Review | The Love Interest

Posted 5 December, 2017 by Jade in Book Review / 0 Comments

Review | The Love InterestThe Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Published by Square Fish on May 15th 2017
Genres: LGBT, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: Kindle eBook

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.

I have never been more disappointed in a book in my life. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but this definitely comes pretty close.

The Love Interest is about two people fighting for the affection of Juliet, only to fall in love with each other. I only wish it was as good as it sounded. Love Interests are people, usually teenagers, trained from a young age to become either Nice Guys or Bad Boys; they’re sent to infiltrate the life of very important people or people who will be important in future as their romantic partner. Whomever doesn’t gain the affection of the ‘Chosen One’ is killed. Which is… kind of a waste, don’t you think?

[…] but if I’ve done my job right he’ll never suspect that I’m feeling frustration or maybe even anger at the way they’re treating the kid. A Nice would never feel such unsavoury things.

The book pokes fun at a variety of YA and romance tropes (creepy staring, Nice Guy vs Bad Boy, meeting the love of your life in high school), but a lot of the time it comes off as awkward. It doesn’t help that there really isn’t much to the characters in the novel including Caden who’s our narrator.

Caden’s characterisation is a bit all over the place; he’s sometimes decent, mostly bland, and attempts to be snarky and then immediately feels bad about it. There were times where I liked him, and times where I just didn’t care, but he did have some fun moments. I quite liked some of his moments with Dylan, but after finishing the book they’ve kind of been put in a negative light for me.

Dylan is adaptable, and that’s all I can really think to say about him. That’s all I really know about him from this book, to be honest. This book would have really benefitted from multiple points of view, or alternating points of view between Dylan and Caden. While it would have ruined a particularly awful (and not in a good way) twist that comes up later in the book it would have really helped with justifying some of the ending.

Our other characters, Juliet, Tyson, and Natalie, could have definitely been fleshed out more. Juliet in particular considering she’s the ‘Chosen One’ and the two of them were there to woo her. There are some instances where what she says or how she acts are just awkward as hell, and I really don’t know how I feel about her as a character at all. Natalie and Tyson don’t really have much characterisation outside of each other, and there are aspects of their relationship I don’t like that were pretty brushed over.

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.

It was a quick read and kind of fun in places, but the ending requires a huge suspension of disbelief. The twist nearing the end, as well, about the relationship between Caden and Dylan was definitely not great, and the fact that we’re told things that contradict it rather than shown didn’t help. I don’t believe the ending, and I don’t think I ever will because we’re not shown anything to make it seem sincere.

I’m just really disappointed in this book, I wish it had been better.

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