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Crash Test Love    by Ted Michael order for
Crash Test Love
by Ted Michael
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Henry and his pals, Duke and Nigel, like to crash sweet sixteen parties. Henry usually makes out while his friends make bad jokes. That's where he meets Garrett.

Garrett's family moved from Chicago to Long Island so her dad could head up the film department at Columbia. Her senior year will be spent as the new girl, if she's noticed at all.

Henry and Garret tell the story of their relationship in alternating first person accounts. Henry's not a girlfriend type of guy. He's looking for a one night stand, not a relationship. Garret has trouble making friends because girls think she's out to get their boyfriend. Both characters come off as less than likable when first introduced.

After their first meeting at a party, Garrett notices Henry at school, but he ignores her. By the time she is finally invited to eat lunch with the three most popular seniors at school, the J Squad, she's desperate to make friends. They offer to include her in their group, but the price is getting Henry to date her and dumping him publically at an upcoming sweet sixteen party in October. To ensure she won't refuse their challenge, they tell her Henry spread rumors that they hooked up at the party where they met.

Garrett goes to work at the theater (which plays indies and foreign films) where Henry is employed. If you're a movie buff, you'll love the back and forth about the movies. Slowly the two characters begin to grow on you and each other. One of Garrett's little quirks involves talking about her emotions in with music lyrics. Henry's problem with women started with his mother who dumped Henry and his dad.

The ending is bittersweet. Both Garret and Henry have regrets, but grew as characters.

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