If I’m perfectly honest I wasn’t going to write a review on this book. Why? I was worried I’d be too harsh on it. So why did I read it?
1. I’ve been watching Zoella’s YouTube channel for a few years now and following her blog. If it wasn’t for the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr, I probably wouldn’t have realised what a great community the blogging world is. So I’m a huge Zoella fan and wanted to support her by buying her books
2. I’d already read the first two in the series, so I was hardly going to turn down an opportunity to see what was happening with Penny and Noah.
So back to my first question (to myself), why did I not want to put a review up…
1. It’s a YA book, which isn’t the type of book I’d usually pick up.
2. Leading on from that, the writing style is for a much younger audience and sadly this means I’ve outgrown some of the drama that goes on in a teenager’s mind
3. It’s a book that has been reviewed by dozens of bloggers already, so I doubted my review would make an impact
But the more I read it, the more I realised that I wanted to capture my thoughts on this story and it was because of one key reason: there is so much of Zoella in this story, it’s as though she’s taken her own memories of Brighton and her anxiety and gave them to Penny. It was a refreshing change to read something that felt so personal, a complete and utter change from my usual thriller genre – although I must admit if I read a thriller that had such a personal touch, I’d be concerned!!
Yes, I’m definitely of the opinion that the writing style needs work (although it’s come on leaps and bounds since the second) but what this book offers teenagers is pure gold. It’s advice on how to treat others, how to deal with anxiety, how to embrace every moment and how to achieve your goals. In a world where social media forms such a large proportion of teenagers day-to-day lives, this book provides a positive outlook on how the internet can be a platform for good. It’s motivating and comforting at the same time. Zoella has created an agony aunt persona, where Penny deals with the nightmares that face teenagers everyday.
The story picks up with Noah still AWOL and Penny trying to carry on with her life. When she meets Callum; a Scottish hunk, Penny realises that perhaps it’s time to move on… and as destiny brings Callum and Penny together at a romantic wedding, things are looking good! Then Noah returns. And everything feels weird all over again! Whilst Penny decides what her heart wants, a new friend – Posey – becomes the perfect distraction. Penny sweeps in to help Posey with her stage fright with a little extra help from a certain famous friend. The last few chapters were the most dramatic, I was shocked by what Elliot decided to do… it was a definite cry for help.
So for all you YA lovers out there, put this on your TBR list… but if you’re like me and your favourites include classics from Grisham, Riley, Redmond and Ribchester, this might not tickle your tastebuds!
Until next time, Chloé x