Wednesday, November 17, 2010

REVIEW: "Six Clicks Away" by Bonnie Rozanski

It all started with a sociology lecture on the six degrees of separation, an assignment to recreate the process, and Rachel's desire to connect with the Dalai Lama. The next thing she knew, Rachel had somehow hooked up with Jeremy, the geekiest guy in class, for an experiment that would change the look of "MyFace," and connect people in the most serendipitous ways. Old friendships are rekindled and new contacts are formed. The internet is truly the world-wide web, bringing people together from all reaches of the earth. 

The premise of this story is really appealing; take the good old "six degrees of separation" and apply it to our modern, technological world. Using "MyFace" (an online social network that sounds very familiar to all of us with computer access), the author shows just how tiny our world really is. One small plan put into action can have a ripple effect, and the characters in this story prove this with their developing relationships. Each character introduced ties in with one or more other characters in an engaging way. Like the internet worm Jeremy creates, the story twists and winds through the lives of six very distinct people.

The story started with several pages filled with texting between friends, which really supported the feel of a modern, technological story. This technique wasn't carried through the storyline, however, which made it feel like a loose end. Although I thought the original connections between people were well done to good effect, I felt it began to drag a little towards the middle. It seemed we spent a lot of time with a character or two here and there, and didn't get back to other characters for a while. As a result, I felt it needed just a touch more tightening up. For this type of story, I would have liked to see the characters and their storylines more closely intertwined; relationships inextricably pulled closer together until it was difficult to remember they were ever strangers. At the very least, a culminating event that somehow involved everyone (such as the ending of the movie "Love Actually") would have offered a satisfying closure. Without that final connection, the ending felt a little unfinished. Although the author clearly tried to tie up the various storylines, the lack of synchronicity made it seem like some of the stories were left hanging, just waiting to be addressed again. I was surprised when there wasn't another page after the last page. 

All in all, a really fun and appealing story that kept my interest and made me want to read until the end. An clever concept, and a quick read. 

3.5 /5 stars 

Available at Amazon

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