I’m delighted to be kicking off the tour for Just For Clicks by Kara McDowell and if you are in the US then there is a giveaway that you’ll want to have a look at too.
Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.
Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .
Amazon UK | Goodreads | Amazon US | Book Depository | B&N | IndieBound
Just For Clicks will be published on the 19th of February 2019
It’s hard not to be drawn to a book that features bloggers, but I was particularly interested in this one because it wasn’t something that Poppy and Claire chose, it’s something they have grown up with.
This is a topic that comes up on occasion for me, not in a blogging sense entirely but certainly the social media side of it. A few of my friends have young children and one in particular feels that she is constantly fighting against people because she doesn’t want images of her children on social media, if they want to put themselves out there when they are older that’s their choice.
So we often discuss exposure for children and how you can end up knowing a lot of information about a family without actually knowing them at all. This book definitely highlights the risks of such exposure but not in an entirely vilifying way, there is kind of a balance between how Claire deals with it and how Poppy deals with it.
Claire was such a vibrant character, she feels that she is the misfit but actually that is what drew me to her because she was so different from her online life. She really struggles with having everything chronicled online and understands how dangerous that can be, but she also doesn’t want to let her family down. I did like that by the end of the book she was standing up for herself more but also that she was more in tune with other people’s feelings rather than just her own.
I have to say though that Poppy didn’t have that same spark and did fall a little flat at times. I felt like there should have been more of a connection between the two of them, not just because they were twins but being sisters spending that much time together you would definitely pick up on each others feelings easily. There were a few occasions that it felt unnatural that Poppy wouldn’t have been more empathetic for Claire’s situation and that they wouldn’t be talking about certain things more than they were. There were a few other secondary characters that I think also could have done with being fleshed out a bit more, it would have given the story a bit more impact.
I did however love Rafael, what a lovely character and the friendship between him and Claire, with that constant wonder of whether they will admit they might feel something for each other, was brilliant. I liked that he wasn’t that into technology and that kind of forces Claire out of her comfort zone.
The story itself was thoroughly enjoyable and quite unexpected at parts, however, I do feel like there was the potential there for something a little better. Without trying to give too much away the things that Claire finds out from the journal has the potential to cause some good tension and issues that could have been worked out between the girls and their mum. But it felt a little skimmed over and because Claire doesn’t really confront anyone about what she finds out until quite late on the resolution feels a little forced and wrapped up too quickly.
I thought the addition of the text conversations and emails were great, added another dimension to the story, sometimes a bit of fun and sometime highlighted the girls influence. I also had fun trying to work out what the emoji messages were on Claire’s message board.
Just For Clicks is a great debut and whilst I feel there was a lot more potential in this story, there is still a lot to love about it.
If you are from the US and like the sound of the book then you’ll want to click the link below to win…
Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.
JUST FOR CLICKS is Kara’s debut novel.
Big thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club and Kara McDowell for inviting me to be part of the tour.