Where Honesty Never Ends.
Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker
Amazon Author Page
NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Hello once again and welcome to The Review Board, thanks for stopping by. Today our member, Mini Truth & Ms. No Labels Unleashed, will be giving us their feedback on “Click” by Lisa Becker. First on the floor, Mini Truth.
I REALLY wanted to enjoy this book. I REALLY, TRULY did. 😦
I think it might be one of those occasions where the blurb and idea sound fantastic, but once you dig in, you are disillusioned by what you find.
Truth be told, I offered to read this story simply because I loved the sound of it. Now, looking back, I am not so happy to have made that decision. But, I regress. With all of that said, I will entertain you with a bit of the premise.
Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, “Hey, I’ve seen this movie before?” Such was the case with “Click”. The more I read it, the more I came to terms with the fact that I’d seen this movie before.
Let me proceed.
Renee is going to be 30 and she is disappointed in herself for not being in a serious relationship, or not yet living the All American dream. Coaxed by her best-guy-friend, Mark, who promises to join her in the venture, Renee opts to seek love online. Continually sharing her experiences with her small group of close friends—Shelley being the primary one, followed by Mark and Ashley—Renee seeks dating counsel and solace, out of all places, via email correspondence. Her adventures include joining a site called Choose Jews, meeting men who aren’t necessarily put together, others who only want sex, others that are highly emotionally unstable, and yet others that are too far away to be with. Renee gets to meet of few of the potential suitors in person which only brings her more grief in some instances.
I can never really determine what bothers me more, a book that stars off bad and remains bad all the way through, a book that starts off good and then gets back, OR a book that has TONS of potential yet doesn’t meet the mark. They all infuriate me, I have to admit.
In the case of “Click: An Online Love Story”, it fits into category Number 3. “Click” has SO MUCH potential, yet, in the end one is left disenchanted. Not because the crescendo isn’t achieved … somewhat … but because of the overall presentation is lackluster and somehow déjà vu’ish.
NOTE: I’ll get to the end, at the end. 😀 😛
Now, back to what I was saying.
I anticipated that “Click” would be a very visual book, due to the nature of its content my mind’s eye saw actual emails. Like so:
Instead, what we see on a continual basis is, this:
Which would not be so bad had it not been back to back … to back … to back … to back. Sometimes several to a page. Also, due to the way it is presented, the reader can easily become confused as to who is saying what. I know that on several occasions I got confused and inevitably failed to keep up with the events and the persons.
Allow me to explain:
Since one is constantly ready “To, From, Subject” again and again, after a while the “To and From” get blurred and one loses track of who is saying what.
Another deterrent was that there wasn’t any narrative breaking up the emails. Just a long stream of emails back and forth between the cast. This made visualizing what was happening all the more difficult.
A good example is, in between emails, at times, the characters met up or spoke on the phone and things of that nature. Yet, it was indicated in the emails that these things happened, yet since it isn’t narrated—the reader can’t “see” it happening. I find that it was in those moments when the author could have taken the opportunity to interject some one on one dialogue or narrative to sort of fill in the gaps.
This led me to keep thinking “Do these people EVER talk like normal folk?” Also, we’re talking about the year 2011 here!
Google Hangout, Facebook Messenger, Text messages, Skype and a wide array of OTHER computerized networking and communication methods already existed. You mean to tell me that these characters NEVER ONCE used them? I doubt that.
PS (Side Note): Camera phones ALSO existed.
Wait for it …!
Allow me to carry on.
Another thing that bugged me with this book were the characters’ behaviors and stereotypical mannerisms. This made everything so predictable. Including what Renee would do next, each and every time.
Another thought I had was, “A red pen never hurt anyone.“
While in some parts, I completely understood why the grammar and punctuation was bad, that didn’t excuse the rest of the book. There was, for example, one part where the main character is emailing back and forth with a Chef. The Chef is a “text writer“, that is to say, the man prefers to write in text speech. So, the fact that his grammar, spelling, and punctuation are terrible are excusable. However, that does not make it okay for Renee, Shelley, Mark and Ashley to have unacceptable grammar. There were way too many junctures of poor syntax.
Now, about the ending. We live in modern times. An age of advancing technology, AND HAVE BEEN living this era for some time. More so, in the last 15-20 years.
I had my first camera phone in 2004. I joined MySpace in 2002, Facebook in 2005, and Twitter in 2010. I had my first iPhone in 2011, and was blowing up Instagram in 2012.
With soooo many advances in technology, the ending of this book JUST ISN’T PLAUSIBLE, period!
Trying not to give away any spoilers, I’m just going to ask a simple rhetorical question:
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW, especially considering that they were using modern technology?
