Click Here to Start: An Engrossing Middle-Grade Novel
Click Here to Start by Denis Markell is another book that I picked up at C2E2 back in March, and now that I finally got around to reading it, I am so, so glad that I did!
Now, that’s not to say that the novel doesn’t have some issues, but to be honest they are minor at best when compared to how well the story flows and the fact that I actually really enjoyed this “middle-grade” novel. I’ve read some YA, a lot of classics, a ton of sci-fi and fantasy, but to be honest…I didn’t even know “middle-grade” novels were a thing. I think the biggest issues in Click Here to Start revolved around the general stereotypical characters – bookworm dad who is absent-minded, NYC private school girl who is too perfect for words, Asian kid who is good at puzzles. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t find anything about the author’s background, and if he is not at all of Asian (particularly Japanese) descent, there are some brief passages about being Japanese/Japanese-American that seem a bit off.
That said, I don’t believe any of these issues are overly problematic or would make a “middle age” kid who reads this novel suddenly racist or anything like that. They are just things that, as a socially-minded adult, I couldn’t help but notice. And again, the good about Click Here to Start far outweighs the questionable.
First, for any fan of the Harry Potter series, the three main characters are definitely very similar to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Maybe a bit too similar (the “chosen one”, the friend who isn’t quite so good at things, the all-too-perfect girl), but hey, the dynamic works. And in the end, what really drew me into this novel was the story. I kept thinking, “Okay so everything is solved, why is there so much of this book left for me to read?” while at the same time being glad that it wasn’t over yet. None of the twists felt forced, and I was even downright shocked a few times (in a good way).
Click Here to Start is definitely an easy and clean enough read for that “middle-grade” level, while still being interesting enough to keep this 30+ year old woman’s attention.
You can pre-order Click Here to Start on Amazon right now; its release date is July 19, 2016, from Delacorte Press.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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