Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: Broadchurch by Erin Kelly



Title: Broadchurch
Author: Erin Kelly
Cover Artist: ITV photos
Publisher: Sphere
Release Date: 14th August 2014
Genre: Crime fiction
Page Count: 448
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: Various short stories about series 2
Movie Adaptation: The book is originally based off a television series!

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleEbay


Broadchurch is one of my all time favourite television shows and when I found this book in a shop I knew I just had to get it. The fact that it is also crime fiction just made me squeal with excitement! 

Blurb


Inspired by the first season of the BAFTA award-winning ITV series, this is the official, unmissable Broadchurch novel. Incredibly moving and containing never-before-seen material, it takes you inside the minds and motivations of the unforgettable cast of characters.
It's a hot July morning in the Dorset town of Broadchurch when Beth Latimer realises that her eleven-year-old son, Danny, is missing. As Beth searches desperately for her boy, her best friend, local police officer DS Ellie Miller, arrives at work to find that the promotion she was promised has been given to disreputable Scottish outsider DI Alec Hardy.
When Danny's body is found on the beach Ellie must put her feelings aside as she works with DI Hardy to solve the mystery of Danny's death. As the case becomes a murder investigation the news hits the national press, jolting sleepy Broadchurch into the national spotlight.
As the town's secrets begin to unravel, members of this tight-knit community begin to consider those in their midst. Right now it's impossible to know who to trust...


*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 


I don't have a lot to say about this really except for the fact that IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE TELEVISION SHOW! I could picture the actors and scenes exactly as they were played out on the show that I watched a couple of years ago. It was like my mind was watching the TV show, which I was really glad of because it meant they hadn't changed anything whilst adapting it to the book version and it is just as perfect as the show was.

This book really made me rekindle my appreciation for this series. It is just incredible. I definitely think this is the epitome of crime fiction. Amazing. If you have never watched the show, I highly recommend it to you.

One thing that was different about the book to the show, but was a very welcome addition, is that it reaches far into the character's minds and emotions which is something the television show simply couldn't do. I fully understood how Beth and Mark felt, and everyone else around them. Especially Hardy and Miller. 

Overall, I am really happy that I picked this book up because it is something that I never knew existed and now I know that there are some more short stories which I'm desperate to get my hands on!

Obviously this is 5/5 cups of tea!





About the author:


Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She has been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle. She has written a number of books including The Poison Tree and Broadchurch. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Review: Death Note Volumes 3+4 by Tsugumi Ohba



Title: Death Note II
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Cover Artist: Takashi Obata
Publisher: Viz LLC
Release Date: 8th March 2011 (Originally published 2003 in Japan)
Genre: Manga
Page Count: 392
Original Language: Japanese
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: Death Note 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Movie Adaptation: I think so? There is also an anime series

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and Noble,


You may remember on Monday that I gave you the review of the first two volumes of this manga series, and now I'm back today to bring you the review of the next instalment! 

Blurb


Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. Will Light's noble goal succeed, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?


*SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you are familiar with the book* 

This is amazing as usual!

These two volumes follow the point of the last editions where the NPA had bugged Light's entire house with cameras so that they could tell if anyone in the house was performing suspicious acts... like killing people. Light of course with the help of Ryuk finds all of the cameras - all 60+ of them - and then go about their daily killing business.

What is especially interesting about volumes 3 and 4 is that they go on to show how Light handles being Kira over time and throughout college, where the world's best detective L begins to seriously suspect him of being Kira and for the first time we see Light crumble under the pressure. He keeps his cool though, and manages to keep L off the trail by working for the NPA on the Kira case.

Basically, he joins the search to find himself. #deep

I don't want to give too much away, but some things happen that result in the introduction of a second Death Note holder, Misa, a young teen magazine model who is desperate to grab Light's attention with the use of her Death Note. She has an interesting story as to how the notebook became hers, which allows us to see a different side of the death gods. She then falls for Light whilst he has a brief moment of attraction and then continues to use her for his own benefit. Good old Light.

