A Complicated and Cute Romance: How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum
How to Make Out
by Brianna Shrum
Published by Sky Pony Press
on September 6th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult, YA
Pages: 284
Goodreads

 

Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way.

So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with).

As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year.

Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.


I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. This does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.

How to Make Out was a wonderful cute read! While How to Make Out has a love triangle, it presents readers with a fascinating protagonist that is uniquely her own.

Renley has a problem, she needs money to go to a NYC school trip with her best friend. So she decides to start an anonymous blog, teaching people how to do various things (including how to make out) for a small fee. When her newfound confidence lands her the attention of her unrequited crush, things start changing. Her friendships start to go awry, including her friendship with Drew, the boy next door who’s in love with her. As her blog grows in popularity, Renley learns that who she wants to be is not exactly the same as who she actually is.

In terms of characters, I really liked Renley. While we may not agree on everything, I liked that her decisions were her own. She made a lot of mistakes (as most 16 year olds do), but I liked that she learned from them. It may make her seem unlikeable to some readers, but I found her refreshing.

In terms of the romance, I really liked it. The love triangle is a bit annoying if you have one person you want the main character to end up with, but I still enjoyed it.

Overall, How to Make Out is a coming-of-age story that features a complicated love triangle, a blog and a swoony romance.

shelly sig

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