If you are not going to read to the end of this review let me just say it right here and now that I love this book. Not just like it, not think it is OK, but love it. If you are not going to get to the end of this then just go and buy book. Find out why Girl on the Net is one of the most gifted and thought provoking people out there at the moment.
The story of a girl and a boy
I wasn’t sure what I was letting myself in for when I asked to review this book. Yes the title says it is about a girl who fell in love. But if you have read any of Girl on the Nets work you know that she is good at saying one thing and going in a direction you didn’t expect. So it could have been her confessions but it could have gone anywhere.
This books is about love, but it isn’t a love story
You know this isn’t going to be a straightforward book, you know that right from the start. The chapter titles are the titles from articles Girl on the net found online (which you can go and read as well if you want to). Under each one a small conversation between her and “Him”. Sometimes something run of the mill sometimes something totally out of left field.
Him: Do I even want to know what that is?
Me: Not sure.
Him: What is it?
Me: A spreadsheet of my best wanking times.
But always funny and something of an insight into the mind of both of them.
When you are told this is a book about love but it isn’t a love story that is true. This isn’t a book about how she met the perfect man, how the birds sang, and orphan children danced through the street singing about their perfect love. Far from it. This is story of someone battling with all the problems life throws at her. Being horny as hell, writing about it, and struggling with inner conflict.
“It’s been done” I am sure you are thinking.
There is a twist and it is one that not many people can pull off. Girl on the net is honest. Brutally, frankly, gut-hurtingly honest. She pulls no punches and holds nothing back about what she thinks and feels. Some facts are changed to protect the innocent, and she even tells you herself that she is far from honest about everything. But the honesty is there.
What shines from the book, and it is even perhaps something she didn’t expect. She is writing about me.. she is writing about you.. this is a book about what it is to be human. I think we will all find a little bit of ourselves in the things she is writing about.
Love isn’t always dramatic or emotional: love is menial and everyday.
From realising you are working in a job that you used to enjoy but now just feels like something you hate. Or the crushing pressure of just never having enough time to do the things you want, while others demand your attention. These are things I think we have all felt.
Perhaps some of us have dealt with them better or found ways around some of the pitfalls. But I am sure from time to time we have all been through these feelings. No one seems to be able to articulate them better.
What this book is not
If you are looking for a book of horny stories one after the other, secret confessions, and dirty little secrets. You are going to be somewhat disappointed. I say ‘somewhat’ because you are not going to be totally disappointed. She is a sex blogger after all and writing a book and not having anything filthy in there just isn’t going to work.
But as I went on I became more and more interested in the person behind these stories than the stories themselves.
Black little heart
There was something else in the book, and at the moment I can’t decide if it is something that Girl on the net saw happening. As I became engrossed in this person I suddenly got the feeling that she is on the edge of a mental breakdown.
It is heart breaking to watch unfold.
While she is obviously having ups and downs, she so deftly weaves in the pressure and unhappiness, you don’t notice it at first. It slowly mounts as problem after problem rear their heads. Until you see someone who is desperately unhappy but with no idea why or how it got to that state.
For me this is where the book became the most human. Rather than covering up the details, or shying away from it, she begins to see it for what it is. By the end you are cheering her on. Wanting her to conquer the feelings… and even ride off happily into the sunset.
The next time someone asks me “What is love?”, this is the book I will point them too. I have never read anyone who is able to express what it means to love someone and to be loved more beautifully or with quite so many swear words.
If you haven’t done it already go and get this book and climb into the mind of Girl on the Net. This is one of those books where you just don’t want to put it down, and you are even a little sad it has finished.