Today I want to talk about Zoella’s Book Club.
I’ve seen many snide remarks against Zoella’s Book Club, frankly I don’t even want to mention The Guardian Article published yesterday in detail because it’s remarkably ignorant and basically an attack rather than honest and insightful criticism. What I will mention is how the author of said article mentioned how Zoe only promotes books with White Female leads and the books only feature ‘cute and glittery’ story lines of how girls fall in love with ‘pixie dream boys’. Ermm firstly can we just take a look at some of the books Zoe has in her book club;
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
This book actually largely deals with a young female lead dealing with her Anxiety Disorder, going through therapy and her journey to getting back the life that Anxiety has stolen from her. Like being able to leave the house.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
A book that deals with suicide, abuse, depression and anxiety
We were Liars by E.Lockhart
A character dealing with PTSD
These 3 books are just some examples from Zoella’s book club, as you can see they are not ‘cute and glittery’ they are stories featuring real issues.Personally it frustrates me that Zoella gets so much hate for her book club, why do I think she does?
Well frankly because she’s a ‘Celebrity’ not a term she would use to describe herself as she mentions in her Vlogs but she’s got a following and like all celebrities she gets attacked. No matter what she does, I believe someone or some media outlet would attempt to tear her down and frankly as a 22 year old who has watched Zoella for years I find it disheartening. I want to mention now that I’m not writing this post because I do watch Zoe and am a major fan, I do love her of course but I’m writing this from the reader in me. From the girl who suffers from Anxiety who is sick of readers being stereotyped for being ‘boring’ or ‘nerds’, for boys who don’t want to show they love to read because they are bullied and called ‘gay’.
Zoella being such an advocate for reading as a lover of books herself is a wonderful thing, I truly admire her for it. Zoe is helping to stamp out the stereotypes associated with reading and is encouraging more people to pick up books and give them a go. Shouldn’t the media be celebrating the fact that she is encouraging young people to explore worlds outside of our own? Shouldn’t they be celebrating the fact that here is a young girl herself using her platform to encourage readers to look into books that feature subjects of Anxiety, PTSD and bullying so they can understand the struggle and the daily life some people really go through?
Before Zoella came on Youtube and openly talked about Anxiety, I myself hadn’t seen any videos like it. I hadn’t read blog posts so open that described the feelings I was having, so I lived with my Anxiety for years but by lived I mean I slowly let it run my life. I stopped going to places I used to love until I finally got the courage to seek help and from there I’m becoming a different person. Zoella’s honest speeches on her videos and an insight into her life showed me that it’s ok and i’m no less a person – no less a normal human being for having Anxiety. This is important because Zoe is encouraging people to read books that feature Anxiety to show people who don’t suffer from it an insight into life with it, these books offer real honest experiences that truly reflect someone else’s life and by encouraging people to pick them up she is potentially saving a life. Saving someone from struggling within themselves and seeing that it’s ok.
Growing up there was never a book club I could join, there wasn’t a figure I watched or looked up to talking about books. To have someone like Zoella share her passion for reading is an amazing thing, one that I appreciate whole heartedly. I think some of the hate also stems from the fact she is a Youtuber who has covered Beauty videos in the past – ‘SURELY HOW IS SHE A READER’. Zoella is a channel that covers all sorts of topics, just because someone is into beauty doesn’t mean they can’t love to read as well, the fact she also had a following before talking about books exclusively doesn’t mean that she is simply doing this for an endorsement either. Follow her vlogs and you will have seen her talk about her love for books and books she is currently reading in the past, it is truly a hobbie she has taken up for a while and a passion for her.
This is probably a rant, but after seeing numerous comments shaming Zoella for her Book Club, I wanted to speak out and share my opinion. I hope the people who do criticize Zoe’s choices have read all the books she offers on her Book club and can offer a real perspective of the characters and issues they have within them. If they don’t then they are only making assumptions, wrong ones at that because Zoella’s Book Club does value diversity and the mere existence of the book club itself without the books it holds is spreading a message of positivity and telling people to share the passion and pick up the book.
What do you think of the hate surrounding Zoella’s Book club? Let me know in the comments below