Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys) by Amy Spalding
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Rating: 1 star
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
I think this book was much too trivial for me. It's unfortunate, how I now think that sixteen years old is too young for this mess. I'm almost twenty, but this girl seems to be so much more promiscuous than me. I know we're supposed to be all "you go girl" and "do your thing" and "Miss Independent" about a girl's romantic/personal choices, but I HATE that culture. I hate today's dating culture. But let me touch on that later.
Reid and Riley made a pact to document their reinvented personal lives in a book (The Passenger Manifest). Riley starts to notice guys, like Garrick, her lab partner, and Milo, a guy she meets at a record store... and Ted Callahan, a guy she's always had a crush on. Suddenly, she's hanging out with all three of them. She's kissing all of them. Her romantic life is a "wonderful" mess (wonderful to her). Meanwhile, Reid is falling in love with one girl, only to find out that she has a boyfriend, and then with another girl, but freaks out because he really likes her and thinks she likes him too. Basically, Riley's getting a ton of action, and Reid's getting none (he's neurotic), and things spiral out of control.
I liked the beginning of this book, when it seemed like Riley was attracting the attention of several guys, and she was reveling in the feeling of being wanted. When she started hanging out with all three of them, and kissing all of them, I was kind of done at that point.
What I Did Not Like:
We're about to get really personal, guys. Tuck in.
I HATE THIS HOOK-UP CULTURE. I hate seeing it portrayed in books, because in books, it's usually portrayed as something that is okay or acceptable. This book is no different. It is totally okay for Riley to kiss three different guys at the same time. It is totally okay because she wasn't exclusive with anyone, and therefore, she can act however she wants. No commitment, no loyalty. The three guys don't know about each other, until the end of the book (I don't know if that would have made a huge deal while it was happening).
This hook-up culture is NOT okay. It happens in high school (as we can see in this book), and it DEFINITELY happens in college (I see it all the time). I hate it. I think it's trashy and low-down (sorry if you participate in this culture). I think a girl (OR GUY) should respect others AND her/himself enough to be with one person at a time. Break things off with the other person and then move on. Don't string people along. It's nasty and rude and inconsiderate. Forget independence. Forget exclusivity. You should be clear and upfront with what you want. It makes things so much less confusing.
Literally half of the problems in this book wouldn't have happened if people COMMUNICATED. But then, Riley thought it was okay to be with three people at once, so I don't know. There were a lot of problems with this book. It so bothers me that she saw NOTHING wrong with her actions. It bothers me that people today see nothing wrong with this hook-up culture.
Like I said above - I get it, we're supposed to respect a girl's decisions when it comes to hooking up and having sex and kissing people because YAY FEMINISM. Right? If guys can do it girls can do it, kind of thing? I HATE THIS. I hate promiscuity. Call it whatever you want, make whatever excuses you want - I don't think it's okay at all to be seeing (and being intimate) with more than one person at a time, exclusive or not, taken or not. It's just not okay with me. Forgive me if my morals are at higher standards than yours. And before anyone jumps down my throat - no, I'm not saying I'm better than anyone, or perfect. But I have the decency to practice monogamy at all times.
I hated Riley, and not just because of her promiscuous actions. She has no control over what she says. I have no idea if anyone in real life is THAT BAD. Literally, she says EVERY SINGLE THING that she thinks. I don't think that's physically possible.
I also hate how the author uses all caps when she's trying to show that Riley is yelling or being extremely serious. It seems so unnecessary and out of place.
Gosh, this book seems so inconsequential. Everything that happens is so juvenile. I should have known, when I saw the title, that this book would be about a girl experimenting and hanging out (kissing, messing around) with different guys (plural), hopefully settling on one. This is like The Bachelorette, except that the guys have no idea that the others exist (until the end), and it isn't all staged (come on, those shows are totally staged).
I'm glad Riley chose who she did, but I feel bad for him. Riley isn't a girl I'd want to date.
Another thing - I generally don't really like books about music. With music as the focus, and the protagonists are playing in a band. I'm just not a fan of this, and this book was no different. I play the piano, I love music... but not band/rock/pop/etc. type. These books don't appeal to me.
Anyway. Gosh, I didn't like this book. What a waste of my time. I can't imagine what Riley would do in college - probably sleep with whole fraternities at a time, "finding herself" and "experiencing romance". ROMANCE. Really, you mean lust and one-night stands.
Would I Recommend It:
Nope. Pass it straight and move on. This isn't a fluffy, heartwarming contemporary novel that will make you fall in love with the hero and heroine. It's a silly, awkward, trivial contemporary that almost seems Middle-Grade-ish, if not for the, um, interesting content that occurs. The heroine is brainless, the romance is so ridiculous, the story itself is silly. And not in a good way.
1 star. I'm not sorry I read this one, but I'm sorry that I thought I would like it. If that makes sense? I would never read it again, or recommend it, or buy it or borrow it. I can't support books like this with such immature and irresponsible themes. Would I want my (future) children reading this? Absolutely not. Would I want my mother reading this? DEFINITELY not. She would hate to see such a book influencing her daughter. Horrible book, horrible themes.
