I'm not out to ruin someone's day with my reviews. I'm here to read books and share my opinions about those books with friends. Sometimes I choose to shelve those books without a rating at all and just call it a good day. But sometimes non-reviews get turned into actual reviews (with star ratings) due to . . . circumstances.
Every once in awhile I'm even lucky enough to score an ARC. And I was really looking forward to this one. I fell in love with the synopsis and title. I adore stories about teenagers (which should be pretty evident in this supergiffy review) . . . but they have to be well written stories. Otherwise? My review might bring on a low rating.
So the premise of Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys) is besties Riley and Reid are both unlucky in love. In order to help each other out, they start swapping a notebook filled with pointers in order to hopefully help the other finally find the road to romance . . . and thus the "anti-burn book" (a/k/a Passenger Manifest) is created.
Said book is filled with sage advice regarding how to score like "don't be ugly" and "have good hair." (Don't you all wish you could get some pointers from that priceless gem?)
While Reid finds himself striking out, Riley finds her cup runneth over in the form of three different suitors. Well, suitors might be kind of a strong term. Riley is pretty much the pursuer who goes from declining dates to aggressive liplocks and falling into insta-puppy-love with each boy who gives her the time of day.
And therein lies the rub. I don't mind girls who asks guys out. I don't even mind casually dating multiple dudes (as long as everyone is aware of the status of their relationships, which is definitely NOT the case here). What I do mind is a story about a 16 year old girl who writes in a journal that one of her goals is "doing it" jumping into bed with a dude she hardly knows when she comes off as someone with the maturity level of an 11 year old.
Good grief was Riley vapid. I mean we're talking like this . . .
and this . . .
without the "growth and redemption arc" at the end of the story.
I can't forget to mention that Reid's story was given a fraction of the pages that Riley received (and he had nearly the exact same voice as Riley when his little snippets did appear).
Oh, and I also need to make note of the totally unpredictable plot twist (hope my sarcasm font is working appropriately) of the infamous "Passenger Manifest" going missing and Reid and Riley being forced to make confessions to the objects of their affection regarding its contents before it ends up potentially being distributed throughout the school . . . Which leads to a break-up with bachelor #3 and a make-up/happily ever after end note to close on.
I have tons of highlights on my Kindle, but at the end of the day? They aren't even worth quoting. Basically it amounts to the fact that Riley and Reid were a couple of judgey turds and I wasn't surprised at all by the fact that they had a hard time scoring dates. They were insufferable!
EDIT: In case anyone doubts that I do indeed mark the heck out of most books I read, here is a blurry pic proving it:
But hey, at least it only took me a couple of hours to read. On that note - Bookboar OUT!
My apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors. I know that really irritates some people. I guess it's a lucky thing that I don't aspire to be a writer.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review