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Crash Test Love by Ted Michael
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Crash Test Love

by Ted Michael

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I know the description wasn't so great, but i just wanted to read a sweet teen romance and I thought this was the one. Guess again..After reading the excerpt I should have known what a silly book this was, but noooo, I had to give it a try :( It was .. how should i say it in a nicely way? Well, it was plain stupid, the characters were more than stupid, the dialog between them more than horrible and unreal, and not interesting at all (not to say stupid again) and I just lost my interest from the very beginning.And I'm trying so had not to say anything about the dumb ending (!!!) because maybe there are people in this world that would like to read this book and I won't ruin it for them, it's just ruined by definition.. What a waste of time! :( ( )
  ar1anna | Aug 10, 2011 |
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

Henry Arlington is a player. He and his best friends enjoy crashing Sweet Sixteen parties all around Long Island and picking up girls there. He never goes out with a girl again, once he dumps her. So he wasn't prepared for Garrett Lennox. Henry meets Garrett at one such party. She's so different from the other girls, and he breaks one of the rules he and his friends invented...he tells her his real name.

Imagine Henry's surprise when he returns to school only to find Garrett there. Garrett's family has moved from Chicago to New York. Garrett is noticed her first day by none other than the most popular girls at her new school. Garrett knows they are trouble, but she realizes they could make her school year much better. There's only one catch with these girls...for Garrett to be a full- fledged member of their group, she has to get Henry to take her to THE Sweet Sixteen party of the season - and then she has to dump him in front of everyone.

As you can imagine with that scenario, it doesn't go smoothly for either Henry or Garrett. Henry falls hard and fast for Garrett. And Garrett finds Henry endearing. She doesn't want to hurt him, but she needs good girl friends to make the year go well for her.

I enjoyed CRASH TEST LOVE far more than THE DIAMONDS, also by Mr. Michael. However, the two stories are quite different, so that could be the main reason I enjoyed it more. The differing points of view were perfect for the story. The author creates Henry in a way that you want to hate him for being such a player, but he gets under your skin and you really start hoping that everything ends well for both Henry and Garrett.

I took CRASH TEST LOVE to the beach, and it was a perfect distraction for me. It was an easy book to get lost in, and I didn't want it to end. ( )
  GeniusJen | Aug 25, 2010 |
I recall previously I had read Ted Michael’s debut novel The Diamonds and compared it to "Mean Girls", the movie starring Lindsey Lohan. Now I’m going to compare his second novel to “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.
Henry is considered a “player” but there’s more to that. His mother left him and his father years ago, just one is gone never to return. Ever since then Henry has this idea never to get too close to girls because they always leave. He and his best friends crash sweet sixteen parties and hook up with a girl there—though Henry is only with enough of the charm to go through with that plan. He leaves the girls with false names to confirm that they will never meet again. That’s what he planned to do on this night. But he runs into Garrett who seems to captivate him for the very start and leaves her with his real name: a crash-code broken.

Garrett is new to Long Island having just moved. She’s very susceptible to the male gender and has had her heart broken several times—because what’s love without the freefall. But she’s made a pact to herself: she will not date or fall in love until college. But she can’t get Henry out of her mind. You can imagine how surprised she is when she discovers him to be at her new high school and the reputation he has. Or even her own. Apparently there has been a rumor that Henry has already made his latest conquest with Garrett.

But the J squad a.k.a. the three most popular girls in school are going to help Garrett out and she’s elated because she hardly ever makes girl friends. They have a condition though: make Henry fall in love with you and dump him during Destiny’s sweet sixteen—the largest party ever—or else we’ll make your life miserable here. There’s just that one little problem you see. What happens if you fall in love with him as well?

The novel is separated into two point of views: Henry and Garrett that rotates. It gives a more in-depth impression that works well with the story. However there is an inconsistency with Henry’s point of view in regards to the dialogue. Typically it goes in this format:

Me
Person 1

But then there were at times when normal dialogues pop up with ‘he said, “…”’ that threw me off.

