Time for a fluffy, don’t take it too seriously sort of read, and Amy Spalding fits that bill with
Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)
Riley and her BFF Reid are constant companions as the world of high school and dating runs circles around them. Neither in the geeks or the uber-popular crowd, these two rather middle of the road characters realize that EVERYONE is dating but them. And thus, a pact is born.
They will make something happen with the people they both crush on, and document their progress (or lack) in a notebook that they will share.
And the story is off and running. Honestly, the dual point of view from both worked well to provide perspective of two very different people intent on the same initial goal. But where Riley is all over the place: flighty, dramatic and a bit too aggressive and thoughtless: Reid is nired in his own insecurities and issues. Plenty of angsty moments, moments of OMG and an overall sense that “cool” was forced in some places and forgotten in others – this book was amusing, but not a page turner for me. The synopsis reads as if the book is a cross between Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (which I have not read) and Easy A (which I have seen), but I didn’t find that this book stood up to that comparison. For me, it was a less successful Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snoggiing from Louise Rennison, which carries the same sort of “making something happen with a crush / life of a girl of similar age.
Narration for this book is provided by the author, and I think that Spalding did her book a disservice here. Authors often lose the remove that is necessary to voice and present the story in a way that will capture a listener’s attention. Odd pauses that break flow without adding import or meaning were frequent, and resulted in my inability to catch the groove so necessary to enjoy a story. Emotion is mostly guised as speedy-pacing and increased volume, always ending in a question. Distinction between dual points of view is muddled by the narration: the lack of distinction between characters didn’t separate the two voices enough, allowing for the realization that X not Y is speaking. And while their personalities are very different, Riley’s presentation suffers from the valley-girl overlay (where everything ends on an accented question?!?) and Reid just comes off as neurotic and insecure. From the text, I think the personality differences (Reid is just a more thoughtful and selfless person overall than heedless and often selfish Riley) were clearer without narration.
Stars: Overall 2 Narration 1 Story 3
Title: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)
Author: Amy Spalding
Genre: Teen Reads
Narrator: Amy Spalding
Published by: Poppy, Hachette Audio
Published on: 7 April, 2015
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 32 minutes
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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.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.