I think the thing that really gets me the most after reading Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell is that I am genuinely surprised by how much of a following people leading this sort of life actually have. It’s most likely a personality thing, but I just don’t get it. The world that is described in Just for Clicks is a thoroughly baffling and foreign one to me. And yet, I suppose it actually does exist. I cannot imagine being one of those people. The story follows Claire Dixon, daughter of a “mommy blogger” whose twin sister genuinely enjoys life in the spotlight. It just comes with the territory that Claire must continue to live with and practically for the brand that was built as her legacy before she could even walk. Of course, she is far more interested in living her own story outside of the spotlight of internet fame and just wants to attend college to get a degree in computer science. Of course, as a result of her fame, life has other plans in store for her.
Honestly, there is a lot to unpack from this novel, which in its own way made the entire book rather similar to real life in the sense that it was kind of a mess. That said, there are several moments when you really have to suspend your disbelief to buy into the novel. But then again, as someone who never lived the life as an internet sensation made popular by the insanity of online fans who bolster the fame of young children whose mother’s put them out for the world to see, so do I really know what that world is like? And, I dunno, the more I look back on the book the more I feel like there was just so much involved. From cyber-bullies to kidnappers to a giant and yet thoroughly predictable twist (but it’s a spoiler so I won’t say more) and to the main plot point of a teenage girl simply not wanting to be internet famous any longer despite how enmeshed she’s already become in the life.
The best thing that Just for Clicks has going for it is that the novel is quite engaging throughout. There are several issues with it from believability to something as simple as having too much happening all at once. I alternated between a three and a four-star review for this book for a long time before settling on three largely due to the rather rushed ending. But the novel is enjoyable despite those issues. I don’t see myself ever reading it again, but I don’t regret the time I spent with it either. There definitely could have been some facets to the novel that made it better–I don’t think the cyber-bulling piece was really all that necessary since it was never really fleshed out and was resolved far too quickly for how it panned out in the end–but it’s a pretty decent book if you’re looking for something to pass the time.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.