in the same way that a lot of Young Adult fiction has done recently.
Book 2/30 on my Goodreads 2015 book challenge!
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