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Just for Clicks

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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 . . .

352 pages, Paperback

First published February 19, 2019

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About the author

Kara McDowell

8 books218 followers
Kara McDowell is the author of the the upcoming The Prince & The Apocalypse (Wednesday Books), One Way or Another, This Might Get Awkward, and Just for Clicks. She lives with her husband and a trio of rowdy boys in Mesa, Arizona, where she divides her time between writing, baking, and wishing for rain.

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 282 reviews
Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
July 30, 2019
Twin sisters Claire and Poppy are rising Internet stars thanks to their Mum blogging about their lives since they were born. Imagine all those cute but so embarrassing details open to strangers’ scrutiny just a click away. One day their Mum sets up a Youtube channel for them and off they go making their own name and building up their own brand. While Poppy loves it and sees the fame as a way of gaining power, Claire, the geeky web designer part of the duo, hates the pervasive lack of privacy brought by their stardom. When she meets a new boy during the school lunch hour, she can’t believe he doesn’t know who she is. For the first time in her life Claire has a clean slate and can finally satisfy her 'craving for freedom and anonymity’.

I loved the way this book touches on many issues relevant to teenagers.

First, there is the issue of identity. People who read the blog think they know who Poppy and Claire are, but Claire is conscious of the fact that the image, the brand, is carefully constructed. So, she rightfully questions ‘If I am not that, then who am I?’ We are so much more than a mere sum of other people’s opinions and images of us.

Then, there is the issue of privacy and consent. Claire’s mother chose to tell her story in her blog because it was her life, but she also involved her children and imposed her choice on them.

Thirdly, the issue of family: how do I stand out? How do I fit in? Does my Mum prefer my sibling to me? and if yes, should I feel resentful? Am I being selfish if helping my sister achieve her dream makes me feel miserable? Is family more about shared genetics or years of shared life? Despite the dark secret and evident lack of communication, family relationships in this book do ring true.

There were quite a few twists in the story which made this book so gripping.
I loved the slow-burn romance: the getting-to-know-you-as-well-as-myself’ part opening oneself up to rejection and the sweetest delight of being really listened to and understood.
Although I did feel the ending was a bit rushed, and some of the secondary characters were flat and sketchy, this did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
I found it refreshing and original and would definitely recommend it

Thank you to NetGalley and Amberjack publishing for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

My reviews can also be found on:
Profile Image for ♛ may.
805 reviews3,775 followers
December 26, 2018
e-arc so graciously provided by netgalley. all opinions are my own.

This book had a lot of potential and I went in with really high hopes, hoping it would be something along the lines of Far From the Tree, but it really wasn’t. sad.

- between each chapter is a page of text messages or emails or forum posts and I found it to be very cute and charming
- Rafael, this sweet soft boy who doesn’t use technology was my favourite character
- Slow burn romance that is heavy on friendship (fav)
- really tackles the idea of social media and how everyone is different in regards to handling ‘fame’ and gives an insight into the negative aspects of it
- Claire is a strong lead and her voice was very strong compared to the other characters
- the plot twist had me for a second
- lots of family representation (though more on the dysfunctional side but nonetheless, it was present)
- i liked the insight into the life of daily vloggers and blog famous characters, it’s a really unique and modern concept to be explored

- I felt that the writing was very run-of-the-mill, there was nothing gripping or made this stand out from any other book
- claire and poppy’s relationship was kind of strange for me. Yes, siblings fight and grate on each other’s nerves but I felt like their relationship was very one-dimensional
- only towards the end did we see their bond as siblings and twins really show through, but throughout the majority of the book they were so detached from each other, it was almost like they were friends rather than TWINS
- there was miscommunication for no reason?? Claire was clearly into Rafael but she mentioned more than once how she was dating this other guy ?? when she wasn’t??
- I just didn’t get why that was a part of the story like okay sure?
- Poppy and their mom really didn’t care for claire’s feelings or opinions EVER. even when she was clearly uncomfortable with certain things she was just silenced or didn’t speak up for herself
- The ending was resolved wayyy too quickly, the character’s mindset changed in an instant and it was just wrapped up a little too nicely

It was an enjoyable book and I’m glad I read it but there were some parts that just left me so baffled and the family relationship didn’t feel authentic to me. A good read but personally it wasn’t very memorable.
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,021 reviews203 followers
July 1, 2019
More of a 3.5 star read.

I saw this book many times while browsing but it really wasn’t much on my radar to read until I saw a couple of trusted bloggers promoting it on social media. And it definitely didn’t disappoint. It started off really well but then took some interesting and not very pleasing turns, so I kind of have mixed feelings about the book overall.

Claire is a very realistic teenage protagonist. Her whole life has been about the blog and YouTube and she feels tired of living her life in the public eye. Being a teenager is difficult for anyone, so I could totally empathize with her wanting something different for her future and something even as simple as a friendship that has nothing to do with her online persona. She is also kind of a web design genius and I really loved reading about a STEM heroine. She is witty and hilarious and I loved her silly puns. But she is also scared of strangers and that added an extra dimension to the reality of fame.

