The Love Interest

the-love-interest


Title: The Love Interest

Author: Cale Dietrich

Series: N/A

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Release Date: May 16th 2017

Rating:

Four Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“A particularly important young woman has shown signs that she’s ready to select a partner, so two of you have to be sent in right away. We’re looking for a boy-next-door Nice and a mysterious, tortured-soul Bad.”
Aren’t they always?

Caden is a Love Interest. Most of his life has been controlled and overseen by the Love Interest Compound as he prepares to one day infiltrate someone’s life and make them fall in love with him for the goal of obtaining valuable secrets. Caden is a Nice, and the LIC always sends out two operatives for every target, one Nice and one Bad, and at the end the Love Interest that isn’t chosen is killed.

Now Caden has an opportunity to prove his value, and what’s more to see the world outside of the LIC. Juliet is important to the organisation and Caden is picked as her Nice, to act as her friend and confident, to be the typical boy-next-door, in the hopes of making her fall in love with him. The Bad chosen is Dylan, acting as the dark and brooding soul, someone who needs fixing, and although Caden knows the two of them are in direct competition with one another he can’t quite stay away from Dylan.

“Like, wouldn’t it be better to send us in when we’re a bit older? No one finds the love of their life while they’re a teenager.”
“You haven’t read any YA novels recently, have you?”

Every day Caden and Dylan live a lie, playing their parts for Juliet and the world, but behind closed doors the two are confidants. Caden isn’t sure what to do about the feelings he has for Dylan, it was something he was never trained for, but despite his coach’s advice to stay away he refuses. Both Dylan and Caden are determined to win but as they pull out every trope they have for their parts in the story, trying to draw Juliet to them, they know the day she will choose, Nice or Bad, draws ever closer and it will mean death for the other.

The Love Interest was one of my highly anticipated releases for this year, and because this book was released later in the UK than it was in the US I saw a lot of mixed and negative reviews. I ended up starting The Love Interest with low expectations which I think helped because while I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would it was still an entertaining read. The Love Interest takes all the classic and overdone tropes you expect to find in YA books with love triangles and shows them through the eyes of the male characters, and you can’t help but realise how ridiculous they really are, which makes for some hilarious scenes in this book.

…The Characters

“A Love Interest is who I am, and it’s all I’ll ever be. Questioning that, or letting other people know that I’m questioning it, will result in my death.”

Caden has worked hard to make himself the perfect Nice, and on the outside that’s all you see of him. He’s a good actor and liar, and says everything both Juliet and the LIC want to hear. However inside Caden is not perfect. He doesn’t believe in the LIC’s assignment for him, doesn’t believe he’s a Nice, and what’s more he’s gay. Caden doesn’t have any internal conflict you may expect from his character about being gay. He wants to survive and thrive in the real world, and if making Juliet love him is the only way he can achieve that then that’s what he’s going to do.

“Do you think you will fall in love with her?”
“It doesn’t matter. She’s the hero of the story, so how I feel is irrelevant.”

The relationship between Caden and Juliet was one built on lies, but it was still interesting seeing it develop. What Caden felt for Juliet may have not all been real but the more time they spent together the more he does start to feel something for her. The story is told solely from Caden’s POV so we only see Juliet’s reaction to his acts from the outside, and not what she really thinks, but I think that suited the story Cale Dietrich was telling. We already have plenty of books that tell us what the characters like Juliet feel when one of her love interests act the way both Caden and Dylan do so it wasn’t hard to fill in the blanks.

“I don’t exist to teach her a lesson, and it irks me that she thinks labelling me is okay now. Like, by liking guys, I automatically take on that role in her life. That I’m suddenly a supporting character in her story rather than the hero of my own.”

While Caden’s POV worked for the relationship between him and Juliet what it didn’t work for was the relationship between him and Dylan. As both Love Interests play their part to the world outside they are themselves with each other. They come from the same background, have the same goals, and they are the only ones who can really understand what failure means for the other. Dylan is more open than Caden, who is wary of their friendship being a trap, or part of Dylan’s plan as the Bad, but still he can’t stay away from the other boy.

I would have enjoyed this book more if we’d been told parts of the story from Dylan’s POV. I think it would’ve added another aspect to the relationship he has with Caden, also it would have been interesting seeing through Dylan’s eyes some of the tropes he performed for Juliet as the Bad instead of only seeing them, second-hand, through Caden’s. As is reading The Love Interest solely from Caden’s POV made the development of some of the characters shallow.


While it was an enjoyable read overall, The Love Interest wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be when I first discovered it on Goodreads, months before its release. It’s a fun story that shows how ridiculous some of the overdone tropes you find in love triangles can be, but it’s not more than that. The plot was entertaining enough, it was just the character development, mainly the lack of it in places, that let The Love Interest down.

What did you think of The Love Interest? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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34 thoughts on “The Love Interest

  1. I like how all those tropes seem so ridiculous through a dude’s point of of view. 😛 Is this whole humourous element part of the author’s intention or it just came out like that for you? It’s nice to hear how low expectations helped you for this book too! Great review, Beth. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah they really do, and honestly it was something I didn’t notice to that degree until reading this book where they were pointed out almost. I think possibly a little bit of both, I definitely expected The Love Interest to be a humourous read either way. Thanks Lashaan! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lauren. It seems like a fair few people were a little disappointed in this one, and for the same reasons as well. 🙂
      This could have easily been a five star read for me if there was more character development.

