Books are more than a words

Sep 3, 2016

ARC Review: How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum

How to Make Out
by Brianna R. Shrum.
Source: eARC provided by publisher.
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 by Brianna R. Shrum is a fast-paced read about self discovery and overcoming your fears.
I have to confess I downloaded the galley of this book because I was looking for a light and funny read, and the summary of How to Make Out sounds exactly like that. But there are some parent issues I was not expecting.

This is the story of Renley, your average smart girl who wants to travel with her math club. The problem is she doesn’t have the money. So, she decides to open up a blog with “how to” posts and people have to pay for the answers.
This was a brilliant idea except for the fact that it didn’t seem that realistic. Her blog becomes too popular too fast and even though no one knows the person behind that blog is her, she also becomes very popular in real life.

Renley makes a lot of mistakes throughout the book, but I have to highlight that she’s still a likable character. She’s funny and… I don’t know, just really likable.
My big problem with this book was the love triangle.
And it wasn’t because I hate love triangles; it was because I didn’t feel anything about it. In one hand, there’s Drew, Renley’s best friend. It’s very clear since the beginning that he’s in love with her, but he sleeps with different girls every night and Renley doesn’t seem to love him.
In the other hand, there’s Seth, Renley’s hot crush. He’s the popular good boy.
Renley makes out with both of them, and I didn’t see a difference between her feelings for them. She liked them both. So, it was weird that I almost reached the end of the book and I had no idea who was the real love interest.

I didn’t hate or loved this book. It was enjoyable and fast paced. I liked how things ended, but I couldn’t connect because somehow I felt she deserved everything that happened and worse.
Yes, it had a good message about self discovery and overcoming your fears, but the whole plot and characters were meh. It could’ve been better.



  1. I'm glad you didn't hate this book, but I'm sorry you didn't love it either. I was kind of interested in this one, but honestly the love triangle sounds blah and not for me. Great review!

    1. Thank you! I wish I could say that I recommed it, but not much, really.

  2. I've been reading a lot of reviews with the same opinion as yours and it bums me out since I was looking forward to this one because I thought it was a fun, light read like the summary suggests. It's okay that it has issues, they sure teach a lot, but sometimes I wish for a fluffy feel-good read. With that said, I think I will be skipping out on this one :/

    1. Yes! I didn't have problems with the daddy issues, but I was looking for something fresh and light, and this wasn't it.

  3. I'd not seen this book before! It sounds okay but the love triangle pretty much kills any interest I might have have had. =)

    Great review, Lis!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I know! I avoid love triangles, but I didn't feel anything with this one!


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