Sunday, 15 January 2017

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg

Title: Girl Online: Going Solo
Author: Zoe Sugg
Published by: Penguin Random House UK
Publication date: 17th November 2016
Pages: 352
Genres: YA Contemporary/Romance/Friendship
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

As Penny starts the school year she's ready to face the world - alone. Noah has gone off the radar after ending his world tour early and no one, including Penny, knows where he is. So when she accepts Megan's invitation to visit her performing arts school it seems like an opportunity to make some new friends.

Helping everyone else seems to be the right remedy - Elliot needs her friendship more than ever, and she meets Posey, who she can really help with her stage fright. But is charming Scottish boy Callum the right kind of distraction? And can Penny truly move on when Noah's shadow seems to haunt her round every corner?

One of my favourite trilogies has come to an end, and I am so sad that it's over. Girl Online has had a bumpy ride in 'the industry' (to be said in the voice of a hipster record-label manager with an open shirt and sunglasses) but I've really enjoyed the new instalments that have popped through my letterbox every November. What am I meant to do next November? This is like when The Missing ended and my Wednesday nights were suddenly a lot less exciting/creepy. Anyway, staying on topic...

In Girl Online: Going Solo, Noah has disappeared after ending his world tour early, and only his manager knows where he is. Megan is no longer in Brighton but in London at a prestigious drama school, where not everything is as it seems. Elliot is dealing with more family troubles, and Penny is juggling heartbreak and her mental health with trying to further her photography career, move on from Noah, help out with her mum's business and help her friends who need her now more than ever. The question is, can Girl Online cope with going solo?

Related: My Picks for Future Rounds of the #ZoellaBookClub

If you hadn't realised by now, I relate to these characters so much - especially Penny - that by the end of the book, I feel like they're actual friends, and then I'm like: Amber, they're fictional, it's over, chill, move on. For a while, Penoah is simply PenPo, in which I mean Penny is on her own as Noah has disappeared. And, even though I love Penny and Noah's relationship, I liked getting to see who Penny was on her own and what she got up to, and in this time she made loads of progress with her anxiety, which I was so happy to see. Sugg has really found her footing in terms of writing, and coupled with the fact that Penny has grown, achieved personal goals, and found what is 'uniquely Penny', this is my favourite book of the trilogy. So far. Because you never know and I live in hope.

Full of feel-good vibes, Girl Online: Going Solo is perfect for fans of Cathy Cassidy and Holly Bourne. (Also, if Girl Online has given you a book hangover too, you might enjoy Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell, the Jessie Jefferson books by Paige Toon, and Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout. I've got your back.)

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