cover image Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Amy Spalding. Little, Brown/Poppy, $18 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-37152-0

Sixteen-year-olds Riley and Reid play in a band together, but nothing’s quite the same after they catch their band mates hooking up. Thus, they decide to create a shared notebook, in which they will “document our journeys in search of true love and/or sex.” Riley has long obsessed over classmate Ted Callahan, and just when he shows some interest in her, Riley kisses another boy and is soon juggling three crushes. Meanwhile, Reid tries to attract a girl named Jane, and when that doesn’t work out, he moves on to someone new. Spalding (The Reece Malcolm List) devotes the bulk of the narrative to Riley’s first-person account of her romantic pursuits and her friendship with Reid; alternating chapters offer short excerpts from their notebook, which give a taste of Reid’s perspective on things. It’s refreshing to see a boy-girl friendship built on mutual support that doesn’t drift into romance, but while Riley’s voice is irreverent and funny, Reid remains on the story’s periphery. Ages 15–up. Agent: Kate Schafer Testerman, KT Literary. (Apr.)