My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2 Stars
An awesome premise with a less than awesome delivery.
Initially I was drawn to this book because of its title “How to make out”. I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know what this book could possibly be about. At first I had no intention of reading it; I simply wanted to get an idea of the plot, but after reading the summary, it sounded like a fun and witty, quick-read. I love the idea of neighbours falling for each other – 'Drive me Crazy' featuring Melissa Joan Hart, 'Its a Boy Girl Thing', Love and Basketball etc. and I wanted to love this one.
I didn’t expect a deep plot with riveting characters and profound, complex emotional connections but I did expect an entertaining delivery. What I got was a shallow, petulant character – Renley – who is pretty much useless in all aspects of life except in long division and ogling the few male “friends” she has in her life.
Her relationships are quite superficial, which is a sad thing for a teenage girl growing up. The only consolation I found in this was that this was purely a work of fiction, and this Renley and her situation does not exist in real life.
Her relationship with her father is pretty non-existent, almost as much as her relationship with her mother. Her father is simply a person in her life who provides her with food and shelter – basic necessities of life, and in return she is insolent.
Her mother, living in New York with her new family, does not have the audacity to contact her daughter, to make sure she is okay or to find out if this easily-influenced teenage girl is growing up into a respectable woman. Not once in the book did she reach out to ask her if she needs a mother figure to give advice on the many social issues that teenagers face these days. I was very disappointment in that aspect of the book -a mother who abandons her daughter and ignores said daughter even though she constantly reaches out to her to just hear her voice or to simply receive a message in return.
Her relationship with April, her best friend, felt like a filler. From my perspective, her role in the story was to fill the time when Renley was not thinking/being with Drew or Seth. Not once did their relationship feel real, and this was further proven when later on in the book Renley forgave Drew much quicker and easily for doing something far more hurtful to her than April did.
Her relationship with Drew was the highlight of the book. He was supportive and was a shoulder to cry on but he was a bit too persistent in his attempts at getting Renley and as a result it came off as annoying. Renley, however, loved the attention she got from Drew.
Her relationship with Seth? Purely lust. Nothing more, nothing less.
I think this book is best suited for the younger audiences, not adults who like reading YA now and then.