Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys) (Spalding)

AUTHOR: Amy Spalding
SERIES: none
PUBLICATION DATE: April 14, 2015
ISBN: 9780316371520
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: contemporary romance
SETTING: Los Angeles, present day
SUMMARY: After discovering two members of their band have been secretly dating, high school bandmates and best friends Reid and Riley make a pact to find their own love. For Riley, that means Ted Callahan, the most gorgeous boy in school.

REVIEW: This was very cute and unexpected and reminded me a bit of the "gang" in Scooby-Doo. Nathan and Lucy (the dating bandmates) are so Fred and Daphne. Reid is a total Shaggy. And Riley...maybe she's Scrappy-Doo? Love interests Garrick, Ted, and Milo could be like the celebrity guest-stars. (Yeah, I watched a LOT of Scooby when I was a kid--here are some other books I compared to Scooby-Doo). #nostalgia

Anyway, I love that the characters feel like real people. They are funny and awkward and cool and indecisive and self-conscious and sometimes let their emotions get the best of them. They are all different and distinct from one another. We only hear Riley and Reid's voices in this one, but I would love to hear from Lucy and Nathan as well. The characters are cool--even though the four friends are a bit snobbish about their music, I would have loved to hang out with these people in high school.

It's unexpected. I've read tons of YA contemporary romances, and they tend to be fun but predictable. As the title suggests, Riley dates (and kisses) more than one person. I thought I knew without a doubt who Riley would end up with. I was wrong, and I loved that.

Dating is awkward. Yep. I loved the honesty in Riley's and Reid's relationships. Even when dating the person you like-like the most, there are awkward moments. Manipulated circumstances. Compatibility issues. Confusing emotions. Misunderstandings. Bad choices. Once again, there is a realness here you don't always see in YA romance. Thankfully, it's not all hunky muscles, tight skirts, and instalove.

It's fast-paced. I read most of it in one sitting.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Cute, fun, and unpredictable. Loved it!

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. Will be a hit with fans of dual narratives.

READALIKES: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Cohn, Levithan); Beatle Meets Destiny (Williams); Backward Compatible (Daltry, Clark)

  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

  • Language: no language except for one F-bomb in a song title ("Fuck You" by Cee-lo)
  • Sexuality: medium--kissing (duh--read the title!); intercourse
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: teens drink alcohol at a club (using fake IDs)

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