A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Girl Online: On Tour is the second teen romance novel by popular U.K. beauty and fashion vlogger Zoella (Zoe Sugg). It picks up a few months after Girl Online left off; reading the first book is not essential to understanding what's happening here. Sixteen-year-old Penny becomes a better role model as she takes some important steps toward maturing. She continues blogging, but her blog is password-protected so only a handful of trusted friends can read it. Online safety and the pitfalls of life in the social media age are briefly touched upon. Sexual content is very mild, with a few kisses that aren't described and a same-sex couple who struggle with one partner's reluctance to come out to friends and family. Penny's still surrounded by loving family and friends who model loyalty and emotional support.
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What's the story?
Despite living on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Penny and Noah have managed to keep their romance alive over the last half of the school year. Now that summer's here, Noah is going on a tour of Europe as the opening act for one of rock's hottest groups. Penny is overjoyed that she got permission to join Noah and take GIRL ONLINE: ON TOUR for the first two weeks. Finally they'll get to spend some time together while seeing some of Europe's most famous cities. But the demands of the tour are more than either Noah or Penny expected, and they hardly have any time together at all. Worse still, someone is anonymously threatening Penny and her friend Elliot to try to get Penny to leave the tour. When Noah's bandmate and best friend falsely accuses Penny of trying to kiss him, it looks like whoever wants her gone is going to succeed. How can Penny and Noah be together when they can't actually be together?
Is it any good?
Still bubbly, this second installment in Penny and Noah's romance loses some of the saccharine sweetness of Book 1 while gaining more realism as Penny starts to mature in important ways. Tweens and young teens will relate more to Penny as she experiences some frustrations on the romantic front, learns to concentrate more on others and less on herself, and starts to make better decisions for her own happiness.
Although it's somewhat predictable for genre veterans, romance lovers will enjoy going along with Penny to explore some of Europe's great cities and, of course, for the roller coaster ride that is her relationship with Noah. The ending is a big cliffhanger that will leave fans hoping for another installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Penny changes and matures over the course of the story, especially compared with what she was like in the first book (if you read it). What signs do you see that she's becoming more mature?
Do the specific products mentioned (such as Penny's Converse shoes) feel like advertising, or do they add to your understanding of a character or situation? Why mention specific products by name in a book or other media?
Penny's teacher says Penny needs to aim higher than she thinks she's capable of. Why? What are some areas where you could aim higher?
Themes & Topics
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