Series: Girl Online #2
Published by Penguin on October 22, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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?
Girl Online On Tour, Zoe Sugg’s follow up to her massively successful first novel, Girl Online, kept the campy, corny feel of its predecessor while expanding Penny’s world view, something I appreciated as a reader. And that’s why Girl Online On Tour works.
In this sequel, our favorite klutz Penny gets a taste of her rockstar boyfriend’s life, joining him on a three-week tour across Europe. What 16-year-old girl wouldn’t love that? But what was supposed to be a fun few weeks of sightseeing and magical mystery days turns into a whole lot of dismissive bandmates and time spent alone. And with Penny’s online life dwindled down to a private blog that only three people have access to, she begins to feel more and more alone.
So let’s talk about what Girl Online On Tour does right. I’m OBSESSED with the fact that Sugg didn’t pit girls against girls in this novel. The fact that Megan, her ex-best friend and nemesis from Girl Online, becomes a bit of an ally, as well as Leah Brown’s presence and friendship in the novel towards Penny is such a huge and necessary step in YA fiction. It’s nice to see a realization in this novel that hello there are outside conflicts besides girls being mean to one another that occur in a 16-year-old’s life. Girl power, and all that!
I also really like that Sugg let Penny find herself in this novel, and we got to watch her grow and find confidence in herself that wasn’t present in Girl Online. It happens gradually, but when it all gets fully realized, it’s a super sweet and wonderful moment. And in large part, this has to do with Sugg’s expansion of Penny’s world in Girl Online On Tour, bringing in new characters, problems, and concepts that don’t simply revolve around Penny herself.
One thing that I wasn’t huge on was how predictable I found the ending to be. It was easy to decide who was working against Penny and Noah, versus who was truly on their side as both individuals and a couple. I wanted a little bit of surprise, but the predictability was almost inevitable in order for Sugg to tell Penny’s story as she planned.
All in all, I’m super pleased with Girl Online On Tour and definitely recommend it to fans of the original. My only warning – if Sugg doesn’t write a third novel in the series, there might be some pretty upset fans considering View Spoiler »Noah and Penny aren’t an item at the end of the novel. Eek! « Hide Spoiler.