Yep, I read it. *hangs head in shame* Here is what I thought of Girl Online on Tour.
Girl Online On Tour
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?
I didn’t necessarily plan to read (and/or review) Girl Online On Tour, but when my traffic literally tripled when I posted my review of Girl Online…. well… I would be silly not to! *wink wink* Shout out to my local library for giving into the demands of the (surprisingly large for a seaside town) group of YouTuber fans that asked for this novel to be ordered in, so that I didn’t have to spend money on a copy.
In Girl Online on Tour, we follow Penny as she accompanies her “rock god boyfriend” Noah on his European tour. Of course, there are bumps in the road that challenge Penny and Noah’s relationship.
Girl Online On Tour is exactly as you can imagine. It is a teenage dream. Just imagine, you and your rock star boyfriend (that all the girls want but he only has eyes for you) travelling around Europe, seeing the sights, soaking in the culture. What could go wrong? Oh yes, an interfering bandmate, a blackmailing stalker and a boyfriend that you hardly see, despite being promised various “magical mystery days”. Sigh. Why did they have to be included again? Who does those above the age of 10? Anyway….
To my dismay, there was no shenanigans in this novel. There was a slight hint, where Penny asked Noah if he could stay with her in her hotel room for a bit longer… *raises eyebrows* to which Noah responded that he wasn’t going to break Penny’s parents’ rules and quickly scarpered back to his separate hotel room. In a way, this is good that Noah isn’t pushy and respects Penny’s boundaries, but when you consider teenagers today this situation would be very unlikely. Firstly, when I was 16 I wasn’t allowed to sleep in the same room as my boyfriend at the time, and we were in a house with his parents. Not in Europe, away from all parental supervision! My boyfriend had to sleep downstairs, and if he tried to sneak upstairs to me the creaky staircase would give him away. Oh, to be young again! *sighs* Secondly, I’ve eavesdropped on a few teenage conversations on the train recently (it’s all research for my own novel, I swear) and believe me, they are not as innocent as this novel would want to think.
It also amuses me how Penny didn’t have a period for the entirety of her trip. Surely she could have mentioned packing some pads or something? I mean, if we can subtly hint about Noah’s bandmate (and best mate) having an alcohol problem, surely Penny can dig out those horrible grey knickers from the first novel to be her period pants? Come on now, periods happen. They happen every 28 days to be precise. #MorePeriodsInYAPlz
I appreciated the message in the novel that Penny didn’t want to be defined by her relationship with Noah; she wanted to have her own life, doing what she wanted to do. I said in my Girl Online review that I wished it had that “Penny don’t need no man” message, so I suppose it’s better late in the sequel then never at all.
Just in case you were wondering, Penny’s blog “Girl Online” is as terrible as ever. Good lord, would anyone genuinely read it in real life? I struggle to see how her blog fitted into this story, considering most of the book is focused on Penny and Noah.
Penny’s best friend Elliott returns, and this time he has a boyfriend. Thankfully, he is a lot more bearable in this novel. However, Elliot and his boyfriend break up. Penny hatches a big reunion to get them back together, and this culminates in a beach front serenade complete with music, candles and all their loved ones. Whilst this did sound like a lovely gesture, it also seemed massively over the top for a teenage couple. It would have much more suited reuniting Penny’s parents, a relationship that had lasted a long time and needed a “grand” gesture, compared to a teenage relationship that had just started, and probably would break up again. What was wrong with having them meet up over a #cheeky Nandos, reuniting over the peri-peri chicken?
Girl Online On Tour was touted as ending on a “cliff hanger” but I would disagree. It’s not really a cliffhanger; it’s an ending depending on how you personally interpret it. I suppose it’s good that it is left open to interpretation as hopefully it will make those reading think twice about the ending, and emphasises that not everything needs to have an “ending”... y’know? #deep
I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it. It was alright. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was certainly easy to read, and easy to follow, with enough twists and turns to keep you reading. Girl Online On Tour didn’t frustrate me as much as Girl Online did, and I didn’t have a long list of problems after finishing the book like I did with Girl Online! I gave it two stars on GoodReads; not an amazing novel, but certainly readable.
I have to say that I definitely noticed a change in the tone of the novel. It felt a bit more “slick” and “polished” compared to Girl Online, which I felt came across as being clumsy and childish. Whilst there hasn’t been a ghostwriter scandal with this novel, there is a large team of editors acknowledged in the back of the book. Take from that what you will. *shrugs* That is all that I am saying on the matter.
I’m not sure if there is another Girl Online book in the pipeline, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was. Love it or loathe it, the Girl Online books have not only been massively successful in a commercial sense, but they’ve also encouraged young girls and boys to get excited about books. I suppose we should be happy that they are reading something that isn’t a Tweet! Personally, I am waiting for Zoe to write a tell-all autobiography in a few years exposing the dark, seedy world of YouTube. I’ll even be her ghostwriter… *wink wink* (#sorrynotsorry)
Come on, own up! Who’s read Girl Online?