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The Love Interest

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  7,708 ratings  ·  1,860 reviews
A thrilling YA debut about teen spies disguised as "love interests"--whoever gets the girl lives; but the one she rejects, dies.

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
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
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Katie I don't think anything has been officially said on if this is a standalone or if the author is open to writing it into a series. The ending wasn't…moreI don't think anything has been officially said on if this is a standalone or if the author is open to writing it into a series. The ending wasn't solid enough that it *couldn't* be made into a series, but, god, I really hope it's not. (less)

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Average rating 3.20  · 
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✨    jamieson   ✨
I don’t exist to teach her a lesson, and it irks me that she thinks labeling 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.

it is a rough, rough thing to hold your most anticipated book of the year in your hands and feel so damn disappointed @past me: why did u gotta hype it so much ??

This book could have been so good and made so many good points and instead it all just fell flat
I don’t exist to teach her a lesson, and it irks me that she thinks labeling 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.

it is a rough, rough thing to hold your most anticipated book of the year in your hands and feel so damn disappointed @past me: why did u gotta hype it so much ??

This book could have been so good and made so many good points and instead it all just fell flat


Anyway, I spent a few days thinking about this book because honestly? I knew I was disappointed, but I also knew there was some things I liked and I didn't know how to address the book in it's entirety.

I'll try my best to get everything down in a coherent way, but ya know how it goes - sometimes we struggle.

I think starting with the good things is an Idea because I don't think this book is 100% awful burn it to the ground right now at all

First of all, I think this book was just fun. It reads quickly, and the meta is funny. I liked the dramatisation of common YA tropes and structures and that it poked fun at so many tropes we see in books everyday. I think it just made it really fun and refreshing and kind of gave it a Carry On vibe. This new theatre/book trend of characters being somewhat aware of their status as characters and then deliberately addressing and subverting the structures of their narratives is something I am loving. Anyway, the lowkey snark towards these tropes which really do oversaturate YA was amusing to me and I enjoyed seeing them get dramatised.

The subversion of the traditional love triangle was refreshing and fun. I liked that Dietrich took the love triangle to a new place, especially since that place gave a voice to lgbt+ people. The love triangle, aside from the fact it's annoying, always categorises people into tropes and I think that's really damaging. So to see those tropes actively presented and unravelled was really clever. I think The Love Interest genuinely did make a good attempt at exploring why attempting to categorise masculinity (or any human expression) is a bad idea

I really think the lgbt+ representation was nice. To have a gay character scream "I'm the protagonist, fucker!" was unbelievably satisfying. Dietrich said in an interview he was sick of gay characters being the stereotyped side character or the character that always gets killed and I think that came through. Caden explicitly talks about why it bothers him gay people are always tokenised and fetishised both in the media and in real life and I think thats an important discussion that needs to be had more often - gay people don't exist to be straight girls gay best friends and I'm glad this brought it up. Plus no #buryyourgays so nice.

But I think this is where we get into the problems with this book. Because I think where this book fell down is that it tried to say and be too many things at once, so it ended up succeeding in representing none of them.

I felt like this book had alot it wanted to point out, and it was trying to make a critical commentary but it never quite got there. Thematically, it came off vague and meandered to and from different points of criticism. It didn't really nail any idea and I think that hurt it, because it's hard to pinpoint exactly what I'm reading. Commentary on the flaws of YA? The dangers of categorising masculinity? the poor treatment of lgbt+ characters? feminism? dangers of an increasingly corporate driven world?

The writing was also just a little messy not awful or unreadable but not great either. I think thats what damaged it for alot of reviewers. The characters were also just not developed enough and honestly some of the things that happened between them were annoying and unrealistic. I think Juliet and Natalie could have been good characters but ultimately were not complex or explored enough. Juliet was a smart and capable character, which I liked, but she ultimately only really existed to be a plot device. Natalie also had potential but wasn't really ever explored properly. (view spoiler) I wish this book hadn't normalised cheating.

Plot wise, the world building wasn't enough and the plot had too many holes. You're telling me these kids disappear for days and no one notices? (view spoiler)

If felt like this book definitely needed more editing, like it felt like so many plot holes and plot conveniences and poor representation just sort of ..... slipped by? The charactrs were so okay with eachother being really shitty and thats annoying af. Because it should have been explored.

I also think it would have benefitted from a dual POV because I basically know nothing about Dylan lmao. I also hate that there was a queerbaiting plot point URGHGHGJHK. Like, I think it should have been more clear about Dylan's internalized homophobia if that is what it was getting at. I felt like Dylan and Caden had the same dynamic as Philip and Lukas except without the finesse of eyewitness' discussions on internalised homophobia.

basically me reading this

I don't think this was terrible, I really don't. I just think it's upsetting could have been soo much better and all that potential was wasted.

