This contains spoilers for Girl Online, for which this particular book is the sequel too. I have a review of it here if you’re interested, so go check that out first!
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?
While I enjoyed reading the extremely hyped sequel to Girl Online, I have quite a few issues with it.
The general prose throughout the book was very plain and straightforward. After reading Girl Online, I didn’t have very high expectations anyway, and this was something along the lines of what I expected. There was so much potential in so many of the characters and plot elements that could’ve been explored, but I wasn’t entirely convinced of the nature of them.
I think the main problem for me was that there was too many events set up in the first 200 pages of the book, and there wasn’t enough time to resolve all of them. So much was crammed into the space of the 300 pages and as a result, everything felt really rushed. There were certain scenes that I thought were quite unrealistic as a result of being too rushed. There wasn’t enough time for all the characters to develop, especially since there were so many new characters introduced in this book. The plot itself was extremely rushed, and I could sense that while reading. It was all a bit too dramatic, and quite unrealistic too. Who would seriously let a sixteen year old girl go off on tour with an international pop star?
Like I mentioned above, we’re introduced to a whole cast of new characters. Most of these are a part of Noah’s tour entourage, but there’s also Elliot’s boyfriend, Alex. Alex literally appears from thin air, and while the backstory is explored in the book, there wasn’t very much depth, just recounting how they came to be. There was so much room for character development in Alex that I didn’t see, and so I was a little disappointed. Another character who I thought could’ve also been fleshed out bit better was Larry. While he was a nice guy, as a character, he was very two-dimensional. There’s not very much depth into his character development. My last point is Dean, Noah’s manager. We’re introduced to him at the beginning of the book, but then we don’t see very much of him until the climax of the story. Considering he plays an integral role in the story, the amount of page time he gets doesn’t really amount to the role he plays in the story. I’m just a bit disappointed that the character development wasn’t done very well, since there’s so much potential.
Speaking of character development, I thought that Noah was someone who turned for the worse. Especially at the end of the book, where he tries to redeem himself. I quite disappointed with the way things turned out. I also thought that Megan was redeemed out of the blue. There’s really no logical explanation (well not a clear one) on why she does, and her character also took a turn for the worse.
Some plot elements were also not explained very well, and I think this in part is due to the rushed pace of the book. It’s not really explained how Leah and Penny’s friendship really hit off, and also I thought that the explanation of Alexiot could’ve also been much clearer, if there hadn’t been so many events that were happening in the book.
However, there were still some cute moments throughout the book that I thought were very enjoyable. The scene where Leah takes Penny out to go shopping was one of them, and also when Penny helping out with Alex towards the end of the story. They were just really sweet to read about, but I do think they could have been executed better.
Overall, while it was an enjoyable read, there were some things that could’ve been explained better, in addition to the lack of character and plot development. If you’re desperate to find out what happens to the characters, I would recommend it, but it is definitely not a literary endeavour I would recommend to every one.
(Fun fact: I’m currently using my physical copy of this as a mousepad)