Book: With Just One Click
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Author: Amanda Strong
The cover is brilliantly designed. By looking at its cover, one can easily tell that the novel revolves around relationships influenced in one way or the other by online social networking sites. The blue background is used to link it to Facebook’s signature colour. I love it!
The book deals with the “relationship issues” of three women, whose lives change dramatically due to their connections on Facebook. First is Chloe, a thirty-one year old movie reviewer who works for some entertainment magazine. The novel opens with Chloe dealing with her latest break-up, who joins Facebook on her friend’s insistence. Reason to join: To get over her recent break-up. Soon, she finds that her first love Kyle wants to add her as a friend on Facebook. The writer goes in flashback to tell us how they were a perfect teenage couple when due to certain circumstances, they grew apart. Now, will their relationship work this time? Does it have a chance to grow into something mature and meaningful than just a teenage crush? Will it help Chloe re-adjust the priorities in her life?
Second is Morgan, married woman, in her early thirties who joins Facebook to get a break from her housework routine, which involves managing the two little kids, Ashley and Tony. Yes, she is a stay-at-home mum who loves to spy over her friends’ lives through Facebook and finds it a lot of fun. She even starts to spy on her hubby’s Facebook account and that is where a rift comes in their otherwise happy marriage. Apparently, she thinks that her husband has befriended his ex-girlfriend and something fishy is going on behind her back. Is she true in her assumptions? Or Is she ‘paranoid’ and ‘obsessed’, as her husband EJ likes to put it?
Wait a minute, before we find out more, there is a third leading lady of this novel. So let me introduce her. Her name is Brynn. She lives with her husband Chad and two teenage kids, Hailey and Finn. From the start, she seems to have lost interest in her husband (though she thinks it’s the other way around), vying for attention and to fill the vacuum in her so-called empty life, she tries to kill her isolation through Facebook and finds her love from the past, Timothy. Soon, the reader sees how she wrecks her happy family life and welcomes Timothy’s advances with open arms. Rekindling old passion leads to some ugly decisions. Is she right in finding her ‘own’ happiness at the cost of ruining her kids and husband’s life? Is she plain selfish and mean, who will go to any lengths to re-do her past and spoil her present?
The book unfolds the lives of Chloe, Morgan and Brynn in each chapter to reveal what happens next when these women enter the world of Facebook and how this social networking site is merely a "catalyst" and a "tool" which affects their relationships and their life-turning decisions.
When I read the starting chapters, I felt that the book has a wonderful premise and it would be interesting to see it develop and shape into a full-blown exciting story. Sadly enough, I was wrong.
First of all, each chapter is told in three small chapters subscribed to three leading ladies, which confused me a lot. I had to go back and forth many times, to keep track of the developments happening in each lady’s life. It is like having three protagonists in one novel, each telling their story and that too in first-person POV. I think it would have been better if the writer focused on one story instead of developing three stories simultaneously. In my humble opinion, it could have been put into three novellas separately instead of one lengthy complicated book.
There are lots of secondary characters, from Blonde Bianca to gay Bryan, also there is ample room given to Morgan’s supporting cast, and then there is the most sensible character of Ivette who plays the role of Brynn’s friend. While I felt that the supporting cast of Chloe and Morgan consisted of predictable characters, the character of Ivette presented a breath of fresh air.
There are sub-plots, for example, Morgan’s preparation for mini-triathlon which felt like dragging the story to a halt, as it did not do anything to progress the story, rather presented a distraction. The situations like Hailey’s broken leg, Chad’s last kiss, Timothy’s outbursts had the potential to develop into something, but it seemed that the writer picked up so many threads and failed to weave them together in a page-turning climax.
The reader can easily figure out that Chloe’s story deals with the problems of long-distance relationship, her over-emotional behaviour and her desperate boyfriend trying to get hold of her, while she keeps busy with her career and her gay friend’s life. Her story is interesting but predictable.
With every passing chapter, Morgan’s jealousy goes to annoy and irritate not only her husband but the reader as well. Brynn’s story is more like a fling which goes beyond control and ultimately brings a crack in her marriage and her relationship with her kids. The reader sees her as an emotionally unstable woman who is full of self-pity and loves to blame others for her wrong actions. No matter how much I wanted to love the characters, I ended up disliking them, except for Kyle and Chad’s character.
While I would not say that this book is all-bad, it surely has some loopholes in its craft, for example, the slow pace and an abrupt ending. It also lacks growth in terms of character-development. With 350 pages to read, the story could have been chopped at places to save it from getting dull at the end. Overall, I think it is a good effort considering this is Amanda’s first book. Hopefully, her future endeavours will offer much improved version of her writing skills.
Review Girl Rating: 6/10
I would like to thank the author Amanda Strong for sending me a free copy of her book, “With Just One Click” for the purpose of reviewing it on my blog. To buy this book on Amazon, click here.
I would also like to thank Samantha of Chicklitplus.com who gave me the opportunity to be part of her amazing CLP Blog Tour. To visit other blogs taking part in this tour, click here.
Coming soon: Author Interview: Amanda Strong