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The Friend Scheme

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,009 ratings  ·  299 reviews
Part thriller, part romance, The Friend Scheme is another twisty #ownvoices YA novel from Cale Dietrich, author of The Love Interest.

High schooler Matt's father is rich, powerful, and seemingly untouchable—a criminal with high hopes that his son will follow in his footsteps. Matt's older brother Luke seems poised to do just that, with a bevy of hot girls in tow. But Matt h
Nook, 384 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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Average rating 3.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,009 ratings  ·  299 reviews

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Miranda Reads

New month, New Booktube Reading Vlog - tier-listing all the books read in July!
The Written Review

On top of that I'm too soft, too careless, too lacking in family devotion...I'm a good actor. I can sell it.
Matt's Dad - ruthless, rich and ready to run this town. He's a mobster and he's gunning for control.

Jason's Dad - strong, upstanding and ready to do what's right, no matter what. He's the police commissioner and he's going to take back his town.

Matt and Jason together - sparks are flyi
Shaun Hutchinson
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book. This swoony, dreamy book. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
Lauren Lanz
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, young-adult
To put it simply, The Friend Scheme is a Romeo and Juliet esque romance between two sons of mobsters on opposite ends of a turf war.

I finished this book in one sitting. I enjoyed following the protagonist Matt as he dealt with his family’s harsh expectations. It was interesting to hear his internal monologue of wanting to escape crime, though unsure of how to tell his father without disappointment.

Cale Dietrich’s writing didn’t have much substance to it. The text and dialogue felt awkward or ran
Erica ♋️✨
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this book, i loved the cute romance scenes and the plot was really fun. However, i didn’t give this book 5 stars because i found the main character annoying and the decisions he made really annoyed me but other then that i would totally recommend this book.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, 2020-releases

I highly enjoyed this. Actually, I'm surprised too so don't ask me why. After reading this all I could say is that this book is not for everyone. It contains book tropes - predictability, gullible protagonist etc etc. - and other things that will surely make a person eye roll. I came here for the fluff and romance and I got those. Don't bother picking this one up if you're just going to complain all the way because I'm telling you now there's a lot to complain or nitpick about. Another,
Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

Romeo and Juliet with gangster families,
but make it gay. 🌈 🌈 🌈♥️
Tricia Levenseller
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Dietrich has written a sweet romance with all the tensions and pressures that come from ridiculous societal norms. I laughed out loud. I growled in frustration. I rooted for Matt and Jason from the beginning. I especially love the deeper look this book takes at gender roles and masculinity. Keep breaking those walls, Cale! We’re fighting with you!
Kai (CuriousCompass)

Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars.

I was nervous going into this since Dietrich's debut was a bit of a disappointment for me, but I ended up really enjoying it!

It was fast paced and I never wanted to stop reading, and I was surprised at how well I connected with the characters, considering that was one of my biggest problems with The Love Interest.

Another problem I had with his debut was the writing. While it definitely feels stilted at times and definitely still seems a bit amateurish, it has absolutely improved!

It's not
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Yeahhhh... no.

I wanted to like this book sooo bad, so so bad! The idea was so original and refreshing but the execution just missed the mark for me. BIG TIME!

Matt Miller was a little obnoxious and whiny, especially when he was with Jason. I mean not EVERYTHING Jason does has to be “cute”, Matt, relax. That got a few eye rolls from me, a lot of them actually.

“Jason stretches his arms over his head”
“Jason wearing a suit”
“Jason looks at Matt and smiles”
“Jason breathes”

Cute. Cute. Cute. yawn
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had such high hopes for this book and I'm so sorry this novel didn't work for me. It's about Matt, who's part of one of the biggest mobster families of the city, and Jason, the son of a police commissioner.

With this premise, I was expecting some kind of LGBT Romeo and Juliet with a lot of drama, action and also a little bit of romance. I know I was asking for a lot, but I didn't expect to receive such a boring storyline. Even in the moments that were supposed to be full of tension, to me ever
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
The best I can say about this is that it was a really quick read. And it had its cute moments too, but overall it was just a waste of potential. The whole Romeo and Juliet, falling in love with your mob family's enemy kind of thing could have been SO good, yet this book was completely and utterly... bland. There could have been DRAMA. There could have been YEARNING. Yet we got the most wooden dialogues, the most choppy writing, these kids calling each other "dude" and "man" so often I wanted to ...more
Jul 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbtq-rep
oh this was terrible.
let's start with the good things though:

okay now that that's out of the way, i'm just disappointed. the premise made me expect a suspenseful romeo and juliet like romance, but it really, really wasn't. the concept was great, the execution... not so much. i wish the author hadn't done the telling instead of showing thing so much.

about the romance: matt and jason had nothing but awkward conversations, no chemistry at all, and all of their issues were completely ignored in ord
♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)
Although I haven’t read The Love Interest I have seen the poor reviews. I really hope this author pulls a Margaret Rogerson where their first book is eh and their second book shows how awesome they actually are.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*My thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for gifting me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

It really kills me to say this, but I have to: ⭐ star

The Friend Scheme is a YA about how two boys from rival gangs with a bloody history meet and fall in love. Now they have to choose between their loyalty to their families and their feelings for each other.

This had all the makings of a great book. Romeo-and-Juliet forbidden love, rival gangs, the potential for a great, twisty betrayal and r
Sol ~ TheBookishKing
You know that feeling you get when you start a book and you know in your gut it's going to be amazing and wonderful and you're going to give it five stars?

This ... is the complete opposite feeling of hope and the exact feeling of despair. As soon as I got 10% in, I knew I was going to hate this YET I KEPT GOING. I don't know why, but I did and this is easily one of the worst books I've read in such a long time. I'm mad that I wasted 4 hours of my life on this, dear Lord.

The covers nice though, s
May 30, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbