With Girl Online presents the author a beautifully written book. Zoe Sugg shows all the problems and defiance teenagers and young adults have to face in their daily life. In a refreshing and sometimes ironic and a bit sarcastic way, the protagonist Penny lets the reader be a part of her world. With a fresh and funny undertone, the reader can dive deep into the life, dreams, and hopes of a young girl. In a refreshing and sometimes ironic and a bit sarcastic way, the protagonist Penny lets the reader be a part of her world.

Girl Online*
by Zoe Sugg
Girl Online #1
Publisher Atria Keywords on November 25, 2014
Genre Children 12+
Pages 352
Format Hardcover
Source cbj

I have this dream that, secretly, all teenage girls feel exactly like me. And maybe one day, when we realize that we all feel the same, we can all stop pretending we´re something we´re not. That would be awesome. But until that day, I´m going to keep it real on this blog and keep it unreal in “real” life.
Penny lives a normal life. Well at least, for a teenager. All her thoughts, her feelings and how she sees the world she puts on her blog. And that goes very well until the moment when she falls in love for the first time and starts to blog about it. She doesn´t use any real names, but she has classmates who are jealous and envy her. And so one day Penny sees herself right in the middle of a huge shit storm and has no other choice but to close her blog. But the nightmare isn´t over yet …

It feels like sitting with her in her room, and she tells you all that, that matters to her. A big part of all is her friend next door: Elliot. He is an incredible young man, who is unconditionally open, honest and his way of style is unique. He reminded me very much of Nolan from the Hit-Series Revenge. Elliot is a nice guy, but he can be very bitchy and aggressive if someone he loves isn´t treated right. He helps Penny to see things from another perspective and is always there for her. In fact, the Porter-Family is his real family – his family by heart.

But what I liked most about Girl Online is, that the story is not only a sweet girl thing but also full of rage, embarrassment, anger, hope and a lot of growing self-confidence.
Ok, I have to admit, that I´m no teenager anymore. But all the sorrows, fears, problems and worries of a teenager haven’t changed. Only the way how pictures, events, and news get out into the world that´s changed. Today Smartphones, the Internet, blogs, YouTube and Twitter rule the world – a world that can be as dangerous and frightening as the real world. Zoe Sugg writes with wonderful words, respect and dignity about a video that goes viral and how her protagonist deals with the consequences.

Penny is a beautiful girl, with hair every girl dreams of – except for Penny. Zoe Sugg lets her protagonist go through a lot of ups and downs but also shows that Penny can, no matter what happens, count on her family. What I found very impressive, Penny is not a flashy teenager. She likes to look behind things, to get to know what lies deep down. Okay, she isn´t perfect, needs sometimes a bit time to see how her schoolmates really are (I think here most of Megan and Ollie – both of them played a very mean and selfish game with Penny) but the moment, she gets the clue, the moment she starts trusting nobody but herself and her instincts, she reacts and gets the things straight.

The author shows all that and a lot more in very convincing characters, loving and caring parents, parents who refuse to accept who their son is and all that makes this novel great delight. But I also have to say, that you can´t expect here a novel that goes far beyond things. This book was obviously written only to entertain but not to make the reader very sad or unhappy, though you as a reader feel the emotions that flow inside of Penny.

Zoe Sugg shows with a great sense of humor, how complicated and fearful the life of teenagers can be; the great magic of Christmas and a lot more in wonderful characters, a well-written story and that nothing can compare with the love and loyalty of a caring family. Girl Online is a novel that could easily describe your own life. And it is very touching and very emotional.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition published by cbj on February 23, 2015

Zoe Sugg
©Jamie Simmonds

Zoe Sugg is a vlogger from Brighton, UK. Her beauty, fashion and lifestyle vlogs have gained her millions of YouTube subscribers, with even more viewing the vlogs every month. She won the 2011 Cosmopolitan Blog Award for Best Established Beauty Blog and went on to win the Best Beauty Vlogger award the following year. Zoe has also twice received the Best British Vlogger award at the 2013 and 2014 Radio 1 Teen Awards and the 2014 and 2015 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award for UK's Favorite Vlogger, and she was named Web Star for Fashion and Beauty at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards.


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