The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is a young adult novel about a secret organization that prepares teenage spies, called Love Interests, for the purpose of attracting a person destined for greatness, in order to obtain valuable information.
Caden is a Nice, the boy next door and Dylan is a Bad, the handsome but dangerous boy from the wrong side of the tracks. They are both competing for Juliet, and when she decides which boy she wants to be with, the other boy will die. What the boys don’t expect are feelings that could get them both killed.
I really loved this book. I fell in love with the characters and enjoyed the story so much. When I initially picked it up, I thought I would be disappointed because the dust jacket basically tells you that the two boys end up falling for each other, but the story getting there was so perfect and sweet it didn’t make a difference to me at all.
I really enjoyed the whole nice versus bad thing going on. It really showed that no matter how you’re brought up, you have a little of both that make up who you are. Even though Caden was Nice, he also showed some traits that a Bad would have and even though Dylan was a Bad, he still had some Nice qualities. This comes as no surprise considering that although they are competing for the love of a girl, they are in fact fighting for their lives, so Dylan needs to have some Nice qualities if Juliet is going to fall for him and Caden needs some Bad qualities if he’s going to win and keep his life, because he needs to be willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Juliet is the girl they are competing for. She is an inventor and wants to invent the next great thing, which apparently is why the organization is so interested in her. They believe that she will one day be very beneficial to them. I really liked Juliet as a character. She was nice and seemed to care about things that other people may not find that important or interesting. She was a little naive at times though, especially when it came to believing everything that these two boys said to her. I do like how helpful she was in the end, that really proved who she was as a person.
Caden and Dylan. I absolutely loved these boys. From their first meeting I could see the attraction. I don’t know if it was because I saw it coming because of the summary so I was looking for a connection or if I would have been able to see it even without that knowledge. Either way I fell in love with them and their relationship. This was the first novel that I read with a same sex relationship and it made me excited to read more.
I personally didn’t think that there was anything bad about this book, although obviously there were problems within the story itself. First, this organization is raising kids to be spies for them. That’s wrong on so many levels. Second, these boys are competing with each other for the love of a girl and whoever doesn’t win that love will lose their life. So in reality it doesn’t matter if this boy loves her back or not, they just want to survive. Third, the Love Interest that does win, spends their life in a relationship based on lies and they will be spying and relaying secrets back to the organization. Essentially the Love Interests can never be themselves and the person that has chosen them will never have a real relationship. These are all problems, but they work for the story and eventually they are what leads to the ending of the novel.
Speaking of the ending, I loved it! I loved how the whole book came together and concluded. I loved where all the characters ended up and how they got there. I especially loved that in the end, they all figured out what truly mattered.
This novel was 5 stars for me and I highly recommend it.