Sunday, July 1, 2012

Click






Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical "B" celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

-- Goodreads Synopsis
Click by Lisa Becker is set out as a set of emails between four friends, our protagonist Renee and her closest friends Shelly, Ashley and Mark. Becker's email format worked surprisingly well, however, it did mean the supporting cast were not as fleshed out as I would have liked. Also, initially I questioned whether their discussions would be more likely discussed in person or over the phone, but considering the busy cosmopolitan lives workers lead these days, where a lot of work places do not allow a steady stream of gossipy phone calls, emails are a perfectly reasonable medium of discussion for work hours.

The novel begins with Mark convincing Renee that she needs to sign up to dating sites with him so they can encourage each other through the process. Renee's adventure through a series of steadily less horrendous dates are consistently amusing, and you long for her to meet a nice young man (or in my case, hook up with Mark). Its representation of online dating felt, generally, realistic - there really are some weird men out there, but it also demonstrated that there are some good guys too. What did frustrate me was that Mark and Renee, for the majority, had more respondents than they made contact; other than setting up her profile Renee only browsed the site for potential mates at odd hours of the morning - as if to suggest she only wanted to look secretively when she was feeling depressed or lonely. This, while a typical action for Renee as a character, did not feel like an accurate representation of the majority of women (or men) on online dating sites.

While character wise, there was not one I disliked, I would have enjoyed knowing more about Shelly, Mark and Ashley (another three books perhaps?). And unfortunately there was a shadow of Sex and the City hovering over Click, particularly as we get to know the characters; Renee/Carrie, Shelly/ Samantha, Ashley/Charlotte and Mark/Miranda. I do think this shadow is inevitable comparison considering the cultural impact SatC has, but I do feel more could have been done to lessen the stereotypes this presented.

Renee felt sufficiently vulnerable as our heroine on the search for love; I did not feel connected to her but found her easily sympathetic. She is perhaps rather middle of the road personality wise, but I know many girls I could find as a real world comparison to her. Renee is overtly insecure in her emails; however, this was not off-putting as Click documents private conversations between very close friends.  Shelly, while the second most prominent character felt the most underdeveloped, limited to her sexual predator persona. While this clearly masks deeper insecurities, as she dissociates herself from the men she seduces with amusing nicknames, the format of the novel unfortunately removed the possibility of seeing more of this. Ashley, the subtle undermine-er and Mark the anal workaholic are also somewhat two-dimensional in their portrayal but read as wonderful accompaniments to the story. Ultimately these characters are fantastic in their love for each other; supportive and caring, they look out for Renee and carry her through her moments of happiness, sadness and madness.


I thoroughly enjoyed Click (it is impossible to dislike a book you cannot help but consume in a matter of hours). While it was not perfect it was intensely addictive

4/5
 

Todays review comes courtesy of Alice.  Alice is a 20 something literature addict from the UK, you can find her at her blog http://ofbooks.org or over at twitter @contrarywise_


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