Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: The Love Interest, by Cale Dietrich


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.
From debut author Cale Dietrich comes a fast-paced adventure that is full of both action and romance and subverts common tropes.

I wasn't sent this book for review, I picked it up myself because I was intrigued by the premise: (minor spoiler alert because it happens early on) In this particular love triangle, the two boys fall in love...with each other.

Overall, this is a great story, well-told and with more facets than I expected. If you teens are looking for an entertaining and intriguing adventure story, this will fit the bill. As an adult reader, however, I was disappointed by elements that did not add up, particularly toward the end. I could suspend enough disbelief to accept the general premise of the organization's existence and how the Love Interests were trained. There were too many unanswered questions, however, to make the ending work for me at all: Major spoilers in them, though, so read on with warning.

In all the centuries if this organization's existence, no one has been caught? Any rebellion has been shut down and covered up? Basically every famous or powerful person in the world has a 'fake' spouse, and we're supposed to believe they are so well-trained that they never break their cover - yet these two characters do so before they even meet their target?

Juliet is a genius but nobody knows about her inventions? Her father is overprotective but lets her build and test bombs without supervision? She and Travis up and leave their whole lives on a moment's notice, immediately after finding out they have been horribly betrayed? Not to mention the time crunch pf packing all that crap and getting to the right location in ten minutes...

And then this multinational, age-old corporation is completely taken down by the killing of one man? With no global repercussions - the other Love Interests just fade into the woodwork, both trainees and those already married off - everyone is just living a happy normal life now?

As I said, the story is good, and if your teens aren't bothered by inconsistencies, by all means hand it off to them. The characters are interesting - the target girl got much more depth and personality than I was expecting, and the romance was a definite twist on the familiar. If you have one who will get angry with gaping holes, however, you might want to steer them to a different title.

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