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!
sorry you didn't like this book, thought it not really my type of books, anyway I really wish your next reads will be a great book :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Alreem! I'm reading Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier, and loving it so far!Delete
I literally raised my eyebrow when I saw your one star rating lol. I don't think I've seen you rate anything so low since I started following your blog! What you're saying totally makes sense and I'm sad the story turned out that way :( I requested this one from the publisher so I'm still going to give it a try. Wish me luck!ReplyDelete
LOL GASP. EILEEN. Does that mean you started following me after February 27th? Because that was when my last 1-star review was posted :DDelete
Hahahaha I just looked at your Feb 27th review and I'm pretty sure I only skimmed it since I've never heard of the book :P That's so funny lol.Delete
I'm just messing with you! I see what you're saying :)Delete
Damn. Amazing review Alyssa. <3 I thought when I saw this post, aw, cute cover! But no. AWFUL SOUNDING BOOK. Fuck this girl. Seriously. Thank god I never wanted this book. LOVE TRIANGLES. It sounds so trashy. I WOULD NEVER DO THIS. Or APPROVE of this. NEVER EVER. Ugh. This is why I hate triangles. Kissing more than one boy is not okay. At least not for me. I hate hate hate it. Sigh. Anyway. You are amazing for managing to finish this book :) Thank you for being honest Alyssa. <3 You are awesome.ReplyDelete
Naaahhh, cute cover but awful book. Love triangles (squares, pyramids, whatever) are the worst.Delete
Thank you so much!!
Oh wow disappointed that you didn't enjoy this one .. I have a copy of it so let's see how it goes, thank you for the honest review :) Benish | Feminist ReflectionsReplyDelete
I hope you enjoy it more than I did... Thank you, Benish!Delete
Great review. I've seen a few other low ratings for this one- bummer :(ReplyDelete
Also, I thought it was just me who didn't like music books!
YAY WE ARE NOT ALONE! Solidarity! *fist bumps*Delete
Well, this was not a book I had any interest before reading your review, and now even less if that's even possible!ReplyDelete
LOL! Honestly, it's for the best. Hope you're reading something awesome right now, Pili!Delete
Preach! I read this a few months ago (before the Bingo nonsense) and I couldn't stand it. I actually didn't finish it so kudos to you for that. I didn't write a review for it but if I did, it would be so very similar to this because you summed up everything that I was feeling.ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh, right?! I actually saw that go down on Twitter, but I already had the book from the publisher, and wanted to give the book its fair chance... still didn't like it anyway, so whatever. I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't enjoy the book! It took some willpower to finish, so I don't blame you for DNFing!Delete
I mean no disrespect with my comment, just like I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone with your review and truth be told, I've been following your blog for years and just because we don't agree on this doesn't mean that we can't keep doing that and not have this turn into something ugly...ReplyDelete
I'm not sure how I would feel about this book not because of her kissing a lot of guys, because that was kind of a given with the title, but I've also heard from other readers that this book was very juvenile and that's just not for me. I've been with the same person for over half my life so I have never been in any hook-ups and honestly, I don't see the appeal...for me. But I still don't bash it or anyone that does it just because it's not my thing. Calling it trashy and saying you have higher standards comes off very preachy and rude, even if it wasn't your intention...
I think that as long as both parties involved are aware that there is nothing serious going on and they are being safe, no harm. I happen to find this much more realistic than the 'fall in love with the first college boyfriend and live happily ever after' story-line we see so often.
Sorry you didn't enjoy this one, Alyssa. I know all about how it feels reading a book you hate and all you want to do is rage about it :)
Oh well, on to the next one! Hopefully that one was much more enjoyable than this.
Premise, noted :)Delete
Both parties were not aware of Riley's actions. The three guys she was "seeing" (whatever you want to call it) had no idea about each other. Color them surprised when they found out.
And kissing was certainly NOT the only thing that happened, by any means. THAT is what made me angry. While I still find some "sanctity" in kissing, I'm more forgiving for kissing multiple people at once than messing around or having sex with multiple people at once (which may or may not have been the case in this book).
I'm reading Dream a Little Dream right now, and loving it, so that's a nice feeling!
I'll probably be skipping this one. I'm not a fan of the hook-up culture (though I'm very interested to see what studies reveal about its psychological and societal effects in another decade or so), and I tend to have negative reactions to plots based on miscommunication and characters who are involved with multiple romantic interests at once. Thanks for the warning! :)ReplyDelete
RIGHT?! I'd like to know more about it as well :D And I couldn't have seen you enjoyed this one, Kel. Just being honest.Delete
You're very welcome - and thank YOU!
Well, that sucks! I agree with you about the dating culture and it not being okay to go around kissing everyone!ReplyDelete
Yes! It isn't a good practice... also especially when it's more than that. Smh!Delete