The story faltered a bit when it came to the remaining characters. Claire’s twin Poppy, with whom she shares her vlog with felt slightly caricaturish. She is quite enamored with the fame and loves her million subscribers and free clothes and is most excited with the opportunity of a reality show. Their mother Ashley has had her blog since before the twins were born and her life revolves around her brand. She schedules every hour of their life, turns even their supposedly private celebrations into publicity shoots and doesn’t believe in talking about things that make her uncomfortable. Both of them never let Claire ever express her opinion and always impose their decisions on her. Maybe this is how Claire views them and I would have felt differently about them if they had their own POVs, but I just didn’t like both of them for most part of the book. Rafael was the sweet, new boy in town who befriends Claire without knowing that she is internet famous and I absolutely adored their friendship development. It was so beautifully done, but just when I thought I was getting more swoon worthy moments, Claire kept telling unnecessary lies which led to misunderstandings and their budding romance lost the magic for me.

The writing was very nicely done and I finished this pretty quickly in a single sitting. All chapters are peppered with texts or emails or forum posts in between which made for fun reading. I also thought the author did a good job of giving us the positives vs negatives of fame and popularity and how the persona that social media influencers show us is not the true reality of their life. I think this can be a good read for teenagers who follow such influencers and blindly idolize them. However, I did have some problems in parts too, the biggest being Rafael’s reason for not having a phone. I liked that he was one person who was kind of a technophobe and could happily be without a phone, but saying that it was because he was used to living in a village in India where there was no cell reception felt very poorly researched. Even remote villages like my own native place have reception and even internet these days and dismissing Indian villages as so primitive without technology was done in bad taste. Also, the execution of the plot in the second half of the book went a little downhill. The mystery of Ashley’s past, how Claire decides to deal with it and all the revelations and resolutions towards the end felt rushed, poorly thought out and very out of character for all of them.

Overall, this was a fascinating read with an insightful look into the private lives of social influencers and I think it’ll be quite enjoyable to younger readers. I think it’s a great debut attempt which could have done with better execution.
Profile Image for L. | That_Bookdragon.
252 reviews12 followers
July 19, 2019
somewhere between 1.5 and 2/5 ⭐, DNF'd at 65%

E-arc received from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

It's not that this book was utterly bad, it just wasn't made for me. This felt a lot like reading about an alternative Kardashian family with a mother who's been running a blog for years and embarking her two daughters with her. The relationship between the characters, especially between Poppy and Claire felt weird and unnatural. Claire needs to stop complaining, girl, please. I know you don't have the life you'd like to have but please STOP . The idea behind this book's concept had a lot of potential. We see the ugly side of being internet-famous despite yourself andwanting to go back to anonymity. However, the family dynamics was not right at all. The mother doesn't care about what Claire wants, Claire is angry all the time and Poppy wants everything that can make her happy. Even the relationship between Claire and Rafael did not feel genuine.


The writing wasn't that great either in my opinion, also even though this was an ARC, the amount of grammatical errors and typos in this book was overwhelming. I usually really don't care if it's one or two but there was at least one in every chapter.

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Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,161 reviews1,300 followers
February 13, 2019
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Just For Clicks by Kara McDowell is a book that discusses internet fame and the struggles young influencers face. I loved the prominent theme of family and the main character who faces many challenges. The story provides interesting insight, and some heavy topics are discussed alongside some fun.


This book tells the story of Claire and Poppy, internet influencers who pretty much have it all. However, Claire wants to be normal, but the brand would fall apart if she were to quit. I enjoyed how the story tackles the subject of what family is, and I love any book about sisters. There are also some multimedia aspects such as texts and emails at the end of each chapter, which are an engaging addition. Fans of books about internet culture will enjoy this one.


Claire is a realistic main character, and I sympathized with her. She doesn’t really fit in with the rest of her family, but she also doesn’t want to disappoint them. Everything about her is available online, and she feels pressure to contribute to the brand instead of being her true self. I was glad to see her transform and go with what she wants throughout the book.


Just For Clicks is a thought-provoking novel that raises questions about today’s internet culture and internet fame. I enjoyed the theme of family and the authentic main character. I enjoyed this one, and I would recommend it to those looking for a book that is both cute and contemplative.
Profile Image for Kara McDowell.
Author 8 books218 followers
January 9, 2019
11/26/18 - New release date!

Just popping in to let everyone know that the release of JUST FOR CLICKS has been moved to February 19, 2019! I hope the extra 3 weeks will be worth the wait!

7/27/18 - I have a cover! (And I'm absolutely smitten with it!)

You might enjoy JUST FOR CLICKS if you like:

-Stories about sisters, specifically twins
-Complicated family dynamics
-Nice boys who are also a little bit technophobic
-Social Media
-Snippets of text messages, emails, forum posts, and voicemails
-Slow burn love stories
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,373 reviews233 followers
February 18, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars

In this day and age, when social media plays such a big role in our lives, Claire wanted to escape it all and be "just Claire", but after playing her role for so long, she first needed to figure out who "just Claire" really was.

