Gone are the days when Youtube was just a simple video sharing website, a platform for jokey videos or embarrassing mishaps and nowadays it often represents a lucrative business opportunity. Big cooperations are quick to seek out video making opportunities and a recent episode of Apprentice, which was based around the concept, demonstrates it’s new fond importance to the business world. Yet alongside the advertising opportunities that it has offered businesses, individuals are also using the platform to carve themselves out profitable careers, among them is of course the ever bubbly Zoella.
Zoella is the perfect example of this new found celebrity genre, yet not quite satisfied with having reached a whopping 6,624,589 and becoming youtube’s beauty gem, this week Zoe Sugg released her debut novel. Entitled Girl Online, the novel follows Penny Porter, a clumsy and loveable teen from Brighton who writes an anonymous blog in a bid to understand her frustrating teen life. Much like thousands of other books in the young female genre, main character Penny eventually meets a young man and a romance follows. Yet where this plot differs is the way that Sugg carefully and cleverly addresses mental illness, particularly the subject of panic attacks. I think I’ve mentioned previously that the internet and the likes of Zoella (who has been inspiringly open about her personal battle with mental illness) and others have inspired me to write about my own battles and I admire her for adding this dimension to this book. It’s crucial that young people understand that mental health, while complex and individualistic, is also something that many of us battle and Zoe is helping people talk.
The book wasn’t for me but then again I am 24 and this is definitely aimed at a younger audience. It wasn’t by any means the worst book ever but the plot just seemed a but blah and I found Penny unrealistic. Yet I can imagine that if i was younger, I would have been quiet taken by the love story.
And you can be too, as I am giving away a copy of Girl Online. All you have to do is follow and leave a little comment below!