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Crash Test Love by Ted Michael

Crash Test LoveHenry Arlington is not the type of guy to have a girlfriend. He prefers casual hookups, and never with the same girl more than once. Garrett Lennox is done with guys (until college, at least). She’s had her fair share of breakups and is tired of boys being boys. Then the J Squad, the most popular girls at East Shore High School, decide that they want Garrett in their clique—on one condition: if she can get Henry to take her to Destiny Monroe’s Sweet Sixteen and publicly dump him. This shouldn’t be too difficult, right? After all, Garrett has vowed not to fall for another boy and Henry doesn’t fall for anyone. It seems like the perfect plan, until emotions get in the way. And then it’s all downhill from there.

I thought that Crash Test Love would be just another high school romance novel, but Michael surprised me. Just as in his first novel, The Diamonds, Michael continues to depict high school drama and love in a candid, straightforward, and creative manner. In Crash Test Love, Michael goes even father. He manages to perfectly capture the opinions and emotions of both sexes regarding casual flings, serious relationships, and intimacy through Henry’s and Garrett’s narrations and pop culture references. It’s almost humorous that against all odds, Henry and Garrett start falling for each other, but that only makes their predictable separation all the more tragic. I found the references to and discussions of film that are included extremely relevant to the story and theme, particularly those of Shakespeare in Love. The parallels between Henry and Garrett’s relationship and those in various movies made the story so much more meaningful. I am thoroughly impressed with Michael’s second masterpiece of high school life and look forward to whatever he has next.

I recommend Crash Test Love to fans to The ABCs of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro, Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty, and Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher Random House

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