Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book review: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

the love interest, cale dietrich
Book Summary
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, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a 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.

Flo's Review
The Love Interest pokes fun at YA (in a subtle, good-natured way), and it is super fun. The whole idea of a love triangle has pretty much been beaten to death. And in those you always have the safe, but beautiful, boy next door. This is the guys I usually go for, honestly. Simon in Shadowhunters. Jacob in Twilight. Et cetera, et cetera. Then the other boy is the new guy who comes out of nowhere, bringing an air of danger with him. But he's also beautifully broken. Jace and Edward, if we're continuing with my first examples. Both boys try to win the affections of the girl's heart -- and, of course, the girl is awesome and a force to be reckoned with all by herself.

So in this crazy world, there is a organization that cultivates Good Guys and Bad Guys (Nice and Bad) to battle for the affections of a girl's heart. This girl is one who will be important to society in some way, so the guy who wins will spend his life learning her secrets and sharing them with this evil organization. The evil organization then uses this information for its own gain.

And the other guy literally dies.

So there's that. 

I really like how this book very honestly explores the idea of identity and being what you are told you should be, versus who you really are. Caden doesn't think of himself as a true Nice. Dylan is not the classic Bad either. And they both struggle with that.

But then, it continues poking fun by exploring the idea of "what if the two guys fell for each other, instead of falling for the girl?" Brilliant. Brilliant premise. I was so excited to read this when I first heard about it, and I'm very happy to report that it lived up to my expectations. I spent an entire Saturday in Caden and Dylan's crazy competition and had a great time.

Cale Dietrich managed to throw in two plot twists that I wasn't expecting! I know for one, I literally put the book down and said aloud, "Plot twist!" Clever, because this just isn't a fluffy spoof story. It's a real, intense story with a well-thought out plotline and fully developed characters. There was only one aspect that seemed to be not thought out well enough to make full sense, but the rest of it did.

The Love Interest comes out May 16, 2017 and if you'd like to read a fresh spin on a familiar story, I recommend you pick it up.

Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with an advance reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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