Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: 25th November 2014
Pages: 345 pages
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias Girl Online, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.
I’m really not sure how to approach this review if I’m honest because of all the controversy and “drama” going on. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look here, but I guess I’m not reviewing the author, but the story.
First and foremost, I knew who Zoe was before the publish of Girl Online and I frequently watch her YouTube videos and wish I was 20 all over again! What I’m trying to say is that I am not a Zoe hater and I’m certainly not hating on Siobhan Curham either. Personally if two people can form a relationship and write a novel then so be it, I can’t see why BOTH are getting hate mail, etc.
Do you know what? I actually thought Girl Online was pretty good considering it’s not designed for my age group. I read it quite quickly, which is a positive in itself.
Penny is growing up and finding it difficult to deal with her panic attacks, but with the help of her best friend Elliott and a visit to New York, she’s able to find life easier to deal with.
Any novel that deals with a common issue such as panic attacks is good with me. I’m sure everyone has experienced panic attacks before and they’re not a bad thing just a little indication that you need to slow down and breathe. Many have seen it as a bad thing, but if Zoe can use her popularity to express an issue then so be it. I’m sure Girl Online has helped a number of teenagers and that should be something to be proud of. However, one point in the story that made me go ‘hmmm’ was when Penny easily got into a car with Noah on her own when she had jusy met him for the first time. She supposedly suffered with unusual situations so why would you randomly get into a car and drive around a place you’ve never been, with someone you’ve just met? I know I wouldn’t and I’m a very trusting person!
I did find that on several occasions Penny was pretty much a loose representation of Zoe herself. If you didn’t know who Zoe was or knew anything about her life I don’t think it would matter, but to me the comparisons were too close.
All in all, it was a feel good YA novel and it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I’m guessing some reviews have been a little bit fabricated due to Zoe’s persona, but hey each to their own.
You can purchase Girl Online at Amazon UK and Hardback.