I love Henry’s friends. They are quirky, silly, off the top with the most lamest jokes ever, and they’re the kind of friends that will be there for you thick and thin. Some scenes make me go ‘awhhhh’, some scenes make me snort and laugh, but every scene portrays them as likeable fellows.

Henry is the middle man. I like him. I get confused by him. I find him dislikeable the way he uses girls. But he grows. After the conversation about his mother you find his personality understandable (just not likeable). As he falls in love with Garrett he’s freefalling. He’s multidimensional with more emotions than what meets the eye.

Garrett is the type of character that I dislike. She plays victim almost constantly that irks me. I had this very strong urge to skip her chapters.

Overall Crash Test Love could have been stronger. I felt like I enjoyed reading the secondary characters more than the main characters and the ending felt…odd. I guess odd is a poor substitute of how I really feel because the ending is different from the norm and I can’t figure out if it’s a cop-out or a brilliant move on Michael’s end. ( )
  ylin.0621 | Aug 6, 2010 |
I thought it was going to be like another one of those teen romance movies like She's All That mixed with a little John Tucked Must Die. Crash Test Love was different, it's about honesty and being true to yourself. It might not have ended the way i wanted but it left open the possibility, and i think that was the point.

The characters were uniquely crafted and well developed. Henry is known as a "playa" but it's his cover up.He doesn't fully trust anyone and yet He has everything, but nobody has ever gotten close enough to REALLY know him. Not until Garret comes in the picture. He begins to open up i really started to like him. Garret is independent and she knows what she wants. But the relationship between Garrett and Henry is rocky but they are soo good for each other. Henry has so much to offer. I remember him saying something about decisions, that there is no right or wrong but just decisions in life. That's what Garrett does she makes her decision. It may have been a selfish one but it was the right one for her. The J Squad is your average mean girl group*hated them* But i found London to be a little dot different. Duke and Nigel are funny and support Henry in everything.

I really enjoyed Crash Test Love!! I was happy, sad, ans surprised all at the same time, once i finished the last page. Ted is an awesome writer, i liked the little email chats, and the dialogue conversions in this book. I had my mix feelings but its definitely about making YOUR decisions,even though it might not always please others. I think Ted wants the reader to look beyond the ending of the book...:D ( )
  fayeflame | Jun 16, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385735804, Paperback)

The last thing Henry Arlington wants is a girlfriend. He's just very, very good with girls—reading their body language, knowing what they want to hear, and more importantly: getting them into the backseat of his car. But all that changes when he meets Garrett Lennox at one of the many Sweet Sixteen parties he crashes.
 
Garrett thinks she's done with guys. She was dumped by her ex when she moved from Chicago to Long Island, and now she realizes that she needs to find out who she is by herself, instead of with a boyfriend. What she really needs is some good friends.
 
Fortunately for Garrett, the J Squad—the "it" girls of East Shore High School—want her in their clique. All she has to do is pass one little test: get East Shore god Henry Arlington to take her to one of the biggest Sweet Sixteens of the year, then dump him in front of everyone.
 
Garrett has promised herself not to fall for another guy, so playing with Henry's heart shouldn't be hard. Right?
 
And Henry doesn't fall for girls, so when he and Garrett start to click, it doesn't matter. Does it?
As William Shakespeare once said, "Love is blind," or in this case, the lovers may be, as Henry and Garrett fall in love—and into the trap that awaits them. Because neither of them can even begin to see what the girls of Henry Arlington's past have in store.
 
This hilarious, sharp, and surprisingly thoughtful novel is the teen Wedding Crashers, filled with love, hope, laughs, and surprising insights about the terrifying process of falling in love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:04 -0400)

Henry, who prefers "hook-ups" to dating, and Garrett, who has often been dumped, meet as seniors at a Long Island, New York, high school where Henry falls in love but Garrett, to prove herself to the popular clique, agrees to gain his love then publicly dump him.… (more)

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