How To Make Out
By: Brianna R. Shrum
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.
How To Make Out was one of those books you can never put down until you read every single page twice. On the outside, the story looks to be just one of those normal "chick flicks" type books. But beneath the surface, in-between each page, is a beautiful story of a broken girl and how much she misses her run-away mom, wants her dad to notice her, and aches for true love. The depth to Renley is deeper than the ocean and she keeps it locked away. It takes a few mistakes for her to learn her true potential and who she really is as a person.
I have never rooted for a fictional character more. Shrum had me on my toes between two beautiful, and kind men for Renley. I about held my breath at the end, and then spit out my water I was drinking at her choice. The author crafted this beautiful love story in a way that's not cliche or a love triangle in any form, but a raw and soft love, thats relatable to any teenager.
Each chapter has it's own set of laughs, jokes, and embarrassing moments that will make you cringe. But as you read the story, you will grow with the main character, and ultimately come out for the better.
How To Make Out are for the girls who need a good love story late at night, that shows, your prince is out there. It just may take a blog, and a best friend to figure it out.
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