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All booksYoung adultThe Love Interest
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Young adult

The Love Interest

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Cale Dietrich, on your first book!

by Cale Dietrich

Quick take

The genius of this book is how it blatantly mocks clichéd tropes while you are being sucked into a story about the very thing being mocked.

Why I love it

Stacey Armand
"You Be the Judge" Winner

An action-packed, sci-fi / romance / YA book that takes the standard love triangle plot and shatters it with a modern-day twist—I loved this book!

Two boys compete for the affection of a girl. One is the gorgeous, smart, aw-shucks boy next door (I am picturing Scott Eastwood) and the other is the moody, quintessential bad boy (complete with leather jacket and motorcycle). The girl must choose only one. You are probably thinking to yourself that this is pretty common as far as plots go, in fact it’s one of the most recognizable YA tropes around.

But all is not what it seems. What the girl doesn’t know is that an evil, secret organization has groomed these boys to be stereotypical Nice Boy/Bad Boy spies. Their mission is to infiltrate the girl’s life and win her affections. The winner gets the girl and will report back to the organization on her activities as necessary. The loser meets a horrific, fiery death. What the organization is not prepared for is for their spies to actually fall in love with the wrong target. Are you in now??

While there is a touch of a Hunger Games vibe in that the good boy Caden and the bad boy Dylan will fight to the death for Juliet’s affections, I assure you, this is like nothing you have ever read before. The genius of this book is how it blatantly mocks clichéd tropes while you are being sucked into a story about the very thing being mocked. It’s both wary and earnest at the same time. Even if you just take the story at face value, it is original, fast-paced, and entertaining.

But there is so much more going on than in your average YA romance. The characters are caught between their fake identities and their real ones, and they must determine who they want to be and how they want to live. There is a strong message throughout The Love Interest about the importance of being true to yourself, of writing your own story and not conforming just because others expect you to. I also loved how Juliet’s character is no mere prop or damsel in distress. She is a brilliant, badass scientist in the making who has a good head on her shoulders and is empathetic to others.

In a game where lives are at stake and strategy is everything, how can you be sure of what is real and what is being used to manipulate you? I am so excited to introduce you to the heroes that emerge from a nefarious spy organization in this wonderful debut.

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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 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 valuable 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.

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Member thoughts

All (3213)
All (3213)
Love (793)
Like (1492)
Dislike (928)
3454 ratings
  • 23% Love
  • 43% Like
  • 27% Dislike
  • Victorville, CA

    I could NOT stop talking about this book!I finished it in three days and it only took that long because I had to work! It was ALL Icould think about! I kept asking myself "Okay, but what happens now?"

  • New York, NY

    Easy read with a super cute story. I really enjoyed reading the book. It was a nice change to different love stories. I would def recommend as a light easy read that takes your mind off of the world.

  • Hampton, VA

    I really have enjoyed this book. I predicted that the 2 interests would fall in love, but I was so excited to find out that they actually did. I was sad when I had thought they were both going to die.

  • Waddington , NY

    This book was frigging AMAZING!!! I read it in less than 24 hours. It had such a satisfying ending. (Also I am very proud to say that I totally called the plot twist). So worth the read. best book!!!

  • Denton, TX

    I really enjoyed this book.I wasn't too sure about it at first but it was more than a love story, or a spy story and really made you think about what identifies you as an individual and a relationship

  • Greenville, NC

    So, first off I'm very happy there were some twists and turns in this book that I didn't expect. Secondly, what a thrilling read. I fell in love with the boys. Written in their frame of mind for sure!

  • Dublin, OH

    I got so attached to Caden that I felt personally victimized when something bad happened to him. He could've gotten a paper cut & I would've felt betrayed. So many "oh my god" moments! Read this book.

  • Columbus, OH

    I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I would 100% read it again! I loved the character development and I loved the story line. I won't give away any spoilers but I had a feeling what was going to happen would.

  • Los Angeles, CA

    I love the teenage love triangle (I mean, who hasnt lived it?!) but this triangle has so many levels my little 15 year old self didn’t have to, and probably couldn’t, handle! Futurist, yet classic

  • Klamath Falls, OR

    This book drew my attention in very quickly. I finished it within two days. I really enjoyed looking forward to Juliet and Caden's relationship, but was taken by surprise Dyl and Caden's relationship.

  • Kennett, MO

    At first I wasn't sure if I would like it, but after the first chapter I was in love! This book has so many unexpected twists that I was hooked. It was hard to put it down. Simply amazingly wonderful!

  • Los Angeles, CA

    I used to love YA novels, but they soon became predictable so I took a break. This is my first book back into the genre and the way it turned all cliches on their head made me glad I gave it a chance.

  • Olathe, KS

    I LOVED this book! I thought it wouldn't be as interesting for me considering it is a YA novel and I've moved on to other genres but boy was I wrong! My favorite part was the ending! I'm so in love!!!

  • Folsom, CA

    This book has a little bit of everything. It's a thriller, it's a love story, it's an action book. It was so unique. Unlike any other book I've read. The identity search for every character is a gift.

  • Glendale Heights, IL

    Great, fun story. Loved that this was about someone who was meant to be a supporting character discovering he is the protagonist and his life and feeling matter. Hot little romance with a great twist.

  • Bloomington , IN

    I couldn't put this book down since I read it in less than five days. I loved it and it was such an interesting concept. My only thing I couldn't get past was the word "friggin" used often. Overall :)

  • Piermont, NH

    I fell in love with this book from page 10. I couldn't put it down and flew through it. It was predictable at times, but a true love story in an unexpected way. I would read this one 10 times over!

  • Leesburg, VA

    This book was one I wasn't sure about but once I got into it I loved it! Worth the read for sure. I loved the complexity of the main character and how everyone struggled to figure out who they are.

  • fresno, CA

    I wholeheartedly loved this book! I know its gotten a lot of bad reviews but i was genuinely entertained the whole time! From the beginning of the book i was so intrigued and it kept getting better!!

  • North miami, FL

    The book gives you a new spin of the typical love story. It shows that love is worth fighting for. It was a lesson of following your heart & going against what is wrong. It's about friendship & trust

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