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 OutFeatured
Renley starts out just wanting to go to New York with her math club. She's a normal, unremarkable teenage girl who just loves math and has major daddy issues. Add to that a hot best friend/neighbor who is completely in love with her, but has issues of his own.
So, she needs money. Lots of it. She decides to start a blog, letting people ask how to do things. She then plans to learn to do just about everything and then write about it. The blog gains popularity, as does Renley, leading to her doing some very out of character things. It all spirals so fast until it crashes down around her and she learns who is truly on her side.
Here is what I loved: All of the secondary characters. They're written incredibly well, making the reader truly believe in their actions. The boyfriend, the best guy friend, the best girl friend, the father - even the step-mother. They're very easy to like and to root for.
The concept for the story is very original and intriguing as well.
Here is what was just okay: Renley. Much of what she does doesn't make sense. The reader is left wishing she was stronger. Even her feelings in the love story don't add up. This is big because the entire story focuses on her.
How to Make Out is an original story enhanced by great, simple writing that makes the story a pleasure to read.