Thursday, 18 December 2014

Very Honest Girl Online Audible Review || Blogmas Day 18

 So probably the most controversial book out there at the moment/ever is Zoe Sugg's Girl Online. Firstly I'd like to set a disclaimer that I do really like Zoe as a person, I've watched her videos for years and years from when she only had about 500 subscribers and I really enjoy them. However, I was very dubious when I heard Zoe was writing a book because it all seemed to come from nowhere and happen very, very fast.

The big controversial thing that has come out is that Zoe had a ghost writer behind her book. Again, I have mixed feelings about this. I can understand that she would need help considering she is not an author but she does write a blog so I feel she would have been capable of writing a novel had she been given longer to do it in. Also I feel that the fact that she had a ghost writer should have been stated by her personally rather than having the awkwardness of the press spilling the beans before she did. However I'm not overly surprised because I did have suspicions that she would have had help considering it's something completely new to her.

I got a free book download with Audible so I thought why not download this one and see what it's all about and I really wanted it to surprise me because like I said previously I do really like Zoe. Firstly the book is narrated by Hannah Tointon and I feel it would have been so much better had it been narrated by Zoe herself. With her being such a big youtuber we're so used to hearing her voice so hearing someone else tell the story just didn't sit right with me but I know it's what most authors do but that being said Zoe isn't an author...

The storyline is about a girl called Penny who suffers from anxiety and cyber bullying so turns to an anonymous blog online where she can share all her thoughts and feelings. In the story Penny flies to New York to help her mum out with a wedding she's planning and she meets Noah who she falls in love with. This story had so much potential to turn out amazingly because it had different elements that I feel are important to be shared and normalised such as anxiety, cyber bullying and the turmoil of being a teenager. It even contained the well known issue of getting into a relationship and dealing with the jealousy of your friends and low confidence with friends that put you down instead of making you feel happy. However, it just didn't work for me.

The book is definitely aimed at a fairly young audience, I would say that if you're over the age of 14 then you'd probably struggle to read this without cringing. I think the target audience for this book has been age 10-14 possibly 15 at a push. The use of words like 'awesome', 'epic' and 'yolo' are just not really words I'd expect to see in a book especially now that it's come out that it has been written by an author. I actually wouldn't have been surprised if the book had been written by Zoe herself because it just came across like an 12 year old had wrote it. There were good parts of the book too such as the blog posts, I really enjoyed that bit and feel if they'd kept it in blog post format it might not have been such a flop.

The most annoying bit for me however was the fake, overly done American accents that are in the audible version. Obviously this wouldn't be a problem if you're reading the book in paperback form but I found the audible version cringy, awkward and just plain irritating to listen too.

It makes me sad to say this but I honestly had to force myself to listen to it so that I could write a full review on it. I find it pretty disheartening that Zoe can put her name to a really poorly written book and get it in the shops when so many authors work for years on good pieces that never make it to the shop. I find myself asking do Penguin really think this is a good read? Probably not! but I'm pretty sure they see the £££££ signs that they can make if they publish a big name like Zoe's.

However, this book did start to perk up a little, about twenty chapters in I did want to listen and to find out what happened but it still did have quite a few cringe moments and I still don't think it was very well written. I definitely wouldn't call it a page turner. I think Zoe must have had some level of contribution towards the book as there were many bits that sounded like she had written it:- 'cinnamon candle', 'fairy lights', 'everytime you say something online think will this make someone happy', 'chamomile tea' and many other very Zoe like things. My personal thoughts are that she has sat down and said to someone what issues she wants to be in the book, where it should be set and little bits and pieces to go through it unless of course the author tried to sound like Zoe. I guess we will never know the full truth!

I still love Zoe and her videos and that will never change but I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless you're extremely bored or very young!

Have you read it? What did you think of it all and the ghost writer situation?

Lots of Love,

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