This novel is perfect for summer: beaches, surfing, swimming with dolphins and first love. It is not, however, just an easy breezy beach book. There is action, adventure, deception and a medical mystery that will keep you reading (and guessing) until the very end.
Clicks is about Cami, a 16 year-old island native anticipating the Surf Carnival, an annual surfing and swimming competition that brings star athletes (and tourists) to Pinhold’s shores. This year’s event does not go as planned; injuries disrupt the races and an unknown illness shatters Cami’s world. Determined to find a cure for her brother and friends, she must unearth the truth about what makes her island unlike anywhere else on Earth.
There are aspects of Clicks that make it a truly original story. One is that the culture of Pinhold is deeply rooted in its relationship with the pods of dolphins that surround it. Elders say the connection is literal, while the younger generations consider it symbolic at best. This tension between truth and lore is a wonderful facet of Cami’s world, and it brings to light the conflict between conservation and progress.
Another thing: there are five sets of twins in Cami’s generation. This is the result of attempts at enlarging the dwindling native island population. The twin bonds are enhanced on Pinhold, making the siblings closer than usual. An unexpected surprise is that each set of twins are named with anagrams: Cami’s brother is Mica, for example. As a reader, I found this to be so creative – and humbling, as I should have caught on long before it was explained in the book.
An underlying theme of Clicks (for me) was the importance of relationships – teens can be wired to think mostly of themselves. Cami is forced to look beyond her struggles and recognize the links between people, places and things: nature, home, family, love, and in her case, one special dolphin. It is a tremendous coming of age story filled with laughs, love and action; you should read it. – Kris