Click

Click - Lisa Becker 3.5-4 stars=======DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. She didn't ask, but I agreed to provide an honest review in exchange for her generosity. This is my honest review.========This hip, quirky book is a fun and easy read. It's an almost year in the life of Renee Greene, about to turn 30, and rethinking her life. Like most of us, she's at a milestone birthday and thinking about how she *thought* her life would be at this point... and how it's not. In the book, Renee corresponds with her 3 besties - friends she's known for a very long time: Mark Finlay, Shelley Manning, and Ashley Price. The story is told strictly through emails, which, at times, is tough to parse. I admittedly found my eyes automatically skimming past the whos and the dates to get to the message. And then, often, finding that I needed to go back to the whos and the dates. But that's the way I read email, too - :-) I love the friends and their friendships. They felt real and stayed true to the characters throughout the book. * Mark is the token guy, but he's a real doll; a computer programmer nerd who creates games (specifically for phones) and who is a bit OCD. But Mark really cares about Renee. I found myself, at times, wondering WHY she wouldn't consider Mark as a potential mate. But as I kept reading, I realized that she and Mark had been friends for too long. You know how that goes, right? You know someone for so long and so well that there's not much mystery or spark. You love that other person with all your heart, unconditionally. It's a great friendship, but that's all it's meant to be. Mark is the one who gets Renee into the online dating scene. He wants to try it, himself, but he doesn't want to go it alone. Which I found a little odd, since he and Renee go for totally different dating sites; I figured they'd pick one and try it together. But Renee is Jewish, and Mark knows that, ultimately, Renee wants to please herself and her family and stay within her faith. So, good heart that he is, he finds a top-rated Jewish online dating site for her!* Shelley is the Samantha from "Sex in the City" kinda friend - obviously gorgeous and ready to hit the sack with any guy who takes her fancy. Shelley isn't looking for commitment, although, IMO, she's secretly looking for love. But as a friend, Shelley's true-blue. She helps keep Renee hip and trendy - in fashion, hot spots, and eateries. Shelley is constantly boosting Renee's confidence with compliments and pep talks. And she guides Renee through the gauntlet of men from the dating site.Shelley's idea of "commitment" is 3 dates... and she freely and generously shares the details of each guy she "dates" (more like beds), including her quirky nicknames for each guy, based on something about him. Like Preppy Guy (who becomes forever after known as The Cuddler, because Shelley can't stand cuddling after sex), Fire Hose (fireman and more!), Jet Setter, Ape, Mocha Man, The Trampoline Man, Marathon Man, and... well, you get the idea. At one point, Shelley gets drunk enough at the Valentine's Day Tiffany Blue party to make out with Mark!!!! I kept wondering if *they* would end up hooking up permanently before the book ended - you know, the opposites thing. But, alas, no. Probably better for Mark, but I kept hoping for his HEA too.* Ashley is the Miss Priss, or perhaps the Charlotte of the group, if we're staying with the Sex in the City motif. But the truth is, Ashely is no Charlotte. She's too insecure, self-righteous, and truly a Miss Priss. Ashley is so afraid of being alone that she's constantly taking back her ex, Evan, even though it's more than obvious they're not right for one another. Only to dump him or be dumped by him within days... and being back to miserable. Ashley's motto if often "misery loves company". Not that she's not a good friend to Renee, but strictly on her own terms. She offers a lot of back-handed compliments to Renee. And her fashion sense is stuck in the 80s and 90s. Ashley is probably the one character who seems to grow the most throughout the book. She discovers her sick-cycle carousel (to borrow a phrase from Lifehouse), and by the end of the book, she's found a way to step OFF the carousel. In doing so, she sheds some of her unflattering traits and possibly finds that love she's been looking for.In terms of the replies Renee gets from the site (ChooseJews.com - ha!), there truly is a gauntlet that Renee has to learn to navigate. At the beginning, I thought that, perhaps, Renee was being too picky. She was doing what we all do - looking for the PERFECT MATCH immediately. Thing is, if your "type" was working for you, you wouldn't still be single, right? But the first few guys that she rejects or dates show themselves to not be right. (Although I did feel a bit bad for the doctor... I mean, he was a romantic at heart. Just maybe moving a bit too fast.)And Renee has to suffer her share of pricks and jerks until she finds Ethan. Which is really funny, because when Ethan first sent her an email re: her profile, Renee was going out with someone else and told him she wasn't available - guess she's a one-guy-at-a-time dater... which I've never understood. Why, until you know THIS IS THE GUY, would you limit yourself to dating only one guy at a time? ANYWAY, when Renee figures out the guy she's dating is one of the aforementioned jerks, Ethan sends another email; which, for whatever reason, hits Renee wrong, and she accidentally sends him a very scathing and harsh reply. She thinks he thinks that she's not capable of sustaining a relationship or something. But the guy was only trying to express his continued interest in her.Well... the scathing reply is in Ethan's favor, because Renee feels guilty enough to go out with him. And discovers that this guy really might be THE ONE.What ensues is a glorious up-and-down relationship. Both Ethan and Renee have their hot buttons, and things are touch-and-go at times. THEN, the INCIDENT happens - the event that throws everything to the wind... takes your breath away. In fact, I was a little ticked, because in email time, it took *forever* to discover what happened at Mark's 30th birthday party that put Renee into such a tizzy!!!Turns out, it's ASHLEY who smooths things over and brings everyone to his or her senses. She's the one who helps Renee see what's real and what's all in her silly head.So, we end up with our Happily Ever After, after all.If you like contemporary romance with quirks and a kick, this is an author to watch!