Girl Online On Tour
by Zoë Sugg
Published: 22nd October 2015
Penny’s bags are packed.
When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.
But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online.
Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?
When Zoë Sugg revealed she was releasing a sequel to her debut, Girl Online, it’s safe to say I felt a little apprehensive. There was a fair bit of drama revolving the fact it was ghost written, and I wondered if this one would also be ghost written. As far as I know, this is a novel written by only Zoë.
I should begin by saying that I had enjoyed the first novel, as I had gone into it without a ton of expectations. As many of you probably already know, Zoë Sugg is a well-known vlogger on Youtube amassing 10million+ subscribers. With that being said, Zoë has a demographic that is mainly younger girls, and so I believe the Girl Online books are targeted for that audience. I’m a 26 year old female, and so I will not likely have the same reading experience. I’ve written this review with that in mind.
Girl Online On Tour picks up a few month after the previous instalment left off. Penny is anticipating seeing her famous musician boyfriend, Noah, for the first time in a while. She will be joining him on his tour across Europe. We find out that Penny is continuing to blog, but none of the posts appear online because of backlash she suffered through in the previous novel.
At times I found the book to be overly descriptive, going past the purpose of creating a scene for the reader. This frustrated me a little. Otherwise, the language and metaphors seem appropriate for the target audience. I liked that Penny references social media outlets etc., it reflects the generation nicely and will be relatable.
Regarding the plot, I felt it had a few devices that made the story a little more interesting – including a blackmailing troll and drama with her boyfriend. With that being said, it was incredibly predictable and at times far-fetched. I suppose because it’s a contemporary that borders on a dream world. The vast majority of 16year olds don’t get to jet off with a famous musician, and it kind of reminds me of fanfiction you find online.
Usually when I read book, it’s easy to take on the narrative, characters etc. independently from the author. However, with the Girl Online books, I find it hard to separate the material from the author’s notoriety. I’m a viewer of Zoë ‘s and the protagonist, Penny, is basically an extension of Zoë. They say to write what you know, and I suppose that is exactly what the author has done.
All of the quirky, likeable qualities that I see in Zoë shine through in her protagonist. Penny is a nice enough character, but I don’t see Penny – red hair, freckles and all – I see the 25 year old Zoë instead. That’s why I feel it seems really young, because I’m seeing Zoë instead of her character, and there’s nearly a 10 year gap in age.
Overall, it was a quick read – and despite it being predictable and at times over written, I feel like I enjoyed it for what it is was. My 13 year old self would have loved this for sure! It would have been great escapism when I was younger.
I’d only really recommend this to younger readers, in their teens and fans of Zoë.