A Light Pick-me-up
British YouTuber, blogger and internet personality Zoe Sugg, better known as "Zoella", released her second novel recently. Titled "Girl Online: On Tour", this is a sequel to her debut novel from last year, "Girl Online."
If you aren't familiar with the first book, then here's what you need to know. The main character is sixteen year-old Penny Porter, a walking-talking definition of a klutz and extremely prone to anxiety attacks. She lives in Brighton with her parents and an older brother, and has a simple life for the most part. During an impromptu trip to New York, she meets Noah, your basic good-looker-with-great-hair. They end up falling in love, but he keeps a large secret from her for most of the time (Spoiler: he's actually a singer-songwriter superstar) which shakes up their relationship quite a bit, but they do manage to patch things up in the end.
The second book starts with a slight time gap since the first— there seems to have been a birthday and a Christmas in the meanwhile, and clearly the long-distance relationship is taking a toll on Penny. However, she has the most exciting summer of her life to look forward to— a two-week trip with Noah and his band as they tour Europe. Her excitement is reflected in her best friend, Elliott, who happens to be a whiz with facts and is constantly bombarding her with interesting tidbits about the places she ought to go visit.
However, their trip does not go as planned— Noah becomes busy with his concerts, and Penny is left alone in hotels for the most part. She is also haunted by an internet predator "TheRealTruth" who threatens to break the couple apart. The only source of comfort Penny has in all this is her blog, where she used to blog publicly as "Girl Online" but now blogs privately as "Girl Offline". Can Penny and Noah tough out this tiring summer? Will TheRealTruth get what they want? Will Penny become "Girl Online" again? To know the answers to these, you'll need to pick up the book.
It's a very simple and easy read. Though it labels itself as a book for young adults, it doesn't quite have the brilliance or complexity of other YA books. The title "On Tour" is also slightly misleading, unless staying inside hotel rooms in different countries counts as being on tour for you. Penny develops slightly more as a character since the first book, but Noah becomes a lot less charming and a lot more annoying. The introduction of a few new characters keeps the story interesting— the bodyguard, Larry, is a personal favourite of mine.
If you're looking for a light-hearted, post-break-up, pick-me-up kind of read, then this might be the book for you.
Nifath Karim Chowdhury likes to doodle all over her notebooks, textbooks and life. Send her a virtual high-5 at [email protected]