The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
My lovely best friend surprised me with this for my birthday this year, and I literally couldn’t wait to dive in. We both have been so excited about this book ever since we heard about it last year. It sounds amazing – a love triangle that plays on the tropiest of YA tropes, and the guys end up falling for each other? I MEAN, HOW EPIC DOES THAT SOUND. This book lived up to pretty much its expectations for me, but I did have a few issues with it.
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
Okay, the premise sounds amazing and kind of crazy at the same time. Could it have use a bit more logic to it? Totally. Do you need to kind of suspend asking some in-depth questions? Yes. Once you do that, it’s a LOT of fun, and OMG, so, so engrossing. I read this literally in two sittings and stayed up to the wee hours of the morning to finish this because I had to know the ending.
The book pokes fun at a lot of YA tropes, and it does it oh, so brilliantly. It’s not quite done in the super funny way I was thinking it was, but it did it in a serious manner that really could bring out some great discussions. There’s the “Nices” and the “Bads” and omigosh, does it not accurately describe all of the love interests in YA. Most of them are forced into these two little sections, and I thought Dietrich did SUCH a good job with this. I was enthralled with the world he created, and the playing with tropes was just fantastic.
I did like the characters. Okay, they totally didn’t sound very realistic at times (some of the dialogue and reactions to things) could have used some work, but I really did like Caden, Dyl, Trevor, and Natalie quite a bit. I thought Juliet was good, but I did miss a bit of connection with her. I thought the cast of characters was intriguing and fun. My favorite character was probably Caden.
The ship. Omg, the ship THE ship THE SHIP. I loved the ship. It was so cute and omg, I lived for their scenes together. OMG, I had to set the book down, text my friend how much I was dying over the swoons and ship, and then quickly go back to reading it because I was so much in love. Hears, hearts, hearts.
The ending was kind of wild. I kept sitting there going, oh, wait, this is going to be a series? I thought that the ending was quite a bit rushed. I needed more than just a four page epilogue to really have tied this book together for me.
Despite a lot of the gripes that I apparently mentioned in this review, I REALLY enjoyed this book. It was gripping, intriguing, and did one of my favorite things – played with tropes in a fun and unique manner. I’ll definitely be reading future books of Dietrich, and his writing had me glued to this book. Even though it had its issues, it was fun, oh so intriguing, the swoons nearly killed me, and I’m a fan. Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
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