Released: Nov. 2014
I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has - I can't believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! - and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes...
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.
The book was definitely targeted for the younger end of the teen/ young adult audience. The whole book felt a little younger and childish than other teen books I have read. The story felt like your basic teen romantic comedy, it didn't feel like an original idea. Which is sad because the idea is definitely a unique twist on the classic hidden personality story. Overall, it was not great but still enjoyable and light.
The premise of a girl with a anonymous blog following has so much potential for an awesome story especially from a You Tuber with a successful blog and knows what it is like to actually blog. She then meet a beautiful boy while on vacation and things get even better. However it was not realised it the book. The plot was definitely mainly focused on Penny's awkward life and didn't really introduces us to Noah until the story was already far along. It didn't leave much time for thing s to fall apart and deal with the aftermath, making it feel rushed and superficial.
In terms of the character, there were a lot of points where I didn't like or empathize with Penny. It felt like all these things just sort of happen to her and then she finally starts to deal with when something else happens without her fully dealing with things. One aspect of penny that I loved were her blog posts that were interspersed throughout the book. They felt real and honest and I could see why she was supposed to have a substantial following. that just didn't translate to her off screen life. The secondary characters were cool and definitely saved the book in some places. I felt like they all had these untold stories that were left out. It made them feel very one sided and undeveloped. This was especially true with Elliot, Penny's best friend. I felt like he had this whole story going on in has life and that because it wasn't about penny it was barely talked about unless it was needed for Penny's plot. I think this is part of the reason I felt like Penny was in her own world and oblivious to the problems in other parts of her life. I also felt like some of Bella, the little girl from new york, was the perfect dose of cuteness and comic relief in the book. She was bubbly and fun. Yet she had those moment little kids have where they give perfect advice that is wise beyond their years.
Overall The book was just okay. The premise sounded really cool but the book ended up feeling average and done before. The main character was unique and likable on paper but annoying in the story. I'm not sure I'll read the next one in the series unless the plot seems great or it gets amazing reviews.