It is a debut, maybe we are all being too harsh. I think hype totally got ahead of this one and made everyone so expectant of something beautiful and amazing. Hype is a genuine killer.

I wish this was a series, because I think giving it another book or two would have been really allowed the author to flesh out his themes, characters and world and to slow down and stop rushing so much plot into one tiny book.

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Emily May
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm going to go on a little tangent to explain my feelings on The Love Interest.

I am a lover of fiction, fantasy and adventure. I love to live in other worlds and believe in the impossible. Therefore, my ability to suspend disbelief is pretty darn good. I can be convinced that a world exists where magic killer unicorns walk the land and wreak havoc with their magic killer unicorn powers. Easy. Where my suspension of disbelief falters, however, is in the details. The hows and the whys. If, say, s
Chaima ✨ شيماء
Well, I guess I’ve finally found something i was more disappointed in than myself: this book.

My actual review of everything in the love interest:


I'm honestly so fuelled by rage and bitterness and a 100% pure sodium chloride outlook on everything but I’m not going anywhere so I’m just typing this review very aggressively (actually, if I hadn’t wanted to draw attention to myself, i would've probably bclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
I'm thinking a 3.5, it was going to be a 3 but that epilogue did something to me.

Honestly, I wanted this to be my favorite book ever, and I am incredibly disappointed to report that it is not.

Author: So here's my idea... two boys are supposed to fight for a girl
one is a bad boy, one is the boy next door, the girl can only choose one.

Readers: *sips tea* I see.. sounds familiar..

Author: But instead the two boys fall for each other

May 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
my future child: i'm so sorry i disappointed you mom

me (remembering the love interest): oh sweetie don't you fucking worry
Claudia Ramírez
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This was SO CUTE AND FUN. I'm smiling like an idiot right now.

I'm telling you, if you don't take this book seriously, you'll enjoy it and you'll have a good time (I mean, I think that the actual book doesn't take itself seriously xD). It was a light read and I had fun, what can I say? I get the reasons behind the bad reviews, and I agree with them in many aspects, but still I enjoyed this :). It was not remarcable nor memorable, it was more like a feel-good book.
Simona Bartolotta
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, in-english
2.5—where the half star stands for “Metafiction. Metafiction everywhere,” and the second one for “I know your message is important and I'm trying to reward you for it even though you are so trashy and I'm not even saying that affectionately.”

“I may as well start whining about how nice guys never get the girl, so I shut my mouth.”


•At the beginning of this semester, one of the first things my professor of English literature told us was, “You won't understand a thing abo/>ON/>“I
Joshee Kun (조수아)
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literally Everyone
My written interview with Cale Dietrich can be found here.

Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
1 Star




I was so excited for this, too.

A typical boy/girl/boy love triangle, where the boys complicate everything by falling for each other? Like yes plz.

But instead, here’s this rant.

(BR with the lovely Kainat who is welcome to spam me with Parks and Rec gifs any time. )


This idea is fun. It’s there was hype and so many of us wanted to read it. As a whole, this book is v)
3.75/5 stars
"Like, 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?"

He's something you probably don't know about me. I love low budget movies. Anything with far-fetched plots, bad acting, and poorly done CGI is the closest thing I have ever gotten to drugs. I love low budget movies so much, that when I watch those box office superhero movies that everyone and their imaginary frie
Jul 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Because we are both living with limited time, and life should be lived while we have the chance.


Thank you Sana for letting me send you like 274038483 messages on how stupid and dumb I think Juliet is until 3 AM and thank you for ranting with me. I appreciate how you understand my level of disappointment and anger.

I'm so fucking upset, again. When I first read the description for this, I was so ready and looking forward to it. I was like "2 boys fight for a girl but they end u"2/>I'm

"A particularly important young woman has shown signs that she’s ready to select a partner, so two of you have to be sent in right away. We’re looking for a boy-next-door Nice and a mysterious, tortured-soul Bad.”

"Aren’t they always?"

4.5 stars!!

If you weren't already so excited for this book, YOU NEED TO BE! ADD THIS TO YOUR TBR ASAP THIS BOOK IS GREAT. It's such a cool concept and it was executed amazingly. The first 90% of this book is completely original even th
BR with THE LITTLE SHITHEAD who sent me 215465156.0036337 messages about how awkward and dumb Juliet is.

Dear friends on Goodreads,

My sincerest apologies for not listening to y'alls when you said this book was a big fat load of bullshit and disappointment. My apologies for ignoring everyone, going ahead, reading this and then coming back to complain to everyone on how fucking CRINGY AND AWKWARD THIS WAS.


Me, lmao.

Anna Priemaza
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
"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 winne
Natalie Monroe
"If you caught your Chosen kissing your rival, what would you do?"

I lower my eyes and bring on the tears. When I feel them behind my eyelids I look up at him, my entire body radiating hurt. I stare at him for a moment, drop my mouth a fraction, then turn my head away.