• Pro: I have a love/hate relationship with social media, and I really appreciated all the different sides of internet fame McDowell presented. She showed the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all, as well as the perceptions of both fans and the internet stars. Lots of interesting commentary in there without being judgmental.

• Pro: This book was a LOT deeper than I expected. There were some pretty major issues touched upon with respect to family, loyalty, grief, and self fulfillment, among others, and it was done in a thoughtful way without making the book too heavy.

• Pro: The friendship and romance between Claire and Raphael was really fun and cute. She was living her life online, while he insisted on in person meetings and eye contact. They were seemingly different yet so good together. These two definitely supplied me with some of my favorite scenes.

• Pro: The inclusion of the different media - emails, texts, posts, was a lot of fun and nice touch for a book centered around the use of electronic media.

• Pro: Claire was the star of this story, and I adored her. From her awkward attempts at romance to her fantastically nerdy coding t-shirts, she was a girl after my own heart. She was grappling with so many different things in this book - feeling like the odd man out, worrying about her safety, her sense of being less than, and her waning desire to partake in the family business. Her struggle with what she wanted and what her family wanted came across well, and I felt for her as she tried to come to terms with her emotions regarding her online life PLUS all the other things, which precipitated over the course of this story.

• Pro: The family dynamic was a big driving force in this story, and it was interesting to observe. I know I formed a lot of instant opinions, which I then had to nullify as I learned more of the details, and also as other characters gave their two cents on the situations.

Overall: An compelling look at life online, which was thoughtful, fun, sweet, and adorable.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Marie.
470 reviews178 followers
May 1, 2019
This is more of a 4,5, I am SO indecisive okay.
There were so many things to love in this book: I really liked the blogging aspect of it all and seeing how much space it took in the girls' and their mother's lives. I LOVED the family dynamics and sister dynamics a whole lot, too and I had such a great time with the romance, slow-burning friendship turning into more, my favorite kind. That was overall such a good debut, I had such a fun time reading it and 300% recommend it.

Read my full review of Just For Clicks on the blog.

Thank you to AmberJack Publishing for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating.

My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bloglovin'
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
587 reviews818 followers
May 11, 2020
I have mixed feelings about this one, and there’s a lot of pros and cons to the different elements.

For a romantic contemporary, it wasn’t bad, but it also felt like it was stuck somewhere between romance and coming-of-age novel and couldn’t decided what it wanted to be. I think conceptually it is really cute–I love the idea of a romance and someone who is the daughter of a Mommy Blogger having to deal with that certain brand of fame.

But, I also think parts of this book had its flaws. First off,

The romance was cute!

I think my favorite part of this whole book was definitely Rafael–I loved Rafael as a character and love interest and he was so fun and cute and a very sweet love interest!

Plus, I do think he complemented Claire well and provided a good contrast against her, although I’m not entirely sure how well Claire complemented him.

There were some miscommunication issues on Claire’s side that were kinda confusing and I’m not really sure why she couldn’t clear it up? Sometimes I just felt like her decisions were a little too unrealistic, and that she should have just talked things out.

So yeah. LOVED Rafael and I think he’s a character that’s sweet enough to complement anyone, but I’m not 100% sure how much I enjoy him and Poppy together.

Claire and Poppy had an interesting sister dynamic.

Claire is the “I don’t like fame” twin, and Poppy is the “YAY FAME” twin, and I think this was a really interesting contrast–especially with the way the book focused on things from Claire’s perspective.

I think in the last fourth of the book, we really got to see more of the Claire and Poppy dynamic in this portion and this is where I would say the relationship bloomed the most. I can’t say to the accuracy (I am–alas–an only child.), but I think this was definitely one of my favorite parts of the book! The way they worked things out and really solidified that they were not just sisters, but friends was really sweet to me.

And I think they were a really big contrast against each other, and I’m not necessarily sure how much I liked Poppy. I know the book was more about Claire, but Poppy felt kind of underdeveloped for a big part of the book.

Mommy blogging: a more dangerous profession than you might imagine.

I really liked how this book shined the light on how blogging/internet fame can get dangerous. I’m not going to spoil anything, but it does delve a little deeper into the Kathleen Hale side of things, if you know what I mean.

I think the spotlight comes with a lot of different struggles, and although McDowell highlighted the struggles (creepers, people thinking they know you, etc.), something just…didn’t sit right with me?

I’m not very good at pinpointing this, but if I had to describe it, it would be that Claire and Poppy are still very very privileged. And I’m not saying this negates any experiences famous/popular people have, but sometimes things they said or the way they acted came of as a little…bratty.

Like their social media rules: notably, “don’t post photos of people with double chins.” Idk, this came off as like kinda harmful to me? I’m definitely not the best judge of this, but it seems off that your standard of beauty + social media fame doesn’t involve fat people?

And just in general I wish they did just . . . a little more with their fame in a positive way. Donating to charity. Doing something nice for someone because of your fame. Etc. I felt like we didn’t really get to know why they kept blogging etc. except for the fact that they wanted a comfortable life when they . . . already had a comfortable life?

