Scamella strikes again! Zoella’s new book is a massive waste of money
Don’t buy it!
Zoella, the anodyne star of YouTube’s most boring videos, has grown rich by selling shlock to her young audience. She’s sold them shitty advent calendars for $65 a pop, reusable coffee cups that leak, and tickets to a disastrous event dubbed “Fyre Fest for tweens” where her fans paid hundreds of dollars to wait for hours in an empty room for nothing.
So it should not come as a surprise that Zoella’s new book, Cordially Invited, is just another way for her to throttle every last penny out of her viewers. She released it yesterday, and after reading through her “seasonal guide to celebrations and hosting, packed full of advice, recipes, decorations and personal stories,” I can conclude that it sucks and is a huge waste of your $13.
She has been promoting her book for months, teasing snippets and pictures ahead of the release. Cordially Invited was breathlessly heralded as her “best and never seen before ideas,” to help you celebrate with your friends in style, her secret tips on “simple but impressive DIYs” for “making an event and a memory out of each day.”
Like hell it is! This book might be simple, but it is not impressive. Take Zoella’s ideas for spring activities – “open the windows and doors to let in the fresh spring air”, “have a good spring clean” and “switch up your bedding to a lower-tog duvet.” Can these really be her best and never seen before ideas?
Same goes for the rest of the year. Who knew that “read a book in the garden” and “go on a bike ride” (summer) or “pick your halloween costume” (fall) and “visit a Christmas market” (winter) were unique ideas on how to make the most out of your year?
The book has a rushed, shabby quality to it – like not that much thought went into it. The hosting advice is obvious (watch Mean Girls on movie night with your friends), the recipes are basic (spaghetti and meatballs) and the etiquette rules are for dunces (say ‘thank you’ after going to someone’s party). Cordially Invited even includes photos from Zoella’s Instagram, which last time I checked, you can see for free.
And the book itself is badly written! Remember that cake she once made on Bake Off?
Cordially Invited is the equivalent of that cake. She says the word “absolute” or absolutely” so often that it appears almost once a sentence: “On those days, you want to be sure you’re making the absolute most of it and don’t arrive having forgotten something vital. Living near the coast, these evenings are some of my absolute favorites.”
Same goes for “favorite” (61 mentions), “perfect” (46) and “love” or “lovely” (91). It might seem like a dick move to harp on about this, but when you’re describing your recipe for decorative Easter biscuits as perfect four (4!) times, it feels lazy – like you don’t care about making an effort for your readers and it doesn’t matter as long as they pay.
Zoella already makes money from her branded bath melts, lip balm, clutches, body mist, body wash, shower gel, candles, notepads, cushions, pencils and bags. She also gets a cut of whatever products she promotes on her website. Why should Cordially Invited be seen any differently from the rest of the tat she hawks?
The first book that Zoella published, Girl Online, was ghostwritten by someone else. After reading the way Cordially Invited turned out, it’s pretty clear that she did this one herself. I suppose that’s a plus.