The Love Interest by Cale DietrichThe Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Love Interest

byCale Dietrich

Hardcover | May 16, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$22.24 online 
$24.99 list price save 11%
Earn 111 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


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.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is a gay YA thriller that is non-stop action from start to finish.

Cale Dietrich is a YA devotee, lifelong gamer, and tragic pop punk enthusiast. He was born in Perth, grew up on the Gold Coast, and now lives in Brisbane, Australia. The Love Interest is his first novel.
Title:The Love InterestFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.38 × 6.19 × 1.33 inPublished:May 16, 2017Publisher:Feiwel & FriendsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:125010713X

ISBN - 13:9781250107138


Rated 2 out of 5 by from So cliche This is a novel that had potential to be great, but was just poorly executed. I hate that this review sounds so negative, but I was so sure this would be on my favourites list for the year. I give a little credit to the fact that it is a debut author, and I like the uniqueness of the spy-lovers plot line, but there was a lot of room for improvement.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nope Well that was… interesting. It had much potential but if just fell flat for me. I didn’t care at all about the characters and I kept reading hoping it would get better but it didn’t. It almost read like an unedited book? Like some scenes were decent and then some the writing was just terrible. This is the most boring book I’ve ever read about teenage spies- like nothing happened and when it did it was so unrealistic and cringey. And don’t get me started on that ending.. I mean really???
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!! How can you not love such teenage cliche! Was so good, I couldn't put it down! I feel in love with the style, characters, and just the book its self was so good!
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review from Giselle at Book Nerd Canada Caden is a Nice, someone who is destined to always be the good guy. So when he gets chosen to be the Love Interest to Juliet (an important person to the secret organization LIC) he has to compete with Dyl, a Bad who is anything but evil. I had no idea this was going to be satire and in the beginning when I was reading it, I couldn't help but laugh at all the young adult tropes and cliches that were used that I lost count. That part was brilliantly done. But it also lacked dimension and depth. And what I mean is the characters. There were all just cookie cutter characters with no real personalities or defying warmth that would make you root for them. And that's what ultimately made me bored. I need to root for characters to get together or I just won't care at all and sadly in this case, I didn't care abut Caden or Dyl. I actually cared about the supporting characters Natalie and Trevor who had a bit more personality than their best friends. I just felt so far out of their reach that I couldn't connect with Caden or Dylan. The story-line was there, but you'd have to read further into it to actually find it. I liked how there were mentions and quotes of the queer guy becoming the protagonist in his own story. I was annoyed the whole time with the love counsellor who is supposed to be giving advice about love. But all her advice is about how hot he is. She's quite annoying and doesn't really give great advice at all. I think it would have been better if she didn't appear at all. I know they're just tools to the LIC, but I really couldn't tell the difference when she spoke to them or if it was his own thoughts? Maybe the final copy will separate the difference. I love that we get to see more queer relationships in books and this was a good start, but I've read ones that really did yank at my heart (and broke it to pieces), so this one is a bit forgettable. Overall, it does have easy writing that you can simply read quickly, but other than the great concept, the execution fell flat for me. I'm sorely disappointed I didn't like this one as much.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deliciously meta "Wouldn't it be better to send us in when we're a bit older? No one finds the love of their life while they're a teenager." "You haven't read any YA novels recently, have you?" So say the characters in this deliciously meta book that pokes fun at so many YA tropes, while somehow still making you swoon over them. Caden, a Nice, has to compete against Dyl, a Bad (complete with leather jacket and sob story to account for his jerky behaviour), to win the affections of their Chosen. The winner gets to spend the rest of his life at her side, spying on her. The loser gets incinerated. To makes things worse, Caden is falling in love with his competition. THE LOVE INTEREST is fast-paced and action-packed. It's sexy. It regularly says, "Oh by the way, I'm using Trope X right now" and makes you laugh because yeah, it totally is using that trope and you're totally swooning over it. I read most of it in a day because I couldn't put it down. This is definitely one you want to pick up.
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life Friends, I am a huge ball of disappointment right now. Excuse me well I devour some pizza to get me through this review. The Love Interest immediately made it to the top of my most need now, give me ARC in exchange for my black soul list when I realized it was about a school that trains spies to infiltrate these girls lives for whatever reason. They send in two boys to compete to win her heart. That part didn't get me. The twist was the boys end up falling for each other. I'M HERE FOR THAT! What actually proceeded to happen was a hot fucking mess. The sort with poor execution and extremely one-dimensional characters. In theory, The Love Interest should have been wonderfully meta. It literally plays on every trope and cliche that YA has overused throughout the past ten years. An M/F/M love triangle that consists of the bad boy and nice boy competing to win the heart of this unique and unknowingly beautiful girl, who is not like ANY OTHER GIRL. EVER. This spy school makes(trains) these boys to be YA cliches. The boys know nothing about the real world except for what they watch and read in popular teen media. This should have been fucking hilarious. And for the first fifty pages or so I was so into it. I'm thinking this could be possibly one of the best things to happen to my YA loving heart. We now all know how that thinking turned out... The three most important things about a book failed me here. Let's start with the characters. Caden, Dyl and Juliet were literal personifications of their main traits. Caden the nice. Dyl the bad. And Juliet the different beautiful girl. Let's just outright scratch Juliet from the rest of this review. There is nothing to say except zzzzzzzzz. Caden and Dyl, every time the scene gave them the opportunity to explore their true personalities, away from acting as the cliched nice or bad, I had high hopes. We're going to get some swoony and fun gay moments. GIMMIE. Maybe once or twice, yes, but holy god was the rest terrible. These three characters, the satire, and fun that could have been had. What a missed opportunity. There's no plot. There's no world building. And hey, I tell you guys every time that I am a character driven reader. So world building isn't the end all be all for me. BUT, when a book is missing everything that lack of world building and plot development becomes an issue. The Love Interest is about a spy school and the main character realizing how much he wants freedom and to be himself. So let's take down the establishment, bro. The end. There is zero development or movement from that line. I think the absolute real killer for me was the writing. Like I said, the satire that was expected to come from this read was non-existent. The dialogue was flat, flat, flat. One cheesy, cliched, unemotional line after another. At the 60% mark, I was so over everything. I was bored and thus commenced the skimming. I thought about giving up, but this book still had me hoping for something to save it from itself. I was here for the promised gayness. Caden had some decent moments well he was coming to terms with his sexuality. The dude grew up in a place that probably wasn't super okay or open about being your true self. So I was alright with giving him a minute to figure that out. Caden and Dyl's "relationship" on the other hand was not the burning focal point that I expected it to be. Again, it had its moments. But there was also a whole bunch of harmful bits. In fact, for like 50 pages it veered into queer baiting territory, and this girl was fucking livid. From that point on, their relationship wasn't salvageable. Disappointments are the hardest. I can handle a terrible read when I didn't have any expectations. But when I feel like I'm promised something and the execution fails so epically, it's a letdown. There's your Catch-22; are expectations the real one to blame here? I mean, if you can get over a very flat story and characters, The Love Interest delivers on the fun scale. It doesn't take its self seriously. It's a cliched mess in exactly the way it's meant to be. There are no surprises. The Love Interest is ten years of YA tropes in 400 pages.
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.25*** This book was a great book. It wasn't amazing, but it was good. The beginning of the book was good, and the world was introduced very clearly. The characters were built pretty well, but some characters seemed very one dimensional. There was also quite of dialogue that seemed very useless and didn't add to the book. However, the plot was very interesting and had me reading lots and always wanting to find out what would happen next. However the ending of the book was not good. It was very forced and seemed predictable. It was too rushed and everything that happened was very convenient and unrealistic. Overall a fun read and while it is not without its flaws, I would recommend.
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool story. The Love Interest is Caden’s story, but at the beginning he isn’t Caden yet. He’s just a number, another abandoned teen trying to be chosen to be a Love Interest, a spy whose job is to get close to a chosen person and win them over so their secrets can be sold. Caden is a Nice, and he must compete against Dyl, a Bad, to win over Juliet’s heart. The catch? The loser will die. What’s not supposed to happen is the feelings Caden and Dyl have for each other. It was this point that attracted me to the story because it’s beyond your typical love triangle. And it was a good story, but I believe there was room to do more with it. Some of the plot seemed a little far-fetched and underdeveloped, and I think the ending was rushed and could have been drawn out a bit more. But otherwise, a good concept and a cool story.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book!!! Wow! I loved this book - probably one of my top five :) it was awesome!! The characters were really well done and solid. I also felt a feeling of stakes throughout the book - it wasn’t lording over me, but was just there enough to provide an urgency to Caden’s actions. There was diversity which was great, and some really awesome plot twists. One thing that this novel accomplishes that some books seem to have trouble with is that it’s characters have to take time to recover. They don’t just bounce back as though whatever happened was superficial. It really adds a sense of depth and reality to the characters. For example (spoiler!) when Juliet finds out that Caden has been tricking her the whole time, she doesn’t forgive him instantly. So… A breakdown: Reread value: 10/10 (I re-read my favourite parts over and over!) Unique points: 9/10 (While other authors have played with Tropes before, none have done as well as Dietrich.) Positive Examples: 8/10 (Strong female leads, rebel against the patriarchy) Diversity: 8/10 Character Believability: 9/10 Yay!!! Everybody should read!
Date published: 2017-03-12