I don’t know–their motivations for doing this wasn’t really clear, especially for Poppy who felt shallow for a large portion of the book.

So although I like it conceptually, a lot of the privilege associated with blogging felt unaddressed to me.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad read.

It just wasn’t my favorite, either, and I think there were some places that could have used a little more. And there were a few plotlines (Erica and her other friend) that I wish were wrapped up more.

Overall, I think that if you’re attracted to the concept, you should definitely pick Just for Clicks up! It is cute and a light read, so good for when you’re in that kind of mood!
Profile Image for Lilian.
270 reviews11 followers
May 3, 2019
This was really interesting! There were a couple of plot twists that I didn't see coming, which is nice. 😛 A couple of bad words, but overall very clean.
Profile Image for Isabelle (the Book Dutchesses).
264 reviews69 followers
February 13, 2019
This is a pretty generic contemporary cover, and while I normally hate people on covers I actually really like this one! I love the color scheme, the white doodles and I also like the models they used for Claire and Poppy. The cover brings the feel of the book across quite well I think.

I didn’t realize this book was only 250 pages when I started reading it, but I flew through it and before I knew it I hit the end. When I dived into this story I was expecting a cute and fluffy contemporary novel featuring sisters and bloggers. And while I got that, I also got more!

Claire and Poppy are the daughters of a famous mommy blogger and they have their own instagram account and youtube channel with quite the following. I loved reading about their experience as famous influencers. It was also super interesting to read how much time is spend on creating content for a blog or insta account or youtube channel. Since Candyce and I started this blog, we have spent so much time on it and I never would’ve guessed that upfront.

Apart from the blogger storyline we also got a little mystery going on. As a mystery fan I really enjoyed that part, even though I did figure out the twist pretty early on. It’s always nice to be right haha. And we obviously also got a little romance. It was a really cute slow burn romance and those are my favorite kinds of romance.

In between the chapters we got little text messages, forum posts, voicemails and stuff like that. I wish all books did that, especially contemporary one, it’s just so enjoyable! As I said, this is a pretty short book, and that is one of my only complaints. I wished the ending was a little bit more stretched out and could’ve used some more expanding. We got a pretty quick solution and that didn’t feel completely right unfortunately. Otherwise this was a fast and cute story.

Our main character is Claire, she’s really sweet, a little bit insecure and she loves coding. I really liked that she was into coding, that’s not a hobby you come across often. Especially not with these types of characters. I also liked that Claire slowly learned to stick up for herself and started to make choices based on what she wanted and not on what she thought others would want.

Poppy is Claire’s twin sister and I just have to say I love her name haha. Other than that she fell a little bit flat for me. She wasn’t as well developed as Claire and seemed pretty selfish. I think that was part of why the ending felt a little bit rushed. It did show their lack of communication and the positive outcome of proper communication put I didn’t feel like it totally fit Poppy. Or at least not the side we got to see of her.

Rafael is the new kid at school and he isn’t really into technology and cellphones and stuff. This was a pretty fun route to take with this character and it raised some really good points. I liked his character in general and think his interactions with Claire were really fun.
4,5 stars! Full review will be posted closer to the release date. Netgalley provided me with an eArc.
I highly enjoyed this contemporary story filled with blogging and YouTube and fashion and secrets <3
Profile Image for ♥ Kym.
174 reviews6 followers
March 14, 2019
I can’t believe I spent 3 hours of my time reading this. Claire is utterly annoying who always complains about her oh-so-perfect life. I‘m not popular or whatsoever so I don’t know what it feels like to live in the shadows, but damn this girl makes it seem like her problems are the worst.
Profile Image for Hanne.
588 reviews42 followers
April 19, 2020
First off, can we talk about that cover?? It's SO cute!! I love the hand lettering, the doodles, all of it.

I went into this book not knowing much about it, other than it was about a blogger/influencer life. After reading it, though, I don't think the back blurb really covers what this book is about.

The book covers Claire, who is a twin who has grown up in the spotlight, thanks to her mother's lifestyle and fashion blog. Her twin loves it . . . herself, not so much. Just for Clicks explores what happens when Claire tries to extricate herself from the carefully crafted online web that has existed around her since the day she was born. Overall, the storyline progressed well, and it was a good story . . . it just personally wasn't for me.

A lot of the story seemed to be added in for either the sake of saying it, or just for amusement? There were a lot of plot points that didn't seem to contribute to the story, which is fine, but when it's over 60% of the book, it just doesn't really add to the experience of reading the story, you know? To illustrate, the biggest plot point (Claire finding her mother's journal, which leads to Everything Else happening), happened roughly 140 pages into a 330 page book.

In addition, nearly all of the characters except for Claire and her love interest seemed very one dimensional and flat, even the famous blogger mom and her twin sister. The family portrayal in this book was pretty fun, and I enjoyed that, but Poppy and her mom, Ashley, were just bland and uninteresting for it to have the full effect.

Claire, the main character, wasn't particularly likeable either? Although the book was told from her point of view, and her mindset was explored the most, she still made some really odd decisions for being the main character, and a lot of things about the way she was thinking didn't make sense. She wasn't my favorite.