"I'd look at her like that. Then I'd walk away. Next time I saw her she'd probably apologize if I were still in the running, so I'd tell her she doesn't ever have to explain herself to me, and that I only responded in that manner becau

seriously pick this up NOW if you can get your hands on it.

I received an eARC, but this in no way impacts my views.

The Love Interest is a book that has me still screaming about it 12 hours later. It is a book that had me screaming at my phone, screaming at myself and crying. It is a book that defied all expectations I had for it, which were mildly low. I didn't want to go in expecting the best, but this is one of the best books I have ever read.

Cale Dietrich writes such/>The
amy ☂︎
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
All aboard the MS Disappointment, I'm the fucking captain of this ship

disclaimer: This book disappointed me so much that this turned into a Roast Session, I promise I'm a nice person and I don't really want to drag anyone (i don't even know how to trash books i've never done this before) so pls be nice to me, idk how to handle haters once someone told me i should calm down and i cried for 3.4 days


let's begin.

I need you to understand that I don't e v e r rate anything less than 3 stars. I don't think anyone ever expectedship

Let this buddy read begin with my girls,
Kaylin and Elise!

Aw hell! I think this book is fucking genius. A detailed explanation is coming in full review.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I can't believe how disappointing this book was.

Honestly, I didn't have overly high expectations; however, I was curious. I felt like it had potential and so I decided to read it. Despite the hype and the fact that it's been 2-3 days since it's been released, there's already lots of mixed reviews. I think it's going to be one of those books that'll have very mixed reviews: you either love it or you hate it./>I
Elise (TheBookishActress)
I can't take it, so DNF at page 130. Great premise, poor execution.

I don't know if I'll ever actually review this because all my feelings on it are so lukewarm. Feel free to head on over and watch Em drag it to hell and back if that's your thing.

The problem with this book is it can't decide whether it's a parody novel or a book or both. This is an excellent parody novel. It is not a good actual book.

In terms of being an actual novel, Dietrich has good ideas. Thematic conclusions about lgbt+
C.G. Drews
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
ngl i absolutely adored this and am secretly mad at myself for not having read it sooner!! i also discovered the author is australian and somehow that just makes it it 100 x better because look at OUR AUSSIES, out there, infiltrating american publishers, taking it all. 🤗glorious.

*:·゚✧ | PLOT | *:·゚✧
look i do recommend coming into this with the idea that we're here to (1) subvert tropes, (2) scoff at a lot of ridiculous highschool cliches, (3) throw some bullets and shrieking teens around/>*:·゚✧
Holly Jennings
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Start the fangirling now.

I was fortunate enough to read an early copy of this book, and I couldn't put it down. For all of you wondering if this is "a love triangle turned on its head, where the special girl becomes the third wheel between two guys, who fall for each other instead." Yes, yes it is -- and it's so much more.

Full disclosure: the author and I are with the same literary agency, which is how I got my hands on an early copy. It has not affected my review in any way.

It's definitely very Young
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you've ever found yourself falling in love with someone who seems a little too perfect, consider the possibility you're the target of a Love Interest.

Love Interests are young men and women who are trained in the art of seduction at a secret compound, the LIC. It's all very hush-hush, including how they obtain the children they train in the first place. Boys are divided into Nices and Bads. When the LIC obtains a high profile female target, they send in one of each to act out a perfectly c
Mar 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Wait, wait, I can explain. You see, someone who has similar reading interests recommended this book and without reading a single review I dove right in, but at the 40% mark and after many wtfs I realised this person must really dislike me; otherwise, how does one recommend this book? FM. That's 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back.
DNF @40%
⚔ Silvia ⚓
BR with my friends (I mean I only actually talked about this book with a couple of people while reading it but yeahhhh I just don't want anyone to feel excluded) <3

While you anxiously wait for my review you should read this analysis because it talks a bit more about the meta aspects of this book that I feel a lot of people might have missed (I mean, that's perfectly fine and I don't want to come off as "the way I read this is The Right Way and you're all wrong". I get it that reading this book expecting
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
sofia (sam willows)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rin ( ̄ヘ ̄)	 read/watch mo dao zu shi
you know when you see a big and pretty red apple and you want to taste it so bad, but then you take a bite and it's rotten on the inside

this book is that apple


this was a lie and review is not coming
prag ♻
DNF @40%

Meh. Another case of hype-a-titis.

(Buddy read with Sil, Amy, Elise and Em)
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“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.” 33 likes
“You aren't going to shoot me. You're just a Love Interest."
"No, I'm not." I lower the gun and aim it at his right kneecap.
Even though I've been through hell, even though I've been told I'm worthless my whole life, even though I'm gay, even though the world wants me to bow down and accept that who I am makes me insignificant, the following is true:
"I'm the protagonist, fucker!"
I pull the trigger.”
More quotes…