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.
I want to thank the publisher, Sky Pony Press, for sending me a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
This is the second book I have read by this author. I really enjoyed the first book, which was fantasy, so I was looking forward to seeing what she could do with contemporary.
While the story line was interesting, I felt there was a lot that still needed to be fleshed out. The character development was lacking and the relationships were hard for me to even understand. I had no connection to any of the characters and I, personally, thrive on feeling some kind of empathy for characters in stories I love. I had the hardest time believing how Ren related to her father and how much leeway she had as only a sophomore in high school.
I also found the story line didn't grip me as much as I would have liked. I didn't understand Ren made money from a blog she never paid any attention to; hundreds of dollars to be exact. It just didn't make any sense to me.
Finally the romance didn't draw me. It was hard for me to see the progression of Ren her romantic interest. And, a bit of a spoiler, there is a triangle that I just could not fathom as being believable. When Ren makes her final decison of who she wants to be with in the end, I just didn't feel like it was from the heart.
Unfortunately, these things made it hard for me to really enjoy the story as much as I would have liked to. Sadly, I cannot say this was a pleasurable read for me.
Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and two uber-hyper, superhero-obsessed little boys. She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. She'd totally love to connect with you, so you can find her online at briannashrum.com or saying ridiculous things on Twitter @briannashrum.