Series: Girl Online #1
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.
3.5 Drink Me Potions
Girl Online started off really slowly, to be honest. Penny Porter was first introduced as someone who could be klutzy, says all the wrong things when she’s around guys, and suffers from panic attacks from a car accident she was in. I like that there was an effort to introduce us into this girl’s life, but come on! I was waiting desperately for the appearance of Noah in New York (and it took a while to get there).
However, once in New York, the pace picked up a bit. There were many sweet moments between Noah and Penny, and I found it lovely to see how he seemed to accept and even enjoy the quirks that Penny was so embarrassed of. I was originally going to rate this a 3 stars at most, but their romantic night together before she left back to the UK was way too cute to not enjoy. Think fairy lights wrapped inside a tent with a picnic set out on comfy cushions within. Doesn’t that just sound swoon-worthy? And with a guy who looks like Noah does.
As the blurb implies, there’s something that Noah is keeping from Penny throughout their time together in New York. And ya know what? It’s like the most OBVIOUS secret ever. What with the few clues that were dropped into the story, I’m surprised Penny herself couldn’t figure it out. So don’t think that plot “twist” is going to be even somewhat surprising.
My favourite part would definitely be the actual blog pieces that Penny wrote as Girl Online. They are actually great topics that is relevant to anyone, and I can really see people responding to such a personality on the internet. It’s totally obvious that the author has experience blogging (or should I say, vlogging?). Either way, I LOVED them, and they tied the story together very well.
All I can say is, Girl Online is a fun read that’s not meant to be surprising or unpredictable. The whole plot pretty much went the way I thought it would. However, it’s the way the authors wrote it that kept it enjoyable. And for once, it’s a nice change of pace to see a protagonist have such a healthy relationship with her family, and with parents who still clearly love each other very much.
Girl Online is basically everything that one would expect of the book from reading its blurb. Romantic, possible heartbreak from a hidden secret, and a really hot (but mostly such a sweet!) American guy. For a debut novel by a vlogger (with the help of other writers), it was very enjoyable. With a loveable, supporting family and set in the gorgeous backdrop of Manhattan, this romance story takes a while to dive into the fun but trust me, it’s worth the wait. And in between, it may teach you a life lesson or two about facing your fears, toxic friendships and finding yourself.