There is also a touching moment when L reveals to Light that he sincerely hopes that he isn't Kira because he has become his only friend. I as a reader found that so horrible to read knowing that Light is Kira and always has been. L has just wanted to fit in, and Light's company made him feel normal.

I actually didn't mind the introduction of a 'love interest' (as I guess it probably manifests into love later on?) because she is a clever girl, and although a bit clingy, is just what the series needed. She hasn't spoilt anything for me. This manga just keeps getting better!

Overall, I can't wait to get the next two volumes and read them, because I love love love this series. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future to Light and Misa! Plus in this book there was never a dull moment, which means I give it five cups of tea again.






About the author:


Tsugumi Ohba is best known for authoring the Death Note manga series with illustrator Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, which has 30 million collected volumes in circulation. The duo's second series Bakuman. (2008–2012), was also successful with 15 million in circulation. His real identity is a closely guarded secret, but there is speculation that Tsugumi Ohba is a pen name of Hiroshi Gamō, pointing out that in Bakuman the main character's uncle was a one-hit wonder manga artist who worked on a gag super-hero manga, very similar to Gamō and Tottemo! Luckyman in all aspects, and also that the storyboards drawn by Ohba greatly resemble Tottemo! Luckyman in style.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Review: Death Note Volumes 1+2 by Tsugumi Ohba


Title: Death Note I
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Cover Artist: Takashi Obata
Publisher: Viz LLC
Release Date: 18th January 2011 (Originally published 2003 in Japan)
Genre: Manga
Page Count: 392
Original Language: Japanese
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: Death Note 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Movie Adaptation: I think so? There is also an anime series

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and Noble,


A couple of years ago, I finished my GCSE's, and as a reward for my hard work my mum let me choose a book from Waterstones whilst she bought me a £20 voucher at the same time. This was the book I chose, and for someone who had never read manga before, I was really excited to read it - not to mention the cover is beautiful! Anyway, only this year did I pick it up after completing my A Levels, and HELP I THINK I'M OBSESSED.

Blurb


Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. Will Light's noble goal succeed, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?


*SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you are familiar with the book* 

Wow. Just wow.

I can't really explain how deep my love is for this manga series (or what I've read of it so far). I think anyone who is interested in the Japanese entertainment industry has read Death Note or seen the anime, and I don't know anyone who doesn't like it.

This is a review of the first two volumes of this series because I own the black edition books which put two volumes together for each book. I think this works out cheaper overall, although the black editions are about £10 each. I think they are beautiful nonetheless and would totally recommend going for these versions.

The first two volumes explore how Light copes with taking on the responsibility of the Death Note and doing it in his family home, where his father who works for the police force lives. This becomes a big problem pretty early on because people immediately notice that a lot of people in the same area in Japan are dying; mostly criminals, and mostly via a heart attack. Civilians in Japan relate this to the work of a mythical character from the past called Kira, and so everyone is on the look out for the killer.

With the only other person who knows about Light's actions being Ryuk, his death god who dropped the note in the first place, he is pretty much left to deal with the psychological torment of sentencing people to death. He starts off with just killing off criminals and dangerous people, but as others get in his way, he begins to threaten innocent people as well. 

I am so in love with this series because of the moral issues it contemplates, which are especially focused towards our protagonist Light. He is such an interesting character, and we get to analyse him and judge him on our own as we see him deal with becoming an indirect murderer of sorts. My guess? He is a sociopathic teenager who becomes disconnected with his actions because he thinks he isn't doing anything bad because its 'only a name in a notebook'. As the book continues, we see him become more disengaged with the outside world and become Kira, and he ends us enjoying the power a lot. It also doesn't help that he is so intelligent that no one, not even his own father or super-detective L, can catch him. 

