Book Post: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Don’t just read Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)…Experience it!

I read Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding because it had a little blurb recommending it by Stephanie Perkins on the front cover. Perkins is the author of several great YA reads including, but not limited to, Anna and The French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After…not to overwhelm you with titles or anything.

All Riley wanted to do was get over the shock of finding out her best friend had a boyfriend and somehow forgot to tell her, but when she turns to her friend Reid for companionship, who was also in the dark, they come up with a crazy plan to help each other find love—or maybe just broaden their horizons—by documenting their experiences with the opposite sex in a shared notebook. So, the shenanigans begin. When Riley has to decide what to actually put in the notebook, it gets a bit complicated, because, well, when you’re juggling so many boys, details could get a little personal…

Riley happens to be way cooler than she gives herself credit for, because she’s in a band. In fact, she’s a drummer, which means this book is full of music references. Riley spends a good portion of her time listening to music, playing music, shopping for music, and going to shows. Incidentally, I listened to and read about a lot of bands while I read this book. The most fascinating bits of trivia were connected to the band The Flaming Lips. In the book, their music appears on a mix CD that is slipped in Riley’s locker. It’s made especially for her, including music by bands with great drummers.

I first became aware of The Flaming Lips back when I was watching the show Friday Night Lights. It’s a show that never gets old for me, so I have re-watched it multiple times. In season two, Landry Clark’s band plays the song “She Don’t Use Jelly”. I had to do a double take when this happened, because I’d heard the words before when two boys from my high school sang the song on a bus during a marching band trip. At the time, due to the lyrics, which are so random, I thought they were making it up. Then I heard the same words on the show and knew they had been singing an actual song. I have loved this song ever since. 

Admittedly, this was the extent of my knowledge of their music until recently. Here are a couple of things I have since learned. For a short period of time, their song “Do You Realize” was the state rock song of Oklahoma. This happened because the governor signed an executive order despite the state senate failing to provide enough positive votes to make it official. I didn’t even know state’s had official rock songs, and it’s a bit crazy to me that someone would take the time to sign an executive order over something like this.

When it comes to talks about copying music, the first thing that always comes to my mind is Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” and “Pressure” by Queen. Apparently, The Flaming Lips were accused of something similar. At times the song “Fight Test” sounded so similar to Cat Stevens’ song “Father and Son” that after a lawsuit it was decided a large portion of the Lips’ royalties from “Fight Test” would go to him. The Lips’ frontman says that the similarities were unintentional, but they are undoubtedly there. Even today, if “Fight Test” comes up on a playlist and I’m in a different room, I sometimes find myself being surprised when I come down the hall and don’t hear Cat Steven’s voice.

There you have it. Do yourself a favor and read Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys). Take some of bands you haven’t heard, or haven’t listened to in a while, and search them out wherever you stream music. Maybe there is a new favorite waiting for you.
If you haven’t already read Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) what are you waiting for? If you already have, why not pick it up again? Either way, take my advice when you do—don’t just read it, experience it!

Want information about purchasing this book from Neighborhood Reads, a local Washington, MO book store? Click above!

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