I’ve recently finished reading Girl Online Going Solo by Zoe Sugg. This is the third instalment in her series featuring her main character, Penny Porter.
In this novel, Penny is a teenage girl in her last year of high school. She holds a blog entitled “Girl Online” and has become very famous for it. Penny is also passionate about photography and she managed to get an internship with a famous French photographer.
This third novel is much more about friendship than the two previous books were. The story questions where one particular person stands in a friendship, how to enhance that relationship when the parties bring the best out of each person, when to end a friendship when it has become very toxic if only one party is involved in it, and how to create new bonds with people without being afraid of their judgements.
I much preferred this novel to its prequel On Tour. I felt like, although Penny is the main character, she was not the centre of the story but rather the secondary characters that gravitate around her were (Megan, Elliott, Noah, Posey…) Although some easy tropes could have been avoided, and characters could have used more complexification, I enjoyed this novel. I would love to have Penny as a friend because I think she is very understanding, a good listener and non-judgemental. I liked the fact that she sets out to help another girl and that her connections and experiences could play a role.
Although I do not suffer from anxiety, I was glad to see that the subject was brought back to the forefront and, especially, the methods friends can use to help the people they know who suffer from it. I also liked it when she geeked about photography. Discussing passion, whatever they might be is always enoyable to read. The Madame Laplage school was also a good element to read, I quite enjoy schools.
I don’t know whether there will be a sequel or the trilogy is supposed to stop there. If it stops, it stops in a good place with no questions unanswered, which is good. If it continues, well, great!
I rated this novel 2.5*/5. I felt characterisation could go deeper and the narrative could be more serious. That being said, it is a great middle-grade novel.
Have you read Zoe Sugg’s books? Do you watch her Zoella videos on YouTube?