With such beautiful artwork and a captivating plot, I devoured this first instalment of the series and was quite hypnotised by the characterisation, the twists, and the action. Obviously, this has to be 5/5 cups of tea!







About the author:


Tsugumi Ohba is best known for authoring the Death Note manga series with illustrator Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, which has 30 million collected volumes in circulation. The duo's second series Bakuman. (2008–2012), was also successful with 15 million in circulation. His real identity is a closely guarded secret, but there is speculation that Tsugumi Ohba is a pen name of Hiroshi Gamō, pointing out that in Bakuman the main character's uncle was a one-hit wonder manga artist who worked on a gag super-hero manga, very similar to Gamō and Tottemo! Luckyman in all aspects, and also that the storyboards drawn by Ohba greatly resemble Tottemo! Luckyman in style.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Girl Online on Tour by Zoe Sugg



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Girl Online on Tour by Zoe Sugg.


INFORMATION

Title: Girl Online on Tour
Author: Zoe Sugg
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 20th October 2015
Format Available: Hardcover, Kindle
Original Language: English
Genre: Teenage romance fiction


DESCRIPTION

The sequel to the number-one bestseller Girl Online. Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend, Noah, on his European music tour.
Penny's bags are packed. 

When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.

But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online.
Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

For those who have read my review of Girl Online, you'll know that I am really looking forward to the sequel. This isn't a book series I ever thought I would enjoy, and so knowing that it is another book to get excited about really makes me happy. 

I can't wait for this book because it goes in exactly the direction that I would personally want it to go instead of Penny staying in Brighton, and I think the plot line for the sequel is a really natural move. 

I honestly think this whole book will be on a new, more mature level, and I have a feeling that I'll like the second instalment even more than the first.

Is everyone else as excited for this book (or more excited) than I am?

Tell me your thoughts on it in the comments!


Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 1st May 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary/Coming of age
Page Count: 288
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A 

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleEbay


I have been meaning to buy and read this book for a while, and when I bought it with some of my Waterstones voucher I was really excited to read it. This is another of the books that I took on holiday with me, and I am sooo glad that I read this when I did.

Blurb


It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going through.

Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Pheonix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse... It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love - and her shattered life.

But the ghosts of Laurel's last can't be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them - before they consume her.

*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 

First of all, I just want to say THANK YOU for the diversity in this book. 

Mexican girls, darker skinned characters, girls who love girls... it is much appreciated for such a diverse range of characters in a contemporary young adult novel. You don't often see that much representation but this novel is clearly very different and I think a lot of people will respect this book for delivering what is often missing in our culture's literature.

This was some fabulous writing, and it really hit me hard. My heart was beating loudly in my chest when it occurred to me what had happened to Laurel when she was younger, and I was relieved when things were starting to look up for her at the end. It reminded me of a modern Perks of Being a Wallflower in a lot of ways, and that is one of the best books I've ever read, so I am highly praising Love Letters as well.

This book is an epistolary novel, which basically means the whole thing is composed of letters, and they were to various famous dead people. This was handled so well, because they were all arranged in a genius form and each letter related to a fact about the famous person. This was a really clever way of using letters, as sometimes in other novels they can be rendered meaningless.

Another thing that I liked, and this was a big thing for me that decided how I rated it, is that Laurel and Sky were a very fitting couple and who had a clear point to their relationship. By being together, they helped each other learn things about themselves that they wouldn't have discovered on their own, and since there was a clear reason why they were placed together, I respected the romance element to the book. 

Also, I love how being with Sky didn't fix her. So often in YA novels you find that there is a female character who is considered 'broken' and the male protagonist swoops in and becomes her saviour figure. This novel however went against this trope, which I am so grateful for, and hence why it is another reason why it was one of my most memorable summer reads.

Overall, I couldn't put this book down, and I didn't have any issues with it. My heart just wanted to protect Laurel, Hannah, Natalie, Tristan, Kristen, Sky, and May of course. I truly love these characters and they will stay with me for a long time. For this and all of the other reasons I have written about, this novel truly deserves 5/5 cups of tea.