At this point …
I just wish that it had been better. With that said, I give “Click” 4.5 TRB stars. This will translate into 2 stars elsewhere because it doesn’t quite make the 3 stars mark for me, sorry.
Thank you, Mini. Now on to The Unleashed One.
To me, Click is a cross between You’ve Got Mail and Sex and the City. You’ve Got Mail comes to mind because of the way the Internet and dating is utilized. Sex and the City is also a viable comparison due to four individuals and their adventures in the world of relationships.
The premise of Click is adorable and reflective of the modern world. It can be challenging to find the time to go through the usual process of dating, so by using dating services, it should help one to weed out the promising from the disappointing. Yet, the fallacy in that type of thinking is that behind the keys lies a human being, and there are those who may have characteristics that could equate to a slammed door in one’s face—it all depends on the individuals involved.
Yet, despite the relatability, there was so much that kept Click from being the perfect read for me.
This isn’t really a book but a compilation of emails put together to create a book.
There are certain elements that makes a book a book—beyond just having a cover and pages. There has to be some form of narrative—some glue that gives the reader an idea of the characters he’s dealing with, the setting of the story, the era of time in which the story is taking place. However, in Click, there is email … after email … after email, with no narrative in sight.
For example, when there is mention in the email about Renee’s dates, there’s no narrative downtime where the location of the date and the event is being described at that moment. All of it is told in the tones of aftermath—usually the aftermath of neglect. There’s also an awkward interaction between Shelley and Mark, which would have held more glue if it was told in that instant rather than back and forth e-mail encounters, and the occasional jabs from Renee to Shelley about the situation.
There is also the subject of appearance. Does Renee look like a Supermodel, or is this only said because of her self-esteem issues? On top of that, why does she have self-esteem issues? I haven’t read anything that has contributed to the view Renee has of herself. If there were episodes of bullying, a particularly bad romance, or her childhood, it wasn’t spoken of in the emails. What do the other characters look like? All that is discussed is their behaviors which one can only gauge via the email transactions.
Although the author wants us to like Renee, I grew to dislike her. At first, I felt sorry for her Bloopers in Online Dating but as the novel progressed, there were mean girl tendencies, along with stupid behaviors, that drained any sympathy I had for her. I was never too keen on Ashley, although she did step up to some level of redemption towards the end. Shelley is a poor, overhyped interpretation of Samantha in Sex and the City—she is not as suave or sophisticated in her approach at all. The naming of her lovers, after a while, became rather lame. The only character I adored and wished there was more focus on was Mark, and I detested the way Shelley and Renee spoke about him … was anal the only word they could use to describe him? Yes, he is particular, intelligent and willing to do the research on whoever he goes out with but I don’t believe this makes him a bad person. I honestly think if more people would bother to do research before getting captivated by a pretty face, suave words, or an exquisite body, there would be less instances of pain and regret.
There were humorous parts in Click but how many times does one have to use the same formula?
Yes, it is that predictable. Even the curve balls weren’t that curvy because I was able to predict them based on Renee’s behavior or lack thereof. It is like the act of doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.
The conclusion I found fault with due to the times and the improbability. First of all, this was written and took place in the year 2011. I risk revealing my age at this point, but when I was born, cell phones did not exist. I even had a cell phone which did not have the ability to take pictures. So, I have witnessed the evolution of the cell phone and social media. How is it that no one in Click was taking any pictures with their phones (which have the ability to take pictures) in the year 2011? How is no one sending pictures via e-mail or posting pictures to social media during this time? There were references to Facebook in the book. It just doesn’t make sense to me that two people who are as close as Renee and Shelley not swap pictures of any type of escapades (successful or not) in this day and age. Therefore, without giving away the ending, let’s just say that the ultimate shocker is flawed based on the advancement of technology and common sense. In other words, this should not have even been a thing because through communication, one would have figured out there was some type of similarity with a certain item.
Moreover, conclusion didn’t ring like a conclusion at all. I do understand that this is a series but the way Click ended was quite abrupt—particularly after a situation that was highly emotional. I believe an alternate way could have been presented to where this didn’t ring so incomplete, but that is the peril in only relying on emails, as opposed to actual storytelling.
Unleashed Verdict: 4.5 out of 10 Stars
Presentation and predictability mark the downfall of Click. I will continue to read the series—primarily to keep track of Mark and to see if certain characters will resurface in the remainder of the series.
Well, thank you Ms. No Labels Unleashed. It looks like this math problem is going to be very easy. Click: An Online Love Story has acquired a total of 4.5 TRB Stars.
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