      Like

  2. Lovely review, Beth! I’m sorry you felt a bit disappointed by this and felt like it lacked a bit of development. This book was and still is one of my most anticipated reads but I haven’t got the chance to buy it yet. I’m still eager to read it but I will lessen my expectations a little bit, I think 🙂 Thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 😀 Yeah The Love Interest wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be but I went in with lowered expectations and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I’m glad you’re still looking forwards to this one, I’d recommend lowering your expectations before starting it but I hope you enjoy it as well.
      That’s all right! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I skimmed this a bit because I have this on my tbr still – but I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it! I always get the This Means War film vibes from this cover and plot and I absolutely loved that film, so I am super excited about getting a copy of this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that with books still on my TBR list as well, but thanks Lauren.
      I haven’t seen This Means War yet, or at all, but I’ve seen a few other people make that comparison so I guess there may be similarities between the two. Either way I hope you enjoy this one! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I knew this was a book I really wanted to read, but I seriously forgot what it was called or who it was written by. A huge thank you for your review! It’s now added to my TBR so bye possibility of forgetting again, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, and yeah when you keeping seeing the same thing pop up in all the reviews you knows it’s an issue in the book for sure. I hope you enjoy this book when you get around to it, even if it’s only a little. Going in with lowered expectations will help when it comes to The Love Interest. 🙂
      That’s all right! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard that people wanted Dylan’s POV as well! I think a lot of readers were let down by this — which makes me want to read this book a LITTLE less. But it still sounds pretty interesting, interesting enough to pick up! And agh, lack of character development sucks. Great review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was let down by it. I think for me it felt like we were only getting half the story you know? We were missing all the action from Dylan’s side which would have made this book even more interesting. Overall it’s a good concept and a good story, it just failed in the execution a little. If you do get around to this one day I hope you enjoy it May, I think going in with lowered expectations will help though. 🙂
      Thanks! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome review, Beth! You voiced some of my main concerns with the book. I found it an enjoyable read, but it’s potential wasn’t fully reached because the characters weren’t fully fleshed out. The book would have been much better if Dylan’s perspective of his situation and relationship with Caden were shared. Also, I wished that there were more scenes with Dylan and Caden together as romantic interests. Their relationship was done in summation. So, it seemed too contrived and not as believable as it could have been. I really liked how Caden didn’t really have much internal conflict over his sexual orientation. That was refreshing to read! And I loved the satirical nature of their actions. Who doesn’t love a good parody. I’m glad you ended up enjoying it despite all the issues, though. It was good, but not as good as it COULD have been, IMO 😀 Again, lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia, and I’m glad to hear you agree with my review too. I think everyone had high expectations for The Love Interest and in the end most people were disappointed, by the time I got to it I’d already seen the influx of mixed reviews so I could prepare myself a little better. 🙂 Yes I definitely agree with you there. There were times when I felt the relationship between Caren and Dylan was a little rushed and either giving us some chapters from Dylan’s POV or showing more of them together as romantic interests would have helped that a little. I felt a little like the ending was rushed as well, not just their conflict with LIC but in summarising Dylan and Caden’s relationship too. That was, it’s nice to see characters who aren’t conflicted over who they are. And I love a good parody, this book was hilarious in places. 😀
      Thanks Azia, yeah overall this was a good book that just didn’t live up to its potential for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, that ending was…underdeveloped…to put it nicely. It felt like a completely different book by the end. And the boys’ relationship kind of just fell into place. It didn’t feel genuine to me. I really with that had been explored a bit more. But the humor was there, so I appreciated that about the book. It’s not a perfect book, but at least it was entertaining 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It really did, and it’s a shame because the first part of the book was well developed. It almost seemed like too much time was spend developing the beginning that by the time it got near the end the author wasn’t sure what to do with the plot or the characters. I loved the humour, and I think taking this book as a light-hearted, parody of the genre helps you enjoy it a little more. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree. you could tell the author places most of his focus on the beginnings and kind of forgot about how it would all play out in the end. But at least it turned out decent 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have heard many mixed things about this book so far. It’s too bad that it didn’t live up to your expectations, but I’m glad you still enjoyed some aspects of it. I’m not really sure if I’m going to be picking this book up. Maybe if I’m sometime really in the mood for a story like that. Great review Beth! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I heard mixed things before getting started on this one too, I went in with lowered expectations which helped but it still wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be you know? Thanks Anna, and if you ever do feel in the mood for a book like this one day I hope you really enjoy it. The Love Interest seems to me like a book you’d pick up more on a whim than one you’d seek out you know? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s interesting… I thought this would have multiple POVs, mainly Caden’s, Dylan’s and Juliet’s. It doesn’t make much sense to me otherwise and I can understand why it doesn’t work as well.
    I’m intrigued by this book but I’ve seen mostly negative or not so great reviews on it. The concept is so awesome, it’s a shame it wasn’t explored more.
    Amazing review, Beth! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I thought too. I could accept Juliet not having her own POV because, like I said in my review we kind of already have her POV in all the other books out there with love triangles in them, but I was surprised by the lack of Dylan’s POV. I think that more than anything is what let this book down for me and made the character development, other than Caden’s, feel shallow.
      The concept is really good, and I think if you go into this book with low expectations you’ll end up really enjoying it, but yeah I think it could have been a much better story.
      Thanks so much Sophie. 🙂

      Like

    1. When it comes to books I feel like having it is halfway to reading it. At least that’s what I tell myself to make up for my massive TBR list! 🙂
      I hope you manage to get around to this one soon Stephanie, and I hope you enjoy it as well. 🙂

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