Despite the fact that much of my work is online-based, and that I\u2019m an active member of a number of online communities, I had never heard of Zoe Sugg or \u2018Zoella\u2019 before reading Girl Online. It turns out that Zoe Sugg, from Brighton in the U.K. known as \u2018Zoella\u2019 to her readers, is quite the Vlogger super star.\r\n\r\nSugg has nearly 7 million subscribers to her Youtube channel, 2.75 million Twitter followers and over 2 million likes on her official Facebook page\u2026 It\u2019s safe to say that this 24 year old blogger is doing pretty well for herself, especially now she\u2019s landed a two book deal with Penguin.\r\n\r\nZoe Sugg, aka vlogger 'Zoella' has released her first novel 'Girl Online'...\r\n\r\nHer first novel Girl Online was released in November 2014, to reach a New York Times best-seller status within weeks (selling over 78,000 hardback copies in the first week alone).\r\n\r\nGirl Online follows the story of Penny, a teenage girl who has turned to blogging to help her through the roller coaster years of adolescence. Penny and her best friend Elliot are inseparable as they face the challenges of a high school play, parental expectations and trips abroad. Tackling a number of themes increasingly relevant to today\u2019s youth such as cyber bullying, coming to terms with sexual orientation, out-growing friendships and experiencing first love, Girl Online is a perfect entry point for young teenage girls looking to test the waters\u00a0of\u00a0YA romance.\r\nEvery time you post something online you have a choice.\r\n\r\nYou can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world - or you can make it something that takes away" - Zoe Sugg,\u00a0Girl Online.\r\nAlthough I felt a little underwhelmed \u00a0in Sugg\u2019s G-rated blogger-meets-boy saga, it did\u00a0raise some important issues, particularly for young people just starting to use social media and blogs. Sugg does a solid job of showing just how quickly followers and 'friends' can turn into\u00a0'haters', without having heard both sides to a story. However, as a more mature reader, I would have liked the issues explored in more depth - perhaps with some references to recent current events, as well as the risk and permanence of publishing content online.\r\n\r\nGirl Online would be appealing to young girls from the age of 11 - 16, but as an older reader\u00a0it\u00a0felt a little sugar-coated and predictable.\r\n\r\nThe incredible success of Zoe Sugg's debut novel has been called into question with suspicions of it being ghost written... Image Credit: Zoella\r\n\r\nDespite the simplicity of the story line, and my desire for more depth and info\u00a0regarding Penny\u2019s blog and her miraculous increase in followers, I couldn\u2019t help but let Girl Online pull me along with ease. It was a pleasant read. Definitely one for the little sisters.\r\n\r\nWhile the above sums up what I thought about the novel itself, I feel as though I cannot end this review\u00a0without referring\u00a0to the hype and rumours that emerged shortly after Girl Online shot to success... It has recently been revealed that Sugg's\u00a0first novel is not entirely her own work. Penguin released the following statement:\r\nThe factual accuracy of the matter is simply that Zoe Sugg did not write\u00a0Girl Online on her own...\u00a0For her first novel,\u00a0Girl Online, Zoe has worked with an expert editorial team to help her\u00a0bring to life her characters and experiences in a heartwarming and compelling story.\u201d\r\nAlthough\u00a0ghostwriting is nothing new, especially in the era of celebrity-turned-author, I still found this revelation a little disheartening. No doubt Sugg has put thousands of hours into her blog and social media, and has worked incredibly hard to get where she is, but\u00a0Girl Online\u00a0was now, at least in my eyes, simply a\u00a0financially-savvy move by Penguin; knowing just how many followers and subscribers of Sugg's would flock to the nearest Waterstones to buy it. While Sugg has maintained that the characters and story are her own, it leaves\u00a0Girl Online in a strange space on the shelf. It's not entirely ghostwritten, but there's no cited co-author either.\r\n\r\nFor the most part, I doubt this will be an issue for its younger readers, but as a recent publishing graduate and an author myself, it certainly leaves me feeling a little conflicted.