Title: Click to Subscribe
Author: L.M. Augustine
1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.
As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she’d have on.
To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.
I’ve been tracking this book for a while, and when it came out on May 9th, I ran to get it (figuratively, that is, as it’s an ebook and I’m always on my computer). I started reading it and I was actually kind of disappointed. I don’t know if it was my high expectations that made it seem a little worse than it was at the time, or simply because there was just that general something that bothered me, but as much as I love the back cover, I couldn’t bring myself to fully fall in love with what was on the pages.
I liked the dialogue, I really did (for the most part). There were a lot of jokes and innuendos that appealed to me as a teenager (I think I’m still allowed to call myself that). It was very up to date, using language and jokes a lot of YA readers would understand. I even appreciated the use of Dude ’cause I always say that and get weird looks for it.
What I didn’t like as much about the book was the inner dialogue. The non-chalance of the character seemed forced, as the narrator (West) would always state that he “didn’t even care” if others were looking, judging, or criticizing him. That’s great to have that familiarity, and confidence, but I felt that it could have been expressed in another way. I understand that each person has their little writing quirks, like I say “SO ANYWAYS” and “like” and “but” a lot, probably more than I should, but I feel that as an author, one should try to reduce that.
I also did not love his relationship with his father or the fact that there was little description about him actually vlogging. Where authors like Sarah Dessen can make a crappy parent to child relationship seems real, tangible, painful, Augustine kind of made it irritating, as if he hadn’t put enough work into it. Also, where Susane Colasanti put in parts of Dirk’s radio show, Augustine brushed over West’s vlogging like it was nothing. We only saw vlog’s that were full of emotion and never posted, instead of the ones that were funny and were uploaded for the world to see. I really wish instead of looking to make a short quick summer novel, he had focused more on the finer details of the relationship, of the actions, and of the vlogging, since that’s what brought him and “Harper” together in the first place, kind of… and a little less on the touchy feely stuff. Maybe I’m gender roling (which my soc friends would kill me for), but I felt like West really delved into his feeling A LOT more than most of the guys I know would, and most of the guys I read about would. Does that make it wrong? No, not at all, because I know there are guys like that. Was it a little overkill the way Augustine pushed it? Just a little. I felt that some of the arguments raised, as to why there was a conflict here and there, were not really relevant, or even rational. Again, maybe it’s just me and I’m overanalyzing, but I would have liked more relationship building over in-my-head tug-of-war.
What I did love about Augustine’s writing was the explanation as to why he was the way he was, and I cried ’cause of it. It was emotional and that part was REALLY well written. I also loved Cat’s character and how she was the strong one and pulled through for West no matter how much of a pain in the butt he was being. I respected the character for that. The emails and dialogue, overall, were witty, and entertaining, which was a big plus.
All in all, Augustine won me over but lost me here and there as well. Will I read another novel by him? Yes, because I feel that he has room to improve and seems the have the will to, and that makes all the difference. Overall, Click to Subscribe was relevant and fairly well written, and I truly enjoyed it !~
World Building: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.53/5