Crash Test Love

Crash Test Love

by Ted Michael

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375896484
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Lexile: HL640L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Ted Michael was born in 1984 and grew up in Roslyn Heights, New York. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Juilliard School and is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. His first novel, The Diamonds, is available from Delacorte Press.

Read an Excerpt

1

HENRY

I am not the girlfriend type of guy.

I want to get it out there and be completely honest.

I am not the girlfriend type of guy.

I won’t: hold your hand, buy you flowers, have dinner with your parents.

I will: kiss you until your legs collapse and you beg me to lift you up and start all over again.

I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, ladies, but you should know exactly what you’re getting into.

It’s only fair.

INT.—BACKSEAT OF MY CAR, SATURDAY NIGHT, LABOR DAY WEEKEND

I am bored.

HER

And I was like, really, you like my hair like this? On top of my head?

ME

(blank stare)

HER

Because I think it looks better in braids. I know that sounds so third grade, but it’s true!

ME

(blank stare)

HER

Don’t you agree, Reinaldo?

ME

(even blanker stare)

HER

Reinaldo? Hel-lo?

I forget she is talking to me because my name is not Reinaldo. It’s what I told her my name is, though, so it makes sense she’s calling me that. I try to remember her name—Marissa? Marisol? Something with an M?—but I can’t. I suddenly wish I hadn’t suggested we leave the party to be alone in my car. It’s much easier to tune someone out in a large group. But here we are, in the back of my Jeep. I think about how many girls I’ve been with in this very same position. Our legs are touching, and even though it’s the time I would normally make my move, I have a gnawing feeling this is not going to happen. Whoever this girl is sitting next to me, she seems incredibly . . . young. But it’s still worth a shot.

HER

Did you hear a single thing I just said?

ME

Maybe you should take your dress off—it’s really hot in here.

HER

(giving me a look I don’t even have to describe)

You are a pig, Reinaldo! A pig!

She slams my car door behind her as she leaves. I am slightly upset. Not because I liked her (she was boring) or because she thinks I’m a pig (I am) or even because it’s pretty clear I’m not getting any tonight; I am upset because I can usually pick them pretty well. Girls, that is. I can see a girl and know within seconds what her deal is. What she likes and what she hates and whether she moans when she’s being kissed. It’s a talent I have. Some people are good with numbers. I am good with women.

Just not this one. The Hello Kitty hair clip should’ve tipped me off.

I get out of my car. It’s dark, but not too dark. Even though I’m standing in the parking lot I can hear the noise coming from inside the hotel. Music. Dance music. You should know that I love to dance. Love to dance. Not professionally or anything, but in a club where it’s loud and crazy. That’s one of the reasons I dig parties. I like to have a good time. And there’s nothing wrong with that—despite what anybody says.

This particular party is a Sweet Sixteen for a girl who goes to my high school. Usually when I crash Sweet Sixteens, I like to go where no one knows me and I can pretend to be someone else entirely. I get a rush from sneaking into a party I wasn’t invited to and dancing. Well, not just dancing. Finding a cute girl to hook up with and hopefully making a little mischief in the process. Escaping the monotony of life for a few hours. Duke and Nigel (my co-crashers) have never understood this about me, and they probably never will. They just think crashing parties is fun. They don’t know firsthand the need to escape. To flee. To invent fake names and fake pasts and know that someone, some girl, actually believes it all. This makes me feel powerful. It also makes me kind of an asshole, but I don’t really care.

This is probably why I love movies so much. The idea of transforming into an entirely different person on-screen than who you are in real life. You would think that’d make me a wannabe actor, but I’m not. I do want to study film in college, though, and write screenplays. Like Charlie Kaufman or Alan Ball or Joel and Ethan Coen. I want to make movies, to create something from nothing. Every day I imagine my interactions as part of one big script; I see things as if my whole existence is on film. I’ve been this way for a while now, and I can’t imagine changing anytime soon. I want to be a writer so I can hide behind a computer or even a pen and paper and make decisions by myself. Without anyone interfering. Without anyone saying no.

Customer Reviews

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Crash Test Love 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
Wolfa-girl More than 1 year ago
i loved loved LOVED this book!!! i felt that Henry's and Garret's personalities were well-rounded and the plot was good. but i must agree with other reviewers, the ending sucked. i mean, i get the lesson that the author was trying to convey and all and i think that he did an amazing job! maybe too great of a job... **spoilers**spoilers** i mean seriously! after all that talk of "happy endings", why couldn't they have one? but it's still an awesome read <3
Hannah LaBarge More than 1 year ago
Honestly, this book would have been on my list of top ten romance books, despite the petty and annoying mean girl friendship, and i would have gladly given it five stars but really? I mean REALLY? I could think of numerous different ending that would have been a hell of a lot less disapointing! But, since theres nothing i can do about the actual ending of this book i guess i can just warn others that although i would definitely encourage reading this book, because it was reall
symone minto More than 1 year ago
the ending of this book was a disappointment
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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:MePerson 1But 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.
fayeflame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only reason this book didnt get a 5 star was cuz the the ending sucked to a high degree.....it made me kinda wish i nvr read the book cuz i inly like books with happy endings..if the ending was different it would have been x10000000000000 better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It¿s about this new girl, Garrett, who, in order to secure a place with the J Squad, the most influential girls at school, has to attend the biggest Sweet Sixteen party of the year with Henry, the popular and notorious God of East Shore, and dump him in front of everyone. Yes yes. Cliche right? Right, but I extremely enjoyed it. It was told from both male and female perspective and while I usually hate reading stories like that, the author nailed both characters great. And what surprised me even more. The author¿s a guy. Not that men can¿t portray woman¿s feelings accurately (ie. Shakespeare) or anything. But I¿m a fan nonetheless, and I want to read his other book now. The thing that really got me were the little details (like all books should, but sometimes I read a book and feel nothing from it). How Michael could pinpoint all the emotions of the characters perfectly and it totally made me ¿aww.¿ How both characters, guy and girl, were extremely flawed and stupid and human. How the climax was the best part because it totally caught me by surprise. I loved all the song and movie references and I¿m glad it ended with the audience to determine whether or not they ended up together (I really hope they did). However, when I think about the book in general I realize it¿s totally impractical that this situation would ever happen. Reading the book only reminded me of how I subconsciously compare boys in real like to be the characters I read from a story. I¿ve actually never met a boy like someone I would read out of a book. And I think because of this I never hold out on the possibility of ¿love¿ or even getting to know someone for that matter in the generation of young adults that I¿ve met or will possibly meet in the future. I should probably change this, but I haven¿t met anyone that¿s made me think twice of putting myself out there.
Becky King More than 1 year ago
I personally didn't like the endind, but not all real-life relationships have a sugar coated break-up and re-hook-up. No. Life hates us too mutch to be that kind...
Cpanthers More than 1 year ago
I absolutly LOVED this book! I hate reading so much and I stayed up for 2 and a half hours straight, till 1:30 a.m, just to finish this book! It has also tought me a lot about love and relationships. It even made me cry. I highly recomend this book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I reaally like this book except for the ending!!! Why couldn't they be together? I expected a better ending! Anyway it was a good book..!
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