Book Review: The Love Interest

“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.” 
― Cale Dietrich, The Love Interest

Book Title: The Love Interest
Author: Cale Dietrich
Publication Date: 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, LGBTQ+
Goodreads Rating: 3.22 Stars
My Rating: 4 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.


1. Ok well. Let’s address the elephant in the room. That cover… is awful. If I were looking in a bookstore, there is no way in hell I’d pick up this book. Lucky for me, this was one of my Book of the Month choices, and I read the synopsis before I really looked at the cover.

2. Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Nope. It’s YA, and it took me a minute to figure out if it was a Sci-Fi/Fantasy type book, but nope. Just secret corporations doing super shady shit, which, hello, welcome to 2017. The fact that everything was SO PLAUSIBLE while also being so terrifying really drew me in from the first chapter. I really actually liked the main character (which is good, since it’s first person point of view), and I wanted to know more about this life he was living.

3. Diversity! I don’t generally read LGBTQ+ books. Not because I avoid them, but because they are not really prevalent in my circle of reading friends. However, in the interests of reading more diversely, I’m glad I took a chance on this book. I don’t feel like I’m spoiling much by telling you it’s LGBTQ+. It’s pretty obvious from, like, the second chapter and there are quite a few twists in this book that really took me for a spin later on in the novel.

4. Is this the best book ever? No. It’s super cheesy sometimes, super obvious sometimes, and I rolled my eyes on more than one occasion. But I’m trying to overcome some book snobbery here and remind myself that not all reading has to be literary masterpieces, and apparently, this book was just what I needed to pull myself out of the book-blahness that I was experiencing. It was so nice to be swept up immediately in the story, and I’m so glad I gave this book a chance.

This novel swept me up from page one, and, while it sometimes crossed into cheesy-YA, it was a quick read that kept me guessing the whole time.
“His use of the word ‘she’ makes me flinch. He said it so confidently, like I would only ever want to kiss girls. I know that’s not the case, and that wanting to kiss another boy is perfectly normal, but he doesn’t seem to know that. What am I supposed to do, contradict him and make this a big thing? I could never do that because I’m a Love Interest, but the fact that he didn’t even give me the option to be gay makes me want to throw something at him.”

“These books helped me get through some pretty terrible stuff, and it’s only now that I’m out that I’ve realized how attached to them I am. They’re all a part of me.”

“I guess I thought I was straight just because everyone treated me like I was, and no one ever gave me a chance to think otherwise.”

“‘People don’t have to save the world to be good,’ says Trevor. ‘John Green gets that, and I do too. All you have to be is honest and kind, and then you’re good.'”

“The boy looking back at me isn’t me. He’s an idealized version of myself, what I wished for whenever I felt ugly or unlovable. It’s myself through the lens of someone who loves me.”

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