ARC Review: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding
Expected Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Format/Source: ARC, traded with a friend. Thanks, Kaitlin
Rating: 3/5 stars 
Part of a series? Nope!

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.

*PSA: This review contains words of the SPOILERY variety.*

I've gone into a good 97% of all the books I've ever read with these little things called expectations. Sometimes I feel bad saying a book doesn't live up to my expectations, but I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that it's nobody's fault - everyone has different tastes. Great. Now that that's been dealt with I feel more comfortable saying this: Kissing Ted Callahan was a quick, but read, but it didn't exactly live up to the hype that I'd built up in my head. 

My Goodreads updates give a pretty good overall picture of my reading experience. There were aspects I really enjoyed and others I totally didn't. 

Things I liked:
  • The musical things! You all probably know by know that if a book is music-centric, it gets extra points in my heart. KTC is filled with music-loving, concert-going, instrument-playing teenagers, and I loved them for it. Also, the MCs are in a band, and one of them is a female drummer. Female drummers are hard to come by, so I was stoked to see it happen in a YA novel. They go to shows, they even a show, and it's awesome. 
  • The setting! This is set in LA, and I'm a Southern California native constantly trying to become better acquainted with that city. It's such a great city, and there's always stuff going on. I loved being able to recognize some of the places mentioned in the book and thinking "Hey! I've been there!". As you can see by my Goodreads update, I kind of freaked at the mention of House of Pies. SoCal people, pay it a visit if you've never been. 
  • The humor! These characters got themselves in awkward situations that were pretty funny. Maybe not LOL funny, but it's definitely a notable point. 
Things I didn't like:
  • There were times when the MCs seemed really juvenile, Riley especially, and it made it more difficult for me to connect with her and with the novel as a whole. 
  • The ending. The last 20ish% of the book felt rushed to me, like everything was trying to be resolved too quickly. It made the ending a little less satisfying than it could have been.  
To sum it all up, Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) was a quick, light read that was fun for the most part. but it was not a book I'd consider a favorite.