And here's what I think . . .
I picked up Girl Online for the simple fact that it was breaking sales records left and right. I had certainly never heard of "Zoella" before. And then???? Then I found out the "author" (maybe, seems she didn't even write this piece of garbage at this point) was someone who became famous via You Tube. No offense to all you YouTubers out there, but someone who became famous for vlogging is not someone I would automatically equate with having the ability to write a novel. Lucky for us all (not) - this is the age where every Joe Blow seems to be getting an automatic extension on their 15 minutes of fame in order to make an extra dollar or twelve.
But like I said, I didn't know anything about this book or the author upon starting. When I read the synopsis, I figured I would at least enjoy this little story. I read (and like) a lot of young adult selections and I'm 100% addicted to a certain program about a girl with a blog . . .
For those of you who (like me) are unfamiliar with this book, the premise is as follows: Penny is your average awkward teenager. She's a little clumsy and a lot unsure about her looks. In order to connect with others like herself, Penny starts a blog called GirlOnline where she can express herself anonymously. All is well until she starts blogging about a mystery man she met and romanced while visiting New York City with her family . . . and it turns out he is not only a little famous but also has a famous girlfriend to boot.
Sounds clichéd, but potentially adorable right? Yeah, notsamuch. While the clichés and overused storyline could have been forgiven, the horrible writing and terrible characters cannot.
Some of the problems are:
1. This "blog" by an anonymous rando goes from zero to 10,715 followers in less than a year. The problem? She writes about NOTHING - just her day-to-day bullshit life.
There's no way she'd get that kind of following. Now THIS chick???
She's someone who deserves a following. HI. LAR. IOUS.
2. Absentee parents. This time around they are disguised as overworked party planners, but they still let their 15 year old daughter go off with a complete stranger in NYC.
3. Penny is sooooooo stupid:
"In a way, it's nice to know that "panic attacks" are an actual thing . . . "
"A really cold faraway land like Russia or Norway (it's cold in Norway, right?)"
"Black-and-white photos are my favorite - they're like little moments of history captured forever." (Uhhhhh, aren't all photos a little moment of history captured forever????)
4. And, of course, INSTALOVE.
"I still don't really know very much about Noah, on some deeper level it feels like I've known him forever. Is this what it means when people talk about meeting their soul mate?"
The one near positive about the whole mess? Penny's BFF and his voice of reason:
"How can you be in love with this guy if you only just met him?"
'Zactly. Unfortunately, even he wore thin after awhile.
According to Goodreads I've read 215 books this year. Girl Online will easily make the Top 10 worst of those books. The only thing I can say I truly enjoyed? This line:
"Prince Charming wasn't a cheater and Cinderella wasn't a ho."
Which was probably supposed to make me feel really sorry for Penny, but somehow had me cracking up instead. Whoops.