Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Every time you post something online you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.


I think I have a sixth sense when it comes to blogging, not in the sense that I know anything about gaining traffic or creating content or blogging success, because I don't, but in the sense that I can always pick out the topic of blogging from conversations, even ones that I'm not in.

I'll be having a delightful conversation with my friends at a cafe, our chatter floating up to join the rest of the chatter around us, creating one undiscernible sound. I'll drift in and out, lost in my own thought, eyes losing focus and regaining it, once in awhile too lazy to make the effort to regain focus, so I'll just sit there in a content blur. And then the word "blog" cuts through the fog, bringing me to attention.

Sitting at the edge of my seat, my back so straight my mom would be proud, I cock my head to the side and parrot, "Blog?" Of course, this was picked up from a conversation a few tables down, my friends oblivious, but they know that my "blog" radar has just gone off.

So, obviously, I jump at any chance to read a fiction that has the slightest thing to do with blogging, such as Zoe Sugg's Girl Online. And that's not my only reason for reading this book. As a young adult who is quite attached to her laptop from which she watches TV shows and YouTube videos, I had a phase where I was obsessed with YouTube celebrity Zoella, just look at my first blog post EVER and you'll know (kinda embarrassing, but I'm happy to say that I've since cooled down some). I don't even use make-up (I'm too lazy to figure it out and I'm just too lazy period) or have any intention of going shopping (too tiring, and I like holding onto my money too much), but I watch her videos anyway. She's always so happy and silly and excited, and I could always do with more of that in my life.

Girl Online is about Penny, who blogs under the alias Girl Online. Sometimes being anonymous allows you to detach yourself from your identity enough so that you can be more true to it and unapologetically yourself, without fear of suffering judgement or repercussions, if ever it comes to that. (Other times, unfortunately, anonymity can be used as a cowardly scapegoat for hate, but we're not about that.)

Surprisingly, I've never felt the need to go anonymous. Even though I've revealed my identity--hi I'm Audrey--I feel like nothing more than a character, essentially anonymous, because you only see what I put forth, which is hardly the whole of me. I can see how the situation is different if it's people you know IRL who are reading your blog though. A question I get asked by my IRL friends is whether I feel weird or self-conscious about posting stuff online. Some of them ask because they're thinking about creating an online presence themself, via blog or otherwise, and are struggling to overcome this anxiety.

To me, it's the coolest thing when friends reveal to me that they're longtime readers of my blog. To any covert readers out there, please say hi! It always brings a smile to my face knowing that people who know me IRL (not necessarily people I know IRL because you cheeky monkeys hide yourselves) are taking time out of their day to read my lengthy ramblings. Like wow, out of all the things you could be doing, you're reading my blog?? I probably won't be able to muster up a satisfying response because I'll be so overwhelmed and asdfghjkl-ing internally, but I'll try my best to convey my appreciation <3


Sometimes it feels as if school is one big play and we’re all supposed to perform our set roles all the time.

I stand on the wet pebbles and stare out to sea and wait until the waves, crashing in and rolling out, coax my heartbeat back to normal.

But the thing is, even though I didn’t get any cuts and bruises on the outside, it feels as if something inside of me has broken.

“What went down well?” Mum asks, coming back to the table.
“Nothing,” I say.
“The Titanic,” Elliot says.

But then I wondered if sometimes our friendships are a bit like clothes and when they start feeling uncomfortable it’s not because we’ve done anything wrong. It just means that we’ve outgrown them. I've decided that I'm not going to try to squeeze myself into a friendship that hurts me anymore.

Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren’t actually real.

I look at the Christmas trees and the twinkling lights and the snowflakes shimmering in the air like powdered silver, and I don’t feel like I’m in a movie anymore; I feel like I’m in a fairy tale.

I’ve found that life’s a whole lot better if you get a little crazy sometimes.

How can you outgrow cake and adventure?

It turns out that chiseled cheekbones and twinkly, dimply smiles are an even better distraction than superhero alter egos and breathing techniques.

I guess it must seem kind of scary, everything being the opposite way around.

If you say "sorry" one more time I’m going to have to play you Sadie Lee’s favorite country ballad, and you wouldn’t want that, trust me. It’s called "You Flushed My Sorry Heart Down the Toilet of Despair."

We sit in silence for a moment—well, New York silence, which means there’s still a load of sirens and horns and yelling going on in the background.

Autumn has all the best colors.

Ask yourself how art makes you feel.

I smile. For years, I’ve felt insecure about my hair—that it’s too red, too long, too curly. But now I’m starting to think for the first time that it might not be “too” anything at all.

Your accident’s made you see how fragile life can be.

You’re not crazy—not at all—well, only in a very good way.

I think you might be my inciting incident.

Time is a great healer and that nothing lasts forever, not even the very worst things.

Because when you find someone who really likes you for you, and you really like them for them, you have to do all you can to not lose them.

It’s very hard to be good all of the time.

When you cry in front of someone, when you show them your most vulnerable side, it shows that you really trust them.

Every time you feel sad you should think of three happy things to chase the sad thing away.

I like you so much it might even be love.

I know the truth because this is my life story, not theirs.

No matter what happens in the future—even if I do one day, by some miracle, meet a genuine Prince Charming—no one could ever replace you. I’ll always need my best friend.

The online world isn’t real, but some of it is.

Noah grins at me. “Because, you know, I don’t say ‘I like you so much I think it might be love’ to all the girls.”

PS: eleanor & parksince you've been gonethe best of sherlock holmes, the goldfinch