FICTION

Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys)

312p. Little, Brown/Poppy. Apr. 2015. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316371520; ebk. ISBN 9780316371513; Audio ISBN 9781478903499. LC 2014015563.
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Gr 8 Up—Sixteen-year-old Riley is pretty happy with her life so far. She has her best friends Lucy and Reid; their band, the Gold Diggers, is getting better; and school is not horrible. After walking in on Lucy and their other bandmate Nathan, Riley and Reid decide they need to do something to bring a bit of romance into their own lives. They make a pact: help each other with their respective crushes and document everything in a notebook. Reid tries to overcome his insecurity and anxiety; Riley gets in over her head with three different guys—Garrick, Milo, and her crush, Ted. While trying to figure out what to do about the men in her life, Riley also avoids Lucy, feeling like they no longer know each other. The band starts to take off but everything gets jumbled as emotions escalate and things get complicated. Then the notebook disappears and Riley and Reid must tell the people closest to them the truth. Character-driven enough to keep the story moving, this book will appeal most to teenagers questioning and exploring romantic relationships. Sex does happen in this story, more than once, along with a small amount of drinking. Most readers will find the notebook entries (done in a handwriting-like font) humorous and relate to the confusing feelings that come from acting on a crush or trying to date in high school.
VERDICT Recommended for teens looking for realistic stories without a hefty amount of drama.

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