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Just for Clicks

Review

Just for Clicks

From debut author Kara McDowell comes a young adult contemporary fiction novel about twins living as teenage social media stars after going viral as babies. Sweet and fun, this book will appeal to fans of Emma Mills’s FOOLISH HEARTS or Jenn Bennett’s ALEX, APPROXIMATELY. With a well-developed and relatable protagonist and a look at what goes into social media fame, this book is sure to be a light-hearted quick read for anyone looking for an adorable book about being a teen.

"Claire...is a wonderfully realistic and fleshed out protagonist....The descriptions of the harsh realities of social media are spot on as well..."

The novel starts out with a focus on Claire and Poppy, twin sisters who have had their lives chronicled online since birth due to their mom’s mommy blog. Their mom’s popularity has inevitably led to their own fame, and they took up the mantle to become vloggers themselves as teens --- until Claire starts to express feelings of discontent, wanting instead to put an end to this lifestyle for herself. She has always wanted a normal life, and decides to try pursuing it more. The book is filled with encounters between Claire, who is a wonderfully realistic and fleshed out protagonist, and her mom and sister as they try to stop her from backing out of the spotlight. The descriptions of the harsh realities of social media are spot on as well, expanding on the dangers of internet trolls and stalkers even while the positive impacts are showcased.

While the novel’s pacing and prose weren’t extraordinary in any way and the plot felt a little plain and undeveloped despite the small plot twist I didn’t predict, the book still had a fun storyline that was enjoyable to read for the most part. There is some mixed media usage in this book in order to tell the story that was very fun to see, such as text messages and forum posts. I typically find that these types of storytelling devices can be easily misused, but they were carefully placed between chapters in this novel which allowed them to be more cohesive. Also, the realistic descriptions of social media and of Claire’s social anxiety redeem some of the more inadequate depictions of familial relationships and a strange approach to writing a sibling bond that left me wishing there was a clearer look on it. In addition, the novel includes has a sweet, slow-burn romance that focuses on friendship that was very enjoyable to read, and Claire’s love interest, Rafael, was a breakout character with a truly loveable personality and development.

Overall, JUST FOR CLICKS is a debut novel that is sure to please any fan of contemporary young adult fiction, particularly those who tend to enjoy slowly building romances rooted in friendship. It may not please anyone looking for a fun story that celebrates the bond between sisters, but the issues with anxiety and social media that it approaches seriously are important topics that are well-represented in an otherwise unserious book. This book is a perfect read for anyone looking for something quick, simple and charming that is easy to get lost in.

Reviewed by Neha S., Teen Board Member on February 26, 2019

Just for Clicks
by Kara McDowell