HOW TO MAKE OUT by Brianna R. Shrum


Age Range: 14 - 18
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To make money, Renley will discover who she truly is.

For the self-centered Renley, the math-club trip to New York City isn't just a trip with her friend April—it will let her reconnect with the mother who abandoned her after her father's affair. But Renley doesn't have the money for the trip, until she gets the idea to start an advice blog and charge readers for her responses. But to get the big money, she has to answer questions like how to make out, how to recover from a hangover, and more. Helping her is her friend Drew, “who can’t keep it in his pants.” He says he loves her, but Renley selfishly refuses to believe him even as she uses him—because she won’t take the risk of losing him as a friend. Muddying the waters is Seth, the cooking savant Renley is crushing on. Renley starts dating Seth and becomes part of the popular crowd—but as she changes, she loses not just April and Drew, but herself, too. Renley is less a well-rounded character and more a collection of abrasive flaws that provoke little sympathy in readers. While she becomes slightly more likable by the end of the novel, it's uncertain if readers would put up with Renley until that point. Renley, April, Drew, and Seth all appear to be white.

An unlikable character in a predictable romantic predicament makes for a miss. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5107-0167-0
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016


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