Editorial Reviews

A 2018 ALA Rainbow List Selection"Dietrich both flips and examines certain stereotypes in regards to gender and sexuality while also serving up some high stakes spy adventures."--Entertainment Weekly"This sci-fi young adult novel is the answer to all of our cliché love triangle woes. Caden, the kindhearted boy-next-door, and Dylan, a brooding bad boy complete with dark poetry and a leather jacket, are in competition for the genius Juliet's heart. The winner gets the girl, and gets to live out his life in peace. If you're looking for something funny, action-packed, and romantic this summer, then this is your next read."--PBS Newshour" There's a Hunger Games vibe here to be sure-a deadly teen-on-teen competition-and this is packed with similar questions of morality. High stakes, well-developed characters, and an LGBTQ slant on the classic spy story make it all the more intriguing. Stock up-this one has something for everyone."-- Booklist, starred review "In this subversive take on the quintessential YA love triangle, two guys-the clean-cut boy next door and the brooding bad boy-compete for a girl's affections. But nothing is as it seems: the guys are actually secret agents, trained to follow a script and fulfill specific romantic roles, and whoever doesn't win his target's love will be killed by his ruthless employer. ... Dietrich's debut is impressive, provocative, and a clever take on well-worn romantic tropes. ... while the thriller elements add tension and numerous surprises."--Publishers Weekly"Caden is a spy. He's spent most of his life so far in an underground facility being groomed physically and mentally to become a Love Interest for someone influential. Now he's finally been chosen. Caden's been pegged as a Nice, the nerdy-boy-next-door type with perfect abs and ocean blue of spy fiction and LGBTQ titles will find the novel worth reading."-- School Library Journal