Four women struggling with life, love and happiness in Kansas City. One Meg struggling to get into an entertaining but emotionally-distant novel.
“Best friends and fellow midwesterners Katie, Annie, Maxine, and Claudia are no strangers to dealing with love and relationships, but with online dating and social networking now in the mix, they all have the feeling they’re not in Kansas anymore.
“Katie, a divorced mother of two, secretly seeks companionship through the Internet only to discover that the rules of the dating game have drastically changed. Annie, a high-powered East Coast transplant, longs for a baby, yet her online search for a sperm donor is not as easy — or anonymous — as she anticipates. Maxine, a successful artist with a seemingly perfect husband, turns to celebrity gossip sites to distract herself from her less-than-ideal marriage. And Claudia, tired of her husband’s obsession with Facebook, finds herself irresistibly drawn to a handsome co-worker.
“As these women navigate the new highs and lows of the digital age, they each find that their wrong turns lead surprisingly to the right click and, ultimately, the connection they were seeking.” (Goodreads)
As I’ve often shared, I’m an online dating alum. Having had that experience and initially connecting with my boyfriend online, stories delving into the world of meeting potential mates through the Internet catch my interest. That’s what brought me to Molly Shapiro’s Point, Click, Love, an entertaining novel that kept me reading — even if I wasn’t completely invested in the characters’ lives.
Despite heralding the four central women as “best friends,” we see very little interaction between them. The book’s third-person narration shifts focus between chapters from one woman to the next. That might have been my biggest hurdle to jump, enjoyment-wise: just as I was getting into Annie’s story, for example, we were hopping over to Maxine’s. Claudia’s situation felt the most realistic, but I couldn’t believe she was tumbling so far down a rabbit hole without anyone to pull her out. And I didn’t feel having four “main” characters was a benefit; I almost wish this had just been Katie’s story. Or maybe Claudia’s, though she made me pretty mad.
Point, Click, Love is easily digestible and often brims with humor. Shapiro writes well and I enjoyed her turns of phrase, but her characters lacked the depth required to keep me thinking about them. The “online dating” theme took a backseat to run-of-the-mill drama, and I didn’t feel like technology’s role in the modern dating world was explored in a satisfying way. I did like quips like this one, though:
“Katie decided to take care of her need for sex in the same way she took care of paying her bills, finding cheap airfare, and buying her kids’ school uniforms — she went online.”
Fans of chick lit, modern romance and vignettes might find Shapiro’s novel an easy, breezy read for a summer afternoon. Though Point, Click, Love didn’t bowl me over, I did finish it quickly and would take a peek at the author’s future work. Maybe with a bigger concentration on the online dating scene, which was the most interesting part of this work — whew wee, Katie and her potential sugar daddies! (You know, if the current situation doesn’t work out.)
3 out of 5!