About the author:


Ava was born in Los Angeles and grew up in New Mexico, and always had an imaginative mind as a child. When moving to LA with dreams of being a screenwriter, she did some work for Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower) and he suggested she write a novel when she showed him her writing. Thus, Love Letters to the Dead was born.

Where you can find Ava: Website, Twitter, Facebook



Tuesday, 8 September 2015

I MADE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL!



I can't believe it! After a long time of considering the idea of creating a YouTube channel for my book blog, I finally got up this morning and decided to film my first video!

My first video is an audio and visual version of my review of The Secret Fire by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld, since the book is going to be available in bookshops on the 10th September, and so I wanted to talk about it before it was out.

If you like my video, like it and leave a comment, and if you want to see more feel free to subscribe! 

I had lots of fun making this and I hope you enjoy watching it.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Review: The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher by Ahn Do-hyun



Title: The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher
Author: Ahn Do-hyun
Cover Artist: Daniella Terrazzini
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 9th April 2015 (in England)
Genre: Contemporary Fable
Page Count: 128
Original Language: Korean
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A 

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesEbay


I picked this up in Waterstones a few months ago because it looked really cute. The cover is a beautiful matte grey with embossed shine on the waves of the ocean and the title font, and it caught my eye immediately. I decided to take it with me when I went on holiday, and it was a really enjoyable little read!

Blurb


The life of the salmon is a predictable one: swimming upstream to the place of its birth to spawn, and then to die.
This is the story of a salmon whose silver scales mark him out as different - who dares to leap beyond his fate. It's a story about growing up, and about aching and ardent love. For swimming upstream means pursuing something the salmon cannot see: a dream.
Translated for the first time into English, The Salmon Who Dared To Leap Higher is a wise, tender and inspiring modern fable about finding freedom and a harmony with nature we have either forgotten or lost in the binding realities of life.


*SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you are familiar with the story


This was a cute fable-like story. In fact, I have no idea what genre this actually is, and so I just labelled it as a contemporary fable. 

The story is about a shoal of salmon trying to safely travel upstream and the struggles that come with the journey, even though it is something they do each year. Silver Salmon is a different colour from the rest of his group and so he ends up feeling lonely, as none of the other Salmon really bother with him. The novel explores what it is like as a salmon to have to cope with such dangerous journeys and also how Silver Salmon grows to be a leader, meeting and falling for Clear-Eyed Salmon along the way. It is also interesting to enter the mind of a salmon falling in love for the first time, and not really know what that is or how to handle it, because he is in fact a salmon.

It is a very different read, as the protagonist was a salmon. Like, an actual fish. And so were the rest of the characters. I really liked this strange aspect, but I know that many people might not be able to cope with there being zero humans in it, and some people may not think the idea of talking fish is very appealing, so just bear that in mind when considering to buy this book.

It is also very interesting to read Korean work, as I have never ventured this area of literature before. Again with my comment about people maybe being put off by it being a book about fish - it isn't the 'norm' for Western novels and romances to not involve humans, but I think that this is one of the beautiful things about reading literature from other cultures. I'd tell you to give it a go, but you all have your own minds and I'm sure you'll know if this is a book for you or not.

Silver Salmon + Clear-Eyed Salmon = OTP. I'm all for that deep sea fish shipping.

Overall, the book was really nice all around. I wasn't in a particular rush to read it, and it ended up being interesting but not gripping. I think it lacked passion and emotion in places, but it was really poetic and so it was like a piece of art instead. As a cross between a children's tale and an adult book, it was a really weird reading experience but I liked it a lot! So, I think this book deserves a solid 3/5 British cups of tea.




About the author:


Ahn Do-hyun is an award-winning author and poet from Korea who studied Korean Literature at Wonkwang University. His writing career took off when he won the Daegu Maeil Shinmun Annual Literary Contest with his poen 'Nakdong River' in 1981, and he has gone on to receive many more awards since then for his work.


