The name Zoe Sugg might not register right away, but Zoella probably brings you back to your early teens, upon first discovering the female blogosphere (and its wonders of glitter eyeliner tutorials). Sugg, the blogging sensation and brains behind Zoella, archives back to 2009, when YouTube beauty gurus were sparse and fashion hauls were a new concept. Never picking a particular niche, Zoella instead opted to blog on everything girl-centric: beauty, clothes, and goodies in general, sprinkled with self-empowered opinion pieces on body image and her issues with anxiety growing up. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the beautiful Brit decided to venture into giving teens advice, but the medium she chose was definitely unexpected.
Sugg’s first novel Girl Online was published November 25. The book, which is young adult fiction, follows teen outcast Penny as she blogs her way through the complicated world of boys, tumultuous friendships, and general high school drama. This is not your average YA debut, though: with a collective 400 million views on her YouTube videos and over 60,000 followers on her blog, a steady fan base resulted in more sales the first week than any other debut novel on record in the UK. We’re talking over 78,000 copies sold. Yep, that’s right, she even beat out J.K. Rowling.
Although fiction, the book is brimming with uplifting thoughts for teen girls that ring true IRL:
“I have this dream that, secretly, all teenage girls feel exactly like me. And maybe one day, when we realize that we all feel the same, we can all stop pretending we’re something we’re not. That would be awesome. But until that day, I’m going to keep it real on this blog and keep it unreal in “real” life.”
Sure, we might’ve been more apt to read this book back when her blog was our High School Survival guide, but we’ll leave it to today’s teens to keep breaking records for the sweetest blogger who saved us from some major beauty disasters. Ok, who are we kidding, side parts bordering on comb-overs still happened.