Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: With Just One Click...

By Melissa Amster
In this day and age, everything that goes up on Facebook can and will be used against you, once you've put it out there. Sometimes it can cost people friendships and relationships as a result. Amanda Strong explores this concept in her debut novel, "With Just One Click..."

Chloe is a successful movie reviewer who hasn't had much luck in the dating arena. Then a blast from her past finds her on Facebook and soon all bets are off.
Morgan is a suburban stay-at-home mom to two young children, who discovers that her husband's ex-girlfriend "friended" him on Facebook and is now posting provocative messages on his wall. Soon suspicions begin to arise.
Brynn is also a suburban stay-at-home mom to two teenagers, who realizes she is not getting fulfillment out of her life. Then an ex-boyfriend sends her a friend request, and that turns her world upside down.

Being a Facebook "junkie," so to speak, this book definitely resonated with me. I find myself on there a lot to see what people are up to. I even get frustrated when I miss an important piece of news. I also have been confronted at times with having to decide if I wanted to accept certain friend requests from people of a questionable nature. So I was able to relate to some of the dilemmas and drama with which these women were faced. I liked how Ms. Strong made her characters easy to relate to, even when I didn't always agree with their choices. She had some interesting and intriguing secondary characters, as well. I enjoyed her descriptions of seasons and locations, which made me feel like I was standing right next to the characters and experiencing everything with them.

However, some things didn't work so well for me. The first is the relationship between these women. We're lead to believe that they're three separate characters that have no relationship. Then Ms. Strong throws a wrench into that belief by connecting them in an unexpected way. I would have preferred that she allowed these characters to communicate with each other throughout the story to make that relationship more believable. Next is the setup of the novel. She has three stories going on per chapter. After a while, I began to forget certain things about each woman's story, such as some secondary characters or other little things going on. I would have preferred her to do what Jane Green did with "Babyville," tell one story at a time and find a way to tie it to the next, and so on. Aside from these two big concerns were my issues over how time was portrayed (like saying six months had passed when it had only been two), numerous spelling and grammar mistakes and finally, how the Facebook posts sounded contrived at times.

Overall, it was a compelling story and I was constantly wondering what was in store for each of the women. The dialogue felt realistic and she didn't always take the easy way out with her characters. She even chose to not give one of them what the reader would have wanted to see, which made for an interesting, but somewhat frustrating surprise. Through her novel, Ms. Strong really shows us what it's like when someone makes a big decision involving Facebook and what consequences can occur as a result. I would have loved to see a situation that was not related to men or love, such as someone ruining a friendship between two women or a teenager posting too much information about their social life and having it get back to their parents. That stuff happens too, you know. Maybe Ms. Strong can write a sequel. Through her novel, she does confirm that I made the right decision by not accepting a friend request from a certain person from my past.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So timely... I loved how you tied it into your own experiences!