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Why We Bother so much with our Friends



Friends take a lot of effort. 

In primary school we struggle to make them, what with such little knowledge of how to establish a connection with strangers, and to find topics to talk about so you keep their interest. At age six, what have we to talk about? The majority of us have had little life experience by this age; no gossip to indulge in (since our parents told us to play in our rooms when they had other grown-ups around the house), no crushes or heartbreak to cry about (do we even know what having a crush feels like? How are we meant to know if we like that person of the opposite sex that society has taught us we should have feelings for?) and no crazy nights out to reminisce on in the playground (the craziest we've every gotten is when we had too much fizzy pop when we were bowling with our parents and almost threw up over the already-slippery floors before our mum rushed us over to the loos). 

In secondary school, throughout the ages of eleven to sixteen, we struggle to keep them. Watching too many tween television shows that involve stringing random sentences together to make them look 'random' and a lot of screaming and heightened drama in general has a strong effect on us, even though we would never admit it, and together with hormones create enough petty arguments and general bitchiness to last us a lifetime. We can't go one day without talking about each other behind our backs and we know one of our friends has a grudge against us but we can't figure out why. 

But still, we carry on and act as though everything is fine and try to make life as comfortable for each other as we possibly can.

At the end of our high school lives, when we are about eighteen, we suddenly realise that we haven't had an argument in our Facebook group chat for an entire year and we are no longer afraid that our friends are talking about us behind our backs, because we haven't heard a piece of second-hand information from them about anyone in our group for so long that we feel like our friendship has regenerated from the Ninth Doctor to David Tennant's Tenth Doctor Who extravaganza. We have finally grown up and it feels great, and our friendships have solidified... kind of like when you put a bottle of water in the freezer and a day later the whole thing is a block of ice.

We bother with our friends for so long because we know the final outcome is going to be brilliant. We put up with the awkward stages of meeting them and then coping with them for countless years, just so we can have perfect moments later on.

We put up with each other whilst we are growing up so that when we are grown up we can have the funniest parties, the best late night walks, the most beautiful Bonfire Night, the deepest conversations, and the cosiest nights in baking and watching anime films.

Sure, there is still a lot to do even when we are at that most perfect stage of friendship. We have to clean the whole house from top to bottom even though our friends don't care how messy we are, we have to buy the Coca Cola and meat feast pizzas even though fizzy drinks make you sick and you're a vegetarian just so our friends feel comfortable, and we have to take time out of our day to speak to them when they're upset even when we've got that really important assignment due in the morning.

We bother so much with our friends because it has taken us that long to form a sold and long-lasting, meaningful relationship, that there is no choice but to keep going and see what more there is to friendship. 

We bother so much with our friends because, if we have good ones, they are worth every second of our time and every ounce of our love. And they earned that time and love because they bothered so much with us too.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King.

INFORMATION

Title: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Page Count: 496
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Release Date: 3rd November 2015
Format Available: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio Download, Audio CD
Original Language: English
Genre: Thriller 


DESCRIPTION

A thrilling collection of twenty stories - some brand new, some published in magazines, all entirely brilliant and assembled in one book for the first time - with a wonderful bonus: in addition to his introduction to the whole collection, King gives readers a fascinating introduction to each story with autobiographical comments on their origins and motivation...
The No. 1 bestselling writer has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of novellas and short story fiction since his first collection NIGHT SHIFT was published. He describes the nature of the form in his introduction to the book: 'There's something to be said for a shorter, more intense experience. It can be invigorating, sometimes even shocking, like...a beautiful curio for sale laid out on a cheap blanket at a street bazaar.'
In THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS there is a curio for every reader - a man who keeps reliving the same life, repeating the same mistakes over and over again, a columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries, a poignant tale about the end of the human race and a firework competition between neighbours which reaches an explosive climax. There are also intriguing connections between the stories; themes of morality, guilt, the afterlife and what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past.
Effervescent yet poignant, juxtaposing the everyday against the unexpected, these stories comprise one of King's finest gifts to his constant reader as well as to those fascinated by the autobiographical insights in his celebrated non-fiction title ON WRITING.
'I made them especially for you', says King. 'Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.'

