I apparently always write my blog posts at stupid times of night, but I just finished reading ‘Girl Online: On Tour’ – Zoe Sugg’s sequel to the ever successful and controversial ‘Girl Online’. I did a review of her debut novel on my YouTube novel, to give you context on my opinions of that!
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly excited about this sequel – I know full well that I am older than the target audience of this book and whilst an easy ready for me and somewhat entertaining, I would never be as enthusiastically enthralled as some of Sugg’s younger fans and readers.
But I was looking forward to reading it – I fell in love with the male protagonist (because I’m a sucker for a romantic lead okay?) and I saw no room for a sequel after the original so I wanted to see what Sugg had done with it!
Obviously I took a selfie when the book arrived… I’d done my make-up for the one night out I’ve ever been on in my time at uni (it’s not my scene, dreading having to go to dance socials) and I felt hot so – selfie!
I tried to start reading it but I’d read 70 pages and it hadn’t really grabbed my attention – it’s not that nothing had happened, it’s just that I heard Zoe screaming ‘Penny isn’t me!’ in the back of my head every time the narrative said something that Penny loved that I’ve heard Zoe say that she loves too. But as a ‘writer’ too (I wrote one book three years ago… does that count?) I know that it’s so easy to put yourself into the main character. But I struggled to imagine Penny as anyone other than Zoe because of all these similarities.
But after my work load picked up in the last half of last term and I got super busy with uni, ‘Girl Online: On Tour’ served only as an extension of my bedside table making me feel guilty that I’d put reading to one side yet again.
Then New Years rolled around and I made a blog post about the books I want to read this year and it somewhat kicked me into reading. I wrote that post on January 6th and my last photography deadline (which I wrote almost 10,000 words for might I add! I put a lot of work into that assignment) was January 13th. On the 14th, I was alone in my room – all my friends from my flat were at uni (or in New York, in Nikki’s case!) and all my course friends are at home because we don’t start again yet. I tried playing MarioKart for a bit but the bright pink cover of ‘Girl Online: On Tour’ was still staring at me.
So I picked it up, read 200 pages in one day and found myself getting very angry with some of the characters and I had to put it down for a bit. Even if I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I’ve enjoyed reading other books, it was clearly engaging enough that I was emotionally invested in some of these characters!
Now I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m just going to say what I said to Lucas when he asked why I was making whiny noises and pouty faces.
Blake was a dick to Penny and then he lied to Noah and Noah didn’t believe Penny and Noah was being a stuck up, arrogant, teenage boy and Dean is a manipulative ass and Penny needs to go back to Elliott – Elliott is the true star of this story.
That doesn’t contain any spoilers really? Nothing major.
I emphasise again that I am not the target audience for this book – the writing style is very simplistic (which I like, because in all honesty I’m a lazy reader!) but some of the humour is definitely predictable and not really funny, quite childish, and sometimes I found the information is repeated too often. For example, Penny thinks of something and tells the narrative in her interior monologue and then explains the exact same thing to other characters which is something that I don’t like in writing, personally.
But there was a lot I did like about the book – obviously as someone who would love to be on a tour production team/music photographer, where the book is set was interesting to me and the touring side of the book was really interesting to me. Whilst the very frequent mention of anxiety as a plot developer did get on my nerves a little bit, it did give me an insight to how often Zoe’s anxiety can hinder what she’s doing and everyday life (however often she insists that her and Penny are really different). As someone who does have anxiety (and gets anxiety just writing it that plainly in a blog post… wow) it reminded me that it’s not something that I should let hinder me and I need to face it.
But that’s another issue for another day. (Tell me if you want a blog post on it? Could make an interesting Q&A style post?)
Overall, I would say I did enjoy ‘Girl Online: On Tour’ – it was a good book to ease me back into reading. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite book in the world, I did enjoy it and it started me reading again and let me write my first blog post review!
Whilst YouTubers writing books is always controversial, it makes me really happy that Zoe is one of the only ones writing fiction and probably inspiring thousands, if not millions, of young teens that creative writing is an incredible hobby!
Thank you for reading,
Uni blog: http://sophieannblogs.blogspot.co.uk/