Raise your hand if you're on Facebook. Come on, I know almost all of you have an account - including my grandmother (Hi Mam!). If you're one of the many people who log on to Facebook regularly, you can identify with the characters in Amanda Strong's novel With Just One Click. This review is part of another blog tour arranged by Samantha over at Chick Lit Plus, and I'd like to thank both her and Amanda for letting me be involved!
As usual, I'll start of with the synopsis from Goodreads:
"Reluctance was matched with a pit in my stomach; once I joined, anyone could randomly find me...did I really want to be found?" Chloe, a successful movie reviewer and serial dater, finds herself added as a friend by her first love. The one who left her at seventeen standing with a note in her hand as he simply walked away. Will she allow herself to open old wounds? Morgan, a loyal stay-at-home mom and wife, discovers one of her husband's friends is his very single and flirtatious ex-girlfriend from high school. Will obsession and jealousy tear her solid marriage apart when she hunts for the truth? Brynn, a lonely forty year-old living with her two distant teenage children and workaholic husband, fights temptation while revisiting the past with one of her friends. Will her deception destroy her family? Three lives changed forever WITH JUST ONE CLICK. Confirming a friend isn't as simple as it seems... but do these women have more in common than just Facebook?I really enjoyed this book. It was very character driven and I loved that. I'm going to start with the one thing I didn't love and then move on to other, better things! I usually really don't like books that have multiple characters who don't know each other at the beginning of the novel. Eventually there is a connection but if it doesn't happen soon enough I would sometimes lose interest. So, I was a little frustrated that the characters, Chloe, Morgan, and Brynn, didn't appear to know each other when I started the book. I plugged along though and was happy I did. Even though I was frustrated because I didn't know how the women knew each other (and I knew they had to...somehow...) I got involved in their lives anyway and wanted to find out what happened with them. It was somewhat confusing, particularily with Morgan and Brynn because I couldn't remember who was married to which man and how old their kids were. It was much easier to keep Chloe and her story straight. Eventually I told myself to read the stories as if they were separate short stories and trust that I would eventually find out how they knew each other. PS the way the know each other is quite clever and I never would have guessed that was the link!
Speaking of Chloe, I think she was my favourite character...I know it may seem wrong to pick a favourite, but in books like this there is always one character who I seem to be more interested in and drawn to. In this book, it was Chloe. Part of that may be because she's closer to my age and current stage in life. It was easier to identify with her starting a serious relationship than with Morgan and Brynn who were already married with kids. Not to say I didn't like them - it was just harder to relate to them and their story lines seemed a little more...serious. Morgan's trying to deal with a potential homewrecker while finding balance with her stay at home mom life. Luckily, she's got two adorable children and amazing friends who understand her situation and are always there for her. Brynn isn't happy with her marriage and life and finds a part time job to try and compensate. Her husband doesn't seem engaged with her and her teenage kids don't want to have anything to do with her. See what I mean? For a twenty something year old, it's a little easier to relate to a woman who's trying to move up even more in her career while balancing a new and serious relationship. It may also have had something to do with the fact that Chloe and Kyle were dealing with a long distance relationship - I'm doing the same thing, but we're luckily in the same province, not on opposite sides of the country!
While the characters definitely drove the story, there was also a very interesting aspect of social media going on. Each woman has their own obsession with Facebook and deals with the popular site in a different way. I have to admit...I sort of judged them for their habits. When I first signed up for Facebook it was right when all universities and college students were allowed to sign up...but no one else. I was in first year and it was great to stay in touch with friends who had either stayed back for an extra semester of high school or went to another university. Gradually more and more people were allowed to get a Facebook account - first anyone with a student email address and now anyone over 13 can have an account (and some even under 13 who get around the system). Because of when I signed up, I sort of grew along with Facebook. I learned early on that posting anything and everything was not a good idea and to keep an eye on my privacy settings - especially when it came time to find a job after graduation. This likely wasn't the case with Chloe, Morgan, and Brynn. They all came into Facebook late in the game when it was super popular and all their friends were on it. I can definitely understand their obsession with it because I had it too for awhile (and now it's kind of switched to Twitter...) but I cringed every time they posted something revealing and talked about their kids all the time. But maybe that's just me. All that being said, I loved the Facebook connection that was woven through all three stories. It shows that social networking has changed our society, for better or for worse, and we all need to learn to adapt to it.
Overall, I loved this book. It was fun for me to learn about the characters and I genuinely cared what happened to them. I was happy when they were happy, and sad when they were sad. Strong had a clever way for them to all be connected and I am so glad that they were. It seemed to wrap it up nicely for me. Not only did this novel have a great storyline but there was such an awesome integration of social media. Anyone with a Facebook account can relate to the issues the three women and their friends faced and I loved that. I highly recommend this book. You won't be disappointed!