Hey book dragons! Today I’ll be reviewing The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (who is an Australian author). It was a quick and fast paced read, I enjoyed it! Thanks to the Pan MacMillan team for sending me a review copy! Let’s get on 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, 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.
After seeing this book everywhere on bookstagram, I was determined to get my hands on this it. I mean a book about two handsome boy spies? Who are destined to win this girl’s affection – but instead … they uh … well, y’know *wiggle eyebrows*. The plot was unique and I absolutely loved the concept, though I believe the writing could have been improved. Some of the sentences and dialogues were a bit unpolished and ‘elementary’:
“You arrogant little shit! I was on my way to the bathroom and you went in first!”
And I was like, “WOW,” Putting that aside, the book was a pretty fast read, addictive, if I may add. It took my a couple of days. I have to say I did enjoyed the first third-ish of the book – it was hilarious. I loved how Dietrich poked fun of the YA tropes (nice, cute guy next door and the hot, brooding bad boy, love triangles), he also exaggerated some cliches and made fun of them – it was great!
Character wise, I really think they can be more developed – and to be very honest – I didn’t like the narrator, aka Caden (our nice guy), at all. His voice was flat, bland and unrealistic and he constantly sounded so drained that I swear he was depressed at some point and he needed professional help. I desperately craved for another POV by the end of chapter 7. The only reason I didn’t take another star was because of Dylan. And till this day I’m still a bit confused about this character, but in a good way.
Some convos however, did make me cringe (but I had to keep reading because I wanted to how it ends). Inserting example in below:
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
I shrug my shoulders. “I can’t help it.”
“I—I,” she stammers. “I have no idea how to respond to that, so I’m going to ignore it. Anyway, Caden, I can’t believe I almost forgot to show you my absolute favorite thing. Do you want to see my lab?”
Like bro, please, that underlined bit shouldn’t be spoken out loud – and it made the scene really awkward? I get that Juliet is ‘different’, but c’mon, no girl (especially if you’re an intelligent being) would verbally state that SHE IS GOING TO IGNORE SOMETHING – RIGHT TO YOUR FACE.
But then again, the plot latched onto action pretty quickly and there were some good twists here and there – and oh there were a few surprises which I TOALLY did not see coming (oh that was NOT sarcasm by the way, no it really isn’t, you don’t believe me do you, *sign*).
All in all, I ENJOYED THE DIVERSITY (probs one of the best elements of the book)!!!!! Although I wish there were more character development, The Love Interest was a good read if you’re looking at trying something different in the contemporary YA genre – that its plot isn’t totally guessable. Anyways, as this is Dietrich’s first novel, there’s definitely room for improvement in his writing technique. So yeah! That’s a wrap for the review! (Hope you didn’t find it too dry)! Happy Reading!