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

The idea of having twenty short horror and thriller stories in a book is heaven to me. You can choose one at random, be shocked and scared and experience all of the emotions you would normally have during a King book but at a quicker pace. For any thrill-seekers out there like me, who search for the highest and fastest rides at a theme park and need some adrenaline in their reading, this is the book for us.

I can't wait for this book because Stephen King is a legend in the literary world and this book looks AMAZING. And the examples of the short stories just make me wish for the book to be released quicker so I can read them. 

Who else can't wait for the latest book from Stephen King? 

Does this book sound like it would appeal to you?

Let me know in the comments!


Review: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg



Title: Girl Online
Author: Zoe Sugg
Cover Artist: Getty Images et al
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: November 25th 2014
Genre: Teen Romance 
Page Count: 352
Original Language: English
Format Read: Hardcover
Other books in series: Girl Online On Tour
Movie Adaptation: N/A (but I'm sure there will be one day)



I've been meaning to read this book for so long, but I'll be honest, I was initially put off by the bad press. But oh my god (just imagine Janice from Friends saying it) I cannot begin to describe how much I ended up enjoying this book. On to the review!

Blurb


Penny has a secret.

Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, her crazy family and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah: a gorgeous, guitar -strumming American. 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. 



*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 


I was really pleasantly surprised at this book in general. I shouldn't have waited this long to read it, and I truly regret not giving it a go. Sorry Zoe!

One thing to consider before reading this book, especially if you are a bit older, is that this book is directed towards young teenagers. And I'm talking the youngest on the scale. So if you have a problem with the preppy tone of the narrator and toned-down language, then I'd advise against it. But honestly? That didn't matter to me. Some of the descriptions were a little bit 'childish' (I can't think of a better word) but it was hardly noticeable after a few chapters. And it really did work for this novel, I felt. It is about a young girl experiencing her first proper crush, and that writing style worked perfectly.

The story was interesting. The unicorn knickers story was HILARIOUS. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of humour in this book, and it balanced out the darker tone of the novel which was Penny's anxiety.

As a person who suffers with anxiety, I never thought I'd find a book that would so realistically portray the feeling of panic and panic attacks. This was another thing that surprised me, and because of the way it is handled I have so much respect for this book.

Other things: I loved Penny and Elliot's friendship, and the strong bond they have. The settings continually gripped me - especially that secret restaurant in New York with the fish wall that lit up!

There are a few trigger warnings to take into account before reading this book, although it shouldn't stop you from appreciating it. There is the frequent mention of Anxiety and Penny's psychological struggle with it that is described, mentions and examples of school bullying, and betrayal. If you are triggered by any of these things then don't read it as there is probably not one page that doesn't mention one element, but if it is safe for you to do so then I would really recommend this book.

Overall, Girl Online is very enjoyable, with Penny being a character that I strongly connected with and was frighted for the entire time I was reading it on my way to France for my holiday. Yep, I ended up being glued to this book on the car journey and ended up feeling sick afterwards because apparently you're not supposed to read in cars...

But it was just that good.

It is a book I would definitely re-read, and I should have had more faith in it and read it sooner. I'm giving it three cups of tea because of it's tone of voice that's directed towards a younger audience, but it is a very high three, and a very well-deserved one at that.





About the author:


Zoe Sugg is an English fashion and beauty bloggerYouTuber, and now a best selling author. She is best known by her nine million viewers on YouTube as Zoella. Her debut novelGirl Online, was released in November 2014 and broke the record for highest first-week sales of a first-time novelist since Nielsen BookScan began compiling such records in 1998.