The blogging/influencer lifestyle was . . . also just not portrayed correctly? It was made to seem both much easier and also much harder than it actually is. One time Ashley said "you know the business side of this is much harder than what most people actually see" as if it were some sort of big secret but . . . it's not?? Everyone knows that? But also for a blog/brand as big as the book made it out to be, why didn't they have managers? Why were they fielding their own email? Why were they discussing their own sponsorships? People who are that big have managers who do that for them, and that part was just straight up misguided information.

Lastly, the story just straight up didn't make sense. Things were often insinuated that would have been foreshadowing, except they weren't actually told well enough that it was apparent, and just lead to confusion later on. Like aforementioned, the story progressed really slowly, building backstory, then all came to a head in the very last 50 or so pages of the book. I think the story would have been a lot more powerful if the last part had been extended out more and the irrelevant details cut. (Ironic for a book whose final purpose was "we all have our stories to tell").

The romance was designed to be a "slow-burn" romance . . . except it really wasn't? There was instant chemistry, then Claire straight up told her love interest that she had a boyfriend mulTIPLE times, then got mad at him and said he wasn't communicating when he wouldn't pursue a relationship with her beCAUSE SHE TOLD HIM SHE HAD A BOYFRIEND?? and that whole thing with an old flame was SO WEIRD as well.

To not close off this review/rant with all negativity, some things that I liked from this book: the love interest! He was so sweet and pure and tbh my favorite part of this book. The little text/email/journal entries in between chapters! Those were so fun! Girls in STEM!!! I wish we could have seen more of that! The book itself was a fun read, and I read it all in an afternoon, so that was fun. :)

So overall? This book had a lot of potential, but didn't execute it the way I would have liked. There were some fun parts that I really enjoyed, and the love interest was super cute!

My Rating-

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

This review first appeared on: https://losingthebusyness.wordpress.c...
Profile Image for Morgan (The Bookish Beagle).
723 reviews160 followers
January 5, 2019
I loved this book!! What an unexpected surprise! The voice was fantastic, the story was thought-provoking and filled with just the right amount of drama, and I super loved Rafael from the start! I also related so so deeply to some of the romantic situations Claire found herself in- we're both terribly awkward hahah. The ending felt a little fast but I read this in a day and enjoyed it SO much. It reminded me of an emma Mills or Jenn bennett book, which is the highest compliment I can give. Longer review to come on the blog.
Profile Image for Lillian Clark.
Author 2 books146 followers
August 19, 2018
I *adored* this book. Claire's story is so fascinating! Fun to read, full of heart and complexity, I've never read anything like it. I was hooked by the peek-behind-the-curtain of being internet famous but fell in love with McDowell's characters.
Profile Image for Nikki Barthelmess.
Author 3 books104 followers
February 20, 2019
I’m so lucky I got to read this book before publication. I loved it so much! If you like stories about sisters, family secrets, internet fame, and a swoony will-they-or-won’t-they romance, this book is for you!
Profile Image for Rachel Solomon.
Author 12 books5,326 followers
November 10, 2018
This was so much fun! Its approach to social media (and social media fame) felt fresh and authentic, and the romance was absolutely adorable. Compelling family dynamics, too. Highly recommend to lovers of contemporary YA!
Profile Image for Karen • The Book Return.
263 reviews64 followers
November 10, 2019
(4.5 Stars)
Read this review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog
*I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

'I just can't help but think, unhinged for not, the good moms are the ones who stay. The ones who keep trying day in and day out.'

Claire and her twin sister, Poppy, are 'internet famous'. Every part of their lives have been blogged, photographed, and recorded by their fashion blogger mom. Claire begins to doubt her future on the internet while Poppy loves the limelight. The addition of a new boy in class helps push Claire to spread her wings and want more for her life.

The topic of this book is very timely. When I was growing up there was no YouTube, social medial, or email. There was no pressure to keep up on the latest internet trends and there was no such thing as being 'internet famous.' In todays world there are many people who are popular internet celebrities. Their accessibility to the public makes their fans believe that they know them. This can lead many young internet personalities to really lose a sense of themselves. This is what happens to Clair in 'Just for Clicks.' Her mother and sister pressure her to continue in the public spotlight (their livelihood depends on it) even when Claire is not comfortable with it. McDowell really shows the reasons why Claire doesn't like this lifestyle but why she keeps vlogging and blogging anyway. The author also demonstrates how imperative clicks, views, impressions, subscribers, and comments are to anyone with an on-line presence.

I really did love Claire and her relationship with Rafael. Their friendship and romance really took my breath away and I was totally smitten with Raphael myself.

I think Claire is a very human character. She began as very nervous and self-conscious  and turned  into a whole new self-assured person. The only character that I am not totally sure I liked is Ashley, Poppy and Claire's mom. Her behavior both inside their 'brand' and in their family life was very questionable. She seemed to disregard Claire's feelings and definitely favored Poppy. I know this is an important point of the storyline but her constant disregard for Claire did bother me at times.

