Back in the “bad ol days” when I had a “day job” I had the
misfortune pleasure of working with a nymphomaniac. Now, I am by no means one to judge (*cough*) but her lifestyle was…well, lets just say it left very little to the imagination. While normal (or at least “normal” by HR’s standards) office mates talk about their children or whatever new dive bomb trend diet they are currently on, Madame X (which is what we are going to call her because she’s the type of person who would set my house on fire for this) used to talk about her trials (aka hook-ups) in online dating.
At first, (I have to be honest) I was pretty shocked. It’s not everyday that you are told (in great detail) about the “guy with the iguana on his profile” (iguana is code… I’ll let you figure that one out) and how after a long night of bar* hopping (bed*) she snuck into Captain Underpants’ bathroom and dunked his toothbrush into the toilet a few times (because he lied about his height…duh) But the longer I was
forced allowed to “bunk” with her, the more entertained I found myself, and eventually I became utterly enthralled by the crazy unique world of online dating.
So, (I have a point.. I’m not just rambling. Ok…I’m rambling a little) when Lisa Becker shot me an email and asked me to take a peek at her novel “Click: An Online Love Story” I just couldn’t refuse. (We’ll just call it a stay a home moms grievous attempt at entertainment.)
“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.”
Now there are some brilliant things about this book and there are some disastrous things. And since I like to go straight for the jugular (wow, that sounds harsh) I’ve decided to talk about the bad first.
In theory… a book written entirely in email format is fascinating, interesting and NEW! In reality, it’s a tad confusing. While the book as a whole (plot wise) isn’t difficult to grasp, (think beach read easy) the layout and speed in which it was written was. Confusing.
There are 4 main characters in this book. Renee, Mark, Shelley and Ashley (this is important…so pay attention.) And the book revolves entirely around these 4 characters. But instead of character development in the “traditional” sense… (monologues, back history, internal dialogue) we learn about these (slightly neurotic) people through a series of fast paced (sometimes obtuse) emails.
From: Renee Greene – February 24, 2011 – 11:52 AM To: Shelley Manning Subject: Re: Fwd: Looking for Love?
You don’t think that’s rude? You know how I hate to be rude. And remember what nonsense ensued the last time I ignored an email?
From: Shelley Manning – February 24, 2011 – 11:54 AM To Renee Greene Subject: Re: Fwd: Looking for Love?
Yes, Miss Manners. I know how you are. And yes, I remember the psycho. But seriously, in this case, I think it’s much nicer to ignore it than tell him he’s a 35-year-old freak of nature.
After a while there are so many Re:’s Fwd:’s and CC:’s that if you’re not paying very close attention you’ll get lost. Especially when a brand new email pops up and makes reference to something that was never even mentioned in a previous email, (like say…they talked about it at lunch, but we weren’t privy to it because…they didn’t eat lunch over the internet.)
Becker’s choice to write in this format also limited the readers ability to connect (emotionally) to any of the characters, most importantly Renee…who is supposed to be the “lead” and in search of love. Without the “guts” (the filler that takes up about 50% of most novels) the entire novel read more as water cooler fodder than an actual book.
Now, all of that being said, there are some diamond in the rough moments that I couldn’t help but love. The most noteworthy being Shelley and her need to name her sexual conquest.
“Thankfully, it was an attractive, musky, manly scent that protruded from his highly-active pores. From now on, he will be know as Fire Hose.”
It was these glimmery moments of humor that I was hoping for when I decided to read this book to begin with.
Also, after 2 very intense books in a row (“The Storyteller” and “Smoke Screen”) it was kind of nice just to kick back and not think so hard. There was a story, it was predictable, kitchy and read a lot like an episode of “Sex in the City” but still, it was fun.
So what is my final conclusion, (since I was kind of all of over the place in this review) It was cute. Not great, and by no means the “next great American novel” but sometimes it is what it is. FLUFF.
If you aren’t one for deep meaningful reads and just feel like taking a load off, this one might be a good choice for you. Everyone else… I choose the “meh” button.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Peer pressure is evil, and so am I.
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