Sunday, December 18, 2016

YA books to read: Girl Online

The first from the Girl Online series, this first novel by the Internet celebrity Zoella is a fine, well-written YA novel about coming at terms with friendship and outgrowing relationships. A clumsy British teenager facing often panic attacks after a car accident, Penny is coping with anxiety and the loneliness of growing up. She is sharing some of her stories anonymously on her blog, Girl Online. Her life is about to change after meeting a mysterious charming 18-year old Noah in New York.  
This is just the beginning of more tensions and emotions, after gossip online media brings her under the spotlight, as Noah, in fact seems to be a very promising young musician interesting enough to create media waves on the other side of the pond. 
The story has all the ingredients of a good YA story - there are some psychological pains and there is drama - besides Penny's panic attacks, there is also the story of Noah's being an orphan. There are the everyday challenges of the teenage life and their nowadays realities of the online life - from social media communication via Twitter or blogging to online bullying.  The characters don't need to do dramatic choices and are relatively well recovering even from quite dramatic experiences as for instance, being exposed online. Everything is well tempered and nothing goes too far away out of control which makes the book an easy read yet interesting enough to keep you interested until the end of the story. I must recognize I am not necessarily the target readership of the book - would love to give a try to the rest of the series as well - but I consider myself a reader always young at heart and thus, able to recognize a good book, regardless of the real age limit. 
To conclude, Girl Online is a 'cool' read, easy with some interesting and surprising twitches, the kind of book to read while on a long haul or commuting. It makes you think about friendships and helps you understand the challenges of the young people nowadays and only for that and it's worth to spend an afternoon with. 
Rating: 3-star
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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