Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding
Publishing Date: April 7
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they’ll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.
While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she’s been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.
Riley and Reid are two members of a four-person band. The band is life. The band is one. The band is now ruined forever, thanks to Lucy and Nathan making out hardcore on the band practice room couch. Riley and Reid decide to take action by making moves and pushing boundaries: they’re going to date someone this year, and they’re going to map it out in their little notebook. But dating — or just making out — proves to be hilariously different for these two, as so many unexpected events block their paths to finding the perfect person to smush faces with.
Kissing Ted Callahan is fun and quirky and very 90s movie. I couldn’t stop thinking of “Clueless” and “10 Things I Hate About You” (especially “10 Things”) while I read. It’s cheesy, it’s young, it’s ripe with sexual innuendo, and it’s loaded with music. You could build ten full mix CDs with this book based on the music alone. Name dropping and songs everywhere!
This book is very straightforward. Two bandmates feel awkward about two other bandmates becoming an item. They form a pact to date people (well, Reid wants to date someone, Riley just wants to make out with someone — this gender-switching perception on dating was unexpected and welcomed), and promise to record the events in a notebook. All of a sudden, Reid’s plans go awry and Riley notices guys now (they’re not just guys, but they’re guys). Someone loses the notebook. Reid and Riley panic. More hilarity ensues. And that’s where I’ll leave it.
Riley’s inner voice is what made me laugh the most (“Ted, come back! Ted, I’ll learn to be normal! Ted, it isn’t fair we sat two feet apart and I didn’t get to touch your hair!”*). If you’re looking for a younger-voice YA for light spring or summer reading, with all the comic trappings you saw in 90s movies — and a kick-ass playlist to boot — then this is the book for you. It’s quick, it’s energetic, and it’s enjoyable.
Thank you, NetGalley, for providing this book from Poppy for review!
*Quote taken from uncorrected proof