Friday, April 10, 2015

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding

Title: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)
Author: Amy Spalding
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

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.

Cute romances that get compared to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Easy A automatically get added to my TBR. Ad to that a blurb by Stephanie Perkins and I am sold. And that’s how Amy Spalding’s Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) found itself on my radar.

Until Riley and Reid caught their bandmates in a compromising positions, neither one of them thought much about their lack of experience when it comes romance. Now, both of them decide that it’s time to do something about it. Together, Riley and Reid make a decision: they are both going to put themselves out there and document the results in a shared notebook, that way they can both learn from the experience. But things don’t exactly go as planned. Reid ends up with a new dog while Riley is struggling to make progress with longtime crush Ted Callahan. Instead she finds herself with two other prospects. And before either one knows what’s happening, Riley and Reid’s love life take off in a way they never planned.

I remembered when I first heard about Amy Spalding’s Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) and immediately wanting to read it. Fast-forward a few months when people start reading it, and all the reviews coming in were just making me want to read the book that much more. So I was excited when I finally got a copy for the book. And I had certain expectations when I started reading. And I’ll be honest and say that those expectations weren’t fully met. I definitely got a really fun story. I got sucked in right away, curious to see where their plan would lead Reid and Riley and what kinds of situations they would get into. I also really enjoyed the way the story itself was told, split between chapters from Riley’s perspectives and excerpts from the notebook they shared their experiences in. Most of the time, those notebook excerpts were from Reid’s perspective so it was really great to get some insight into his character as well. What I wasn’t completely sold on, was the romance, which makes me a little sad because that’s a part of the story I had definitely been looking forward to. By the end of the story, I was a little more on board with it, but there was a large portion of the book I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

As much as I might have had my issues with the romance throughout the story, I really liked Riley. Her voice was great. I loved reading about her slight neuroses when it came to figuring out what exactly was happening (or not happening) in her love life. She was just a really fun character to read about and she was the perfect voice for this story. It was fun to see her with the different guys she went out with, and her passion when it came to music. The one aspect of Riley’s character I struggled with for a while was her feelings for Ted Callahan. For a while, I just didn’t really get it. I mean, Ted seemed like a nice enough guy, but compared to the way Riley would talk about Milo and Garrett, the other two guys she ended up going out with, I just couldn’t seem to understand the obsession with Ted. And maybe that was sort of the point? That it started out more as an obsession than feelings based on actual interactions with the person. The more I read, I the more I got on board with the relationship between Riley and Ted because I could see her realizing that she was going from being “obsessed” with someone form afar and actually liking them from who they are. But even by the end of the book, I still felt like I was only just getting a handle on who Ted was and I would have wanted to find out more about him. And maybe that’s it, I feel like I didn’t get to know Ted enough for me to really fall for him the way Riley does.

Amy Spalding’s Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) was a fun and quick read. Though it wasn’t quite the story I hoped it was going to be, I still found myself enjoying the story as I was reading it. 

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