March 28, 2015

Review: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding
Grade: D+
Release date: April 14, 2015
This e-galley was provided by Little, Brown for Young Readers and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I sat down to write this review only a few hours after I finished the book, which is standard operation for me. (I usually write reviews within the 2 minutes to 36 hours range of finishing a book.) But this time was different. You're certainly wondering why. Well, a certain blogger bingo card circulated the Twitter-sphere just last week. It was made by Ms. Spalding, and let's just say, it wasn't kind. She alienated a lot of readers - me included - and seems entirely unapologetic. I decided that, whilst Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) doesn't come out for another 2 months (at the time of writing this), I needed to get it read and over with since I owe it to the publisher to write an honest review.
Kissing Ted Callahan reads much like a Disney Channel Original Movie. And I don't mean the perennial faves High School Musical, Sky High, and Camp Rock but the recent ones that are kind of...tweenish. Riley is not a mature character. She rags about her parents, she strings three boys along (she wasn't exclusive with any of them, but it's best to let a guy know he's not the only one you're seeing), she was pretty much seeing which guy she could go furthest with first, she shunned her best friend, and she didn't seem like a sixteen year old. I kept thinking she was only fourteen...or younger. Also, she was very obsessed with Ted's hair.

Speaking of Ted, he was the main boy Riley was interested in, along with intelligent Garrick and music nerd Milo. Ted was also the blandest. I felt like we got to know Garrick and Milo much better than him, but I wasn't a fan of any of them for Riley's main love interest.
Reid was...something else. I think he needed a little more time devoted to him. Perhaps an alternating POV would have worked here? A large part of his plot revolved around Jane and the dog so when that didn't work out and he moved onto another girl, it took me a bit by surprise.
Kissing Ted Callahan is all romance. There aren't any other super important plotlines that would place it under contemporary on my shelf. And while I appreciate a good romance, I usually like some character growth or another plotline as well (like in On the Fence or The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, for example).
There was some foul language. I caught the f-word a few times. There's plenty of making out and off-screen sex.

The Verdict: I've read better romances. Sorry, but it's true. And to Ms. Spalding, if you ever see this review or fellow bloggers' critical reviews, learn from them and then...

Will I be adding this book to my library?: After that blogger bingo card, no way. Even if I had loved Kissing Ted Callahan, that bingo card will color my opinion of Spalding forever.


  1. Wow, I looked up the bingo card and that was pretty nasty. A lot of those categories basically describe me...kudos to you for still reading her book!

  2. I am so glad I took a percentage hit on NetGalley because of this one after the Bingo card. It just seems stupid.

    I give you credit for reading it though. I couldn't do it after seeing all of that on Twitter.


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