Title: Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Boys)
Author: Amy Spalding
Read more reviews at Cannonball Read
Look, any book that’s described as “Nick and Norah’s Infinate Playlist meets Easy A…” is a book I’m going to have to read. I think what made me take notice was Steph Perkins (an amazing YA author in her own right) tweeting about it, and my needing something light and fluffy to read. I’ve been feeling in a reading rut lately, starting and stopping a few books because I just can’t get into the right headspace. Well, Kissing Ted Callahan has cleared that up, and this is the first of four reviews that I need to get myself to write. Bring on the flood!
This is a charming little book that focuses mainly on Riley, a high schooler by day and a kick-ass drummer by night. Tangentially it also focuses on her BFF and bandmate, Reid. After discovering their two other band-mates in flagrante delicto after rehearsal one day, the two take it upon themselves to pool their knowledge of the opposite sexes (each helping the other) in the quest for relationships, making out, and maybe a little more.
Let’s start with the good: I liked Riley a lot. Here’s this girl who is fairly inexperienced deciding to figure this dating thing out and just jumps in headfirst. She ends up, over the course of the book, involved with three different guys and you know what? She’s never shamed! Not by any of them, not by anyone else. She’s honest about her seeing more than one guy at a time, and it’s awesome. I loved seeing such a positive portrayal of a girl who’s dating and experimenting sexually (in safe, wonderful ways) with zero slut shaming or trying to use her as a cautionary tale. It. Is. Excellent.
On the con side was Reid’s…everything. Honestly, I understand that they needed him for the whole male-perspective for Riley, but I could have happily done without his story line of trying to get the girl working at the animal shelter to fall for him. He and Riley communicate mostly through a journal, and that’s how we get his story. (Hers is more through traditional text-based storytelling.) Every time I got to a Reid section, the story just felt like it came to a halt and was I just had to slog through it to get back to Riley. But hey, a little bad in an otherwise fun book isn’t the worst thing.