Recently I’ve been telling people that I should give Twitter 101 courses, because I love Twitter and I do a good job of explaining what it is and how to use it to people who are baffled by the very concept. But YouTube is like a 200-level course–I just barely understand it myself, I’m not sure I could explain a thing about it to anyone else. I’m not talking instructional videos or Carpool Karaoke, I mean vloggers and YouTube celebrities. It is a weird concept–people, just, like, talk about their lives? Online? And millions of people watch them do it? I have just started poking around the edge of YouTube, but I can see why people get hooked on watching these vlogs. One of the most famous YouTubers out there is Zoella, a twenty-something British girl who is known for make-up videos but whose empire has spread to novels, bath products, home goods, etc. I think Zoella’s adorable–her life might be a million miles apart from mine in every way, but I find her videos super entertaining and I actually find her makeup recommendations very helpful. And lots of other people do to, since more than TEN MILLION people subscribe to her YouTube channel.
What does this have to do with books? WH Smith, a British bookstore, decided to capitalize on Zoella’s popularity by having her select some books for an online book club that launched a couple of weeks ago. And the plan is clearly working–apparently sales of some of these books increased more than 1000% after they received her seal of approval. Zoella’s audience is heavily weighted towards teenaged girls, so when I checked out the book club selections I was expecting to see a pile of cheesy YA books. And they are mostly YA romance books, but they’re good ones! And the list includes a remarkable number of things that we’ve also reviewed here. Zoella’s eight books included Fangirl, All the Bright Places, and Everything, Everything. Also included in the list was We Were Liars, which I never wrote about here but thought was really interesting. So, apparently our taste aligns very closely with hip young vloggers!
After seeing how many of the books on this list I loved, I tracked down The Sky Is Everywhere and I’ve got the rest of the books on my library list. If you’re interested in some sweet, sad, modern teen romance, Zoella’s list is pretty solid. Plus she does a really solid makeup tutorial.