Review – Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)


Title: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)
Author: Amy Spalding
Publication: April 7th 2015 by Poppy
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320 pages
Format: Library book
Rating: 3/5

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.

Shelf it on Goodreads


So here’s the alphabetical run down:


I liked Riley’s character. She’s the drummer in a band, wears band t-shirts and jeans, and she’s not overly emotional about her relationships with boys, all of which are pretty atypical for female leads. The most hilarious parts of the book were Riley’s thought reel. She has an ongoing commentary in her head that is laugh out loud funny.

I was a bit let down by Ted Callahan’s character. Being the title character I just expected more from him. I thought Riley’s other two (yes there are two!) potential love interests, Milo and Garrick, were both given more interesting personalities.

I liked Reid and Riley’s friendship. Reid took on the role that I think most readers would expect of the girl, overanalyzing and stressing about every detail in a relationship. It was kind of funny to see those roles reversed. I also really liked Lucy’s character, although you don’t get to know her very well until the end of the book.


The cover is cute. I love the lipstick print, the handwritten title, and the doodles on staff paper as background. It’s all very appropriate for the story. It’s not a book that would warrant a cover buy, but it’s cute none the less.


As stated in the synopsis, Riley and Reid catch their bandmates together and decide to make their own romantic goals and write about their experiences in a shared notebook. Honestly, Reid’s relationships were pretty boring and I wasn’t interested in them. Riley ends up juggling multiple boys, which was entertaining, but I wasn’t as interested in her major crush, Ted Callahan, as I was the other boys.


I read this book for mainly two reasons. First, a recommendation by Stephanie Perkins (who wrote Anna and the French Kiss, possibly the cutest contemporary romance out there) on the cover, where she says she has a “major crush on Ted Callahan.” Second, because the synopsis compares it to Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, which I am embarrassed to say I’ve only seen the movie of, but I adore! Unfortunately, this book just didn’t live up to either of those. I think because I didn’t fall for Ted’s character, (he is nothing like Etienne, for any of you who love AATFK) and therefore had trouble rooting for he and Riley to be together.

On the plus side, the book starts quickly and pulls you into the story immediately. It has short chapters and I could see it being one that might pull you out of a reading slump and makes you laugh out loud almost the whole way though.


“He gets out of the car. Swiftly. Too swiftly? Is he afraid I’ll lob more words at him? Ted, come back! Ted, I’ll learn to be normal! Ted, it isn’t fair we sat two feet apart and I didn’t get to touch your hair!”

“I think there’s a scary but real chance I am not capable of being low-key and cool.”


It’s a hilarious, quick read, but I don’t think I will remember the story or the characters much beyond this review.



2 thoughts on “Review – Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

  1. I wasn’t really fond of Spalding’s other book, The New Guy and Other Senior Year Distractions, when I read it this year but I do have this in my TBR pile. I was actually excited because it was compared to N&N’s Infinite Playlist… but I guess after reading your review I’ll have to lower that expectation. >.< Anyway, great review, Meredith!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Summer!! I’m sad to hear you didn’t love her newer book either. All of her books sound like I would love them in the synopsis, but none of them have stellar reviews. I feel like we may have discussed N&N’s Infinite Playlist in the past (was that you?) and you said I should definitely read it since I love the movie. 🙂


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