I am so happy to have read, 'Just for Clicks'. What seems to be a lighthearted story about 'internet famous' twin sisters is so much for then that. It is an important topic that I wish was approached more in YA. 'Just for Clicks', is a totally sweet romance while still being so much more.
*Side note-I totally loved Claire's internet friend, Signofthetimes.

This review was originally posted on The Book return...

Profile Image for anika.
75 reviews6 followers
January 7, 2022
I received a free ARC (advanced review copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review (thanks, Netgalley!) and I loved it so so so much that I read it in one day. There was a small pinch of minor swearing, and the main characters were secular teenagers so they weren't perfect (no one is though), but I loved the plot and characters and message so much that I can get past that.

Claire is ME. She can be so mature and wise at some times, and then other times she'll lock herself in her room for 24 hours to cry and refuse a trip to Disneyland because she's in such despair. Rafael was also the cutest and so SWEET (I call him). All the characters were very well developed, the plot twists were COMPLETELY unexpected, and the description was en pointe.
Profile Image for Mimi.
386 reviews108 followers
January 12, 2019
Kara McDowell’s debut novel invites you into the midst of twin sisters Claire and Poppy, whose lives have been chronicled online since the day there were born. Their Mom, internationally known mommy blogger managed to build a brand by telling the world about her family – and as teens, Claire and Poppy have taken up the torch and have become famous vloggers. The only problem? Claire doesn’t want to be in the spotlight anymore. She craves a normal life away from the cameras, away from the prying eyes. But along with getting rid of those nuisances, what else might she lose?
Claire was such a fascinating protagonist – constantly thwarted by her sister and her mother whenever she expressed the wish to stay off camera. We got a good glimpse of why Claire doesn’t want her entire life laid out for everyone to see, and I kept finding myself rooting for her to get her wish and live a normal life away from people who pretend they know her just because they’ve read her mom’s blog. I really enjoyed the way she was portrayed; especially her social anxiety issues felt very authentic and relatable – it is tough to realize that sometimes we see celebrities as these untouchable people standing on a pedestal and we forget that they are still humans, just like us, and deserve their privacy. McDowell dealt amazingly with the issue of modern fame in a world where everyone is always watching.
My favorite character by far was Rafael, a pure soul who doesn’t own a phone and sees Claire for who she is instead of who she presents online. There were some definite inconvenient misunderstandings that kept this slow-burn romance stretched out longer than it needed to be, but Rafael made up for it by delivering lines that made him extra swoon-worthy.
However, there are also a few things that didn’t quite work in this narrative.
The secondary characters weren’t fleshed out; most of them were mentioned only in passing, without any features or traits to distinguish them. Olivia, who ultimately plays a fundamental role in the story, veers somewhere between honorary ‘mean girl’ and ‘girl next door’ without actually speaking more than ten sentences in the entirety of the novel – and she’s the most dynamic of the secondary characters.
Sadly, the same can be said about Claire and Poppy’s relationship. It is hard to believe these two are twins, seeing as it takes them almost up until the end to actually spend time together and talk about their problems. Poppy herself felt very one-dimensional as well – the only thing we ever get to hear from her is her wanting to gain more influence, and though her motive for that is quite altruistic, it still left something to be desired so the reader could relate to her.
There were also quite some inconsistencies during the course of the novel – some relating to a plot twist and that shall thus remain a secret. But there is a clear divide in the book, and Claire’s voice suddenly sounds quite different from the beginning. Especially towards the rushed ending, a tangible sentimentality creeps into the story that is at odds with every thought and interaction Claire has had thus far. The resolution, while satisfactory, felt a bit too easy and out of character for everyone involved.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading Just for Clicks. From the friends-to-lovers trope to addressing social anxiety and approaching a modern topic like vloggers and fame in the age of social media, this novel had a lot to offer. I think it had a lot more potential, but all in all, Just for Clicks is an enjoyable debut novel for fans of slow-burn romances.

*thanks to thenerddaily and netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,071 reviews219 followers
August 6, 2019
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Review also found here at Booked J.

When I first requested Just for Clicks, I knew I would enjoy it. I just didn't know how much I would. I have to say, firstly, that I am really impressed with all the contemporaries that I've read so far in 2019. We're less than a month of our way through the new year and already, every single YA contemporary that I've read has been good and quite distinct in their own ways. Just for Clicks is no different and it's a blast.

I'll admit that I struggled, initially, with what I wanted to rate the book as. I bounced around from 3 to 3.5, to 4, and found I'd wanted to rate it somewhere around 4.5-5 by the time I processed it all. I really enjoyed the way that this novel made me feel--all warm and fuzzy and not unlike a release by Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti or Jenny Han. It's the type of contemporary novel that you finish quickly because it's impossible to not devour it.

There's this fondness that comes with Just for Clicks because you genuinely care about the characters in it. I didn't dislike anyone, aside from the foes that Claire and Poppy have met along the way. I liked that this showed more than just the perks of being famous online (the girls are both Youtubers who have a substantial following and have, quite literally, grown up in the eyes of a specific audience online) and really zeroed in on how stressful it could become for someone so young.

What I loved most about Just for Clicks was the relationship at the center of the book: the two sisters. I liked that no matter their differences, and no matter the big twist (I am not spoiling you guys!) that threatens to come between them, they remain sisters for life. I thought that the way McDowell portrayed these two was beautiful and honest.

Further, I like the care that she took in tackling heavier topics such as the weirdly invasive fans of the two teenagers; the overly pushy mother who is very much so a Kris Jenner like figure (only a bit more sympathetic) who has secrets of her own, and the way an attempt to kidnap the girls changed them at a young age and shaped them into who they are now.

Going into Just for Clicks I expected something lighter and less heartfelt than the book was in the end, and I've never been more thrilled. I came into Just for Clicks thinking that it would be another L.A. Candy or Girl Online, but it ended up being something else entirely.

I can't really compare it to anything other than the way that Krista and Becca Ritchie approach certain topics in their Addicted, Calloway Sisters and Like Us series. It's the type of story that seems overly fluffy upon reading the synopsis, but has a lot of soul to it. It was just fun and I cannot recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Andi (Andi's ABCs).
1,538 reviews188 followers
February 19, 2019
This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. There is no denying we live in an internet famous world. We have YouTube and Instagram and Snap Chat. We have blogs and Facebook and Twitter. People want to make their mark and they try to become internet famous overnight. So when I read the description for Just for Clicks I immediately wanted to pick it up because we never think of the people that are brought into internet fame just because their parents are internet famous. I was intrigued by the idea and I can say happily that Kara McDowell did not let me down. This book is fantastic guys! Like, blow you away, fantastic!

Just for Clicks is the story of Poppy and Claire, twins that become internet famous thanks to their mom’s blog going viral when they were babies. Now teenagers, they must continue to build their brand at all times. But as one twin starts to hate all the notoriety more and more she must figure if she should continue doing with makes her mom and sister happy or if she should finally do what makes her happy. And what to do about her mom’s handwritten journals that contain stuff that wasn’t on the blog.

The thing I loved most about this book is that it made me think a lot about social media. I follow a couple of Instagram accounts that have been using their children to do ads for different brands and it got me thinking about what their lives will be like when they are older. Currently the choice is being taken away from them because they are basically too little to decide. But what will happen when they are Poppy and Claire’s age? When they want to have a life of their own outside of the public eye? When it becomes a job and not fun? Those where the things that jumped out to me most when I was reading Poppy and Claire’s story and Claire’s struggle with it all.

The other thing I loved about this book is the unexpected turns it took. As I was reading it I would read a part and be shocked that what I read happened because I never expected the story to go that way or for something like that to be unveiled. It was all done so naturally it took my completely off guard and I loved it. It made the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

Just for Clicks is not at all what I was expecting. When I picked it up I thought I was going to get a story about twin girls and their ‘whoa is me’ attitude. Instead I got a deeper story about being put on a path you didn’t choose and what that means when it is your choice and who it affects. This book is A+. top notch and I 100% recommend you snag a copy and read it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that it is more than you expect going in. Read it!
Profile Image for Shealea.
429 reviews1,192 followers
October 1, 2020
If I’m being honest, Just for Clicks baffled the cheese out of me. It has a fairly interesting mix of good and bad qualities that made it difficult to decide whether I was enjoying the story or not.

Just for Clicks makes for a decent romantic contemporary with a cute friends-to-lovers trope. And it does have a unique premise that should pique quite a lot of interest: a vlogging mother and her two social media famous twin daughters. But outside of that, I don't think it has much to offer.

I’d like to think that I understand what this novel is trying to do, and I don’t want to unfairly dismiss the merit behind its key message. However, there is definitely something in its execution that led to a disconnect between me and the story, which I was never able to overcome — and I think that something is the fact that Just for Clicks reeks of unchecked privilege and white girls constantly framing themselves as “oppressed”. In fact, a lot of the time, Claire and Poppy came across as shallow and bratty.

While I applaud how this book delves into the terrifying dangers of Internet fame and social media (which is absolutely an issue that concerns everyone), the characters fail to sufficiently reflect on their many, many privileges. And. It. Was. Just. Difficult. To. Empathize. With. Them.

Plus, the family dynamics and sibling relationship made me feel all sorts of uncomfortable. I am not at all saying that families should be perfectly loving and supportive, but the interactions within Poppy's family really struck me as ingenuine (and occasionally manipulative). I also had a very difficult time with Poppy and Claire as sisters because they just lacked, well, everything. Excluding the romance between Rafael and Poppy, all the character relationships in this book were awkward, stilted, and ultimately, inorganic.
Profile Image for Princess.
420 reviews77 followers
January 6, 2019
I received a copy of this book in a giveaway from the author. I also got approved by Netgalley at the same time😊

Just for Clicks is about 2 sisters who are popular on social media. This book is very important for teens to see how much they put on social media and how they open their lives for everyone to see. It also brings to the forefront how family doesn’t always mean blood. It hits on anxiety and shows how not everyone feels comfortable just going with the flow. It’s ok to just be you. I enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for Daphne.
963 reviews46 followers
April 2, 2020
The premise of this book really drew me in, and I found it very enjoyable. I do think you have to suspend your disbelief a little bit with the story, but it was a fun ride. The main character made a few choices that weren't very smart, but they never felt like they were unbelievable, to me.

The romance in this book was sweet and built up slowly. I did think some of the miscommunication between the characters got a bit tiring after a while, but I could ignore that and focus on what I enjoyed in the book.

This is a very fast and fun read, I would recommend it.
Profile Image for Kelly deVos.
Author 7 books314 followers
September 13, 2018
Absolutely put this book on your 2019 TBR! It's got a romance that you won't be able to put down and is a fun, fashionable take on the life of a teen instagram influencer. Come for the romance, stay for the story of a teenager finding and learning to love herself.
Profile Image for Reagan.
30 reviews2 followers
July 18, 2019
This book is defientley not the best YA fiction I've ever read. It was both romance and a realistic fiction, while the romance was more believable than other YA romance I've read I didn't really enjoy it. The realistic fiction part was good though. The book chronicles Claire Dixon's journey to find a meaning to her life and discover the true meaning of family.

I wasn't a huge fan of the main character Claire or her family. I felt that all of her family was kind of shallow and they still seemed shallow at the end if the book. Poppy, Claire's twin sister, is conceited; and their mother Ashley is a social climber. You're probably wondering why I read this book since I didn't like anyone in it, but I did like Claire's love interest. He was very sweet, kind, and she was undeserving of him, but not so undeserving that their relationship was unbelievable.

I would recommend this book if you like YA Fiction, realistic fiction, or romance. It's not that lengthy only about 300 pages and the pages aren't that big, it's a smaller paperback book. It's worth the read and you'll probably enjoy it a lot.

Inappropriate Content: A lot of books of this genre have a lot of adult themes, but this one does not it completely clean except that it says the B word 2 or 3 times.
Profile Image for Anja H..
711 reviews450 followers
March 8, 2021
Yeah, I wasn't blown away by this.
It started off really well. Claire felt like a relatable teenage girl, but turned into an angry, whiny girl who didn't appreciate what she has and complained about everything.
The relationship between Poppy and Claire felt very one-dimensional too.
My favorite character was definitely Rafael, even though I would've loved their romance a lot more if they just learned to communicate instead of assuming things *sigh*.
I did like the cute little mails/text messages in between chapters.
Profile Image for Mari Johnston.
426 reviews55 followers
February 19, 2019
*A digital ARC was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Just For Clicks seems like it would be your typical YA contemporary love story, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This book deals with some incredibly important issues that go deeper than I ever expected. Featuring the slowest slow burn romance I’ve ever encountered (which I loved), Just For Clicks introduces us to Claire, who takes us on her personal journey as she figures out who she is after growing up with the world watching.

This book really made me stop and think about our share it all culture. Hardly anything is kept private anymore as we parade ourselves and our children on the internet in search of validation in the form of stranger’s likes. And we do it without thinking twice. Often it starts out as a harmless way to get our feelings out, or keep friends and family updated on life, but often it can quickly spiral out of control until you spend hours trying to get the perfect photo or rabid fans begin to take things too far.

Claire’s story is important. What she went through is what a lot of people are putting their children through in today’s world. At the end of the book, she realizes that it isn’t just her life, that everybody in it plays a part and that her life is also theirs, but she also raises the important question of where the line is. At what point do parents have to stop and realize that their life is controlling their kid’s?

Just For Clicks features PTSD rep which was so great to see! Some of the physical and emotional things that Claire goes through as a result of an event are things I find myself experiencing as a result of PTSD. It’s something that needs to be normalized and I’m so thankful to have found a book that showcases it.

The relationships Claire has with her sister, mom, and friends were so believable. They felt authentic and as Claire figured things out about herself you could see how her relationships evolved. All of the characters showed great development and they all learned about themselves.

There were a few things throughout the story that bothered me. Claire and her sister Poppy are beauty/fashion vloggers, and at one point Claire asked one of the boy love interests, Rafael, if her vlogs about hair tutorials and modeling made him think she was shallow. Can we please drop the stereotype that people who care about beauty are shallow? If that’s what a person is into then let them be! Being great at doing your hair and makeup, modeling, or fashion shouldn’t automatically mean that you’re also shallow. These things are hobbies just like reading, playing video games, or sports. Also, when Rafael accuses Claire of lying about who she is in the first part of the book I was completely put off. She never lied about herself. They had just started their friendship and were slowly learning about each other. It’s okay that she didn’t immediately share with Rafael her online personality. Heck, most of the people I know in real life don’t have a clue about my online book life, and that’s how I like it! People share pieces of themselves when they’re ready, and that’s okay.

Overall, Just For Clicks is an incredible book. It’s a quick read that makes you question things that are viewed as normal when maybe they shouldn’t be, and the story and characters stay with you. This is an impressive debut novel by Kara McDowell, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
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