Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Let's talk about: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

As I have mentioned before, I have recently become kind of obsessed with watching YouTube videos. 
I especially like the "book-tubers" but I have found quite a few others that I like to watch the occasional video from as well. 

I found Zoe Sugg's YouTube channel quite by accident. 
I was watching packing videos and came across one that she did on her channel, Zoella.
I immediately liked her.
The way she talked reminded me of Hermione.

(Side note: She was actually an extra in Harry Potter in Potions class but you don't see her. She was also an extra in Cranford.)
She is cute and seems sweet. 
From there I watched a few more of her videos. They are mostly make-up, fashion, and doing tags with her friends, boyfriend, and brother who also all have you tube channels. 
I don't watch all of her videos because, to be honest, most of them don't apply to me but I think she is adorable and I can see why people like her so much. 
She has over 8 million subscribers on YouTube and has been called "the most famous woman in Britain that you have never heard of."

When I saw that she had published a book I decided I wanted to check it out. 
I put it on hold at the library and had to wait a few months before I got my turn with it. 
While waiting, I kept hearing about the controversy surrounding the book. 
Apparently it came out that she had a ghostwriter. 
Zoe has said that the characters and story are all hers but that she did have help with the book. 
Going on Goodreads I noticed there were a lot of one star reviews but I also noticed a disturbing pattern.
A lot of the people giving the one star reviews hadn't even read the book and were giving it because 1) they don't like that a lot of YouTubers are writing books and 2) they don't like the fact that she had help with the book.
First of all, I do not think any book should be given any amount of stars that affect the way people will perceive it unless you have at least tried to read it. 
I have rated books that I haven't finished but I am rating the parts of the book that I have read. 
If you haven't even read a chapter of it, you shouldn't be rating it. 
Having said that, I went into reading this book with really low expectations. 
And because of that I was pleasantly surprised. 

It is definitely not award winning writing.
But it was a fun, quick read. 
For the most part. 

It is basically about a girl that has really bad panic attacks and lacks self-confidence. 
She decides to start an anonymous blog under the name of Girl Online so that she has a safe place to talk about her feelings and be herself without the fear of other people getting to know the real her.
She gathers a huge following. 
She ends up going to New York City (from Brighton, England) over Christmas break to get away from some really horrible things that have happened and meets Noah and very quickly falls in "like very much". 
Noah has a secret too and this leads to the drama in the story. 

There were parts that were cringe-worthy and unrealistic in a book that is supposed to be believable. 
But I still think it is an okay book. 
I ended up giving it 3 stars even though some of the book would have been less for me. 
I understood while reading it that the demographic for this book is not a woman in her thirties but rather teenage girls. 
And I know that if I had read this book when I was fifteen I would have absolutely loved it. 
So I upped the stars based on that.

*Have you heard of Zoella?
*What do you think of rating a book you haven't read?


Donna said...

I haven't heard about her but she looks adorable. I agree that it's wrong to rate a book that you haven't read at all. I think it's fine to rate based on what you've read (even if it was just the first few chapters), but it's not fair to rate something that you have no personal experience with.

cheryl said...

Yeah. She really is.
I am glad I am not the only one that thinks so. And if I rate a book I couldn't finish I always specify that as well so that if someone reads my review they know what it is based on.