REVIEW: Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon

I received this book for free from Ebury Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma GannonCtrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon
Published by Ebury Publishing on 7th July 2016
Genres: non-fiction
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Ebury Publishing
Buy on AmazonBuy on HiveBuy on The Book Depository

Emma Gannon was born in 1989, the year the World Wide Web was conceived, so she’s literally grown up alongside the Internet. There’ve been late night chat room experiments, sexting from a Nokia and dubious webcam exchanges. And let’s not forget catfishing, MSN, digital friendships and #feminism. She was basically social networking way before it was a thing – and she’s even made a successful career from it.

Ctrl Alt Delete is Emma’s painfully funny and timely memoir, in which she aims to bring a little hope to anybody who has played out a significant part of their life online. Her confessions, revelations and honesty may even make you log off social media (at least for an hour).

I’ve been a massive fan of Emma’s blog, Girl Lost in the City, for a while back now and would even go so far as to say her blog is in my top 5 favourite blogs of all time – I love it that much! When I heard that Emma was going to be releasing a book, I became very excited about it and I desperately hoped I would love it as much as I anticipated reading it. If it was half as good as her blog, I knew, it would be AMAZING!

Ctrl Alt Delete is a hilarious but thought-provoking insight into Emma’s life as she grew up alongside the Internet. Full of anecdotes dating back to the days of MySpace and MSN (oh, how I don’t miss the Messenger days), Ctrl Alt Delete offers hope and advice to anyone growing up on the Internet now and will also have you nodding your head as you remember all the times you did something exactly like Emma.IMG_3208

In Ctrl Alt Delete, Emma takes on Internet dating, the porn industry, what it’s like to get an Internet job and lots, lots more. After listening to Emma’s podcast fanatically, it was really easy to imagine that Emma was in the room reading it to me because her writing style is so natural and true to how she is off the page. I’d love to give the audiobook a go now that I’ve finished it because Emma narrated it herself!

I’ve always loved the Internet and think I could write a book of my own about my experiences on it, so it was great to read about Emma’s own experiences, which echoed some of my own and were very relatable. I loved how honest and unashamed Emma was in it because I know if I had to publish a book with all of the embarrassing things my younger self had done, I’d have to hide for the rest of eternity!

“If I were to give Virginia Woolf’s quote a little millennial update I’d say ‘a woman must have money and an online space of her own’.”

The sections I loved the most were the ones where Emma spoke about starting her blog; I couldn’t stop going back over them and absorbing her advice and words of wisdom. As someone I admire so much, it was great to read Emma’s thoughts about things I’ve thought about the blogging world and I find that I can’t help myself agreeing with everything she says; Emma gets what it means to be an online content creator and I wanted to applaud her constantly as I was reading Ctrl Alt Delete.

Ctrl Alt Delete is a refreshingly honest Internet Bible for all teenagers and anyone who has ever spent time on the Internet. You won’t be able to help falling in love with Emma as you read it and want to be best friends with her, but it will also make you think about the way that you use the Internet and what it means to you.


Have you read Ctrl Alt Delete or do you love Emma’s blog? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Let me know an embarrassing Internet memory you have!



Lucy Powrie

Lucy Powrie is a blogger, YouTuber and author from the UK. When she's not reading, she enjoys cuddling guinea pigs and eating Oreo chocolate, but let's be real: she's mostly always reading.


  1. Reply

    Kyra Morris

    20 July, 2016

    I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE. It sounds so, so good!

  2. Reply

    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    20 July, 2016

    This sounds like such an awesome book! Thanks for sharing!
    I know the internet is such a massive part of my life nowadays, with how I use it to study, keep in touch with friends and so much more. It’ll be interesting to read about someone else’s experiences with it, especially with all the changes that have happened in the one or two decades that the Internet has been around!
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books recently posted…Conversations: Reading Book Series – yay or nay?My Profile

  3. Reply

    Ben Babcock

    21 July, 2016

    Thank you for the review. I’ve been deliberating whether to read this one, because it does sound interesting, but I generally only read memoirs of people I’m already familiar with. I make exceptions when I hear great things, though, and this fits the bill.

    Like Gannon I was born in 1989 and grew up with the Internet. I remember the screechy modem tones of dial-up. My first real Internet experiences started back in 2004; I was 14, and I got an MSN Messenger account because I was jealous that my younger brother had one and I did not! While I don’t have a particularly embarrassing Internet moment, let’s just say that I have been blogging in one form or another since 2004, and all those posts are still available on my blog. I occasionally go back and read over them and cringe at how lenient I was on Dan Brown, etc. It’s really quite fascinating to see how I’ve changed (or, in some cases, haven’t changed) and how my blogging style and writing has evolved!

    I’ll be interested to see how Gannon’s experiences differ from mine on account of her gender and her decision to work online instead of offline.

  4. Reply

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    9 February, 2017

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    • Reply


      9 March, 2017

      Thanks guys, I just about lost it looknig for this.

  5. Reply


    1 March, 2017

    Absolutely.I train seniors from 60+ and they work hard but are not required to exercise till they drop to achieve maximum results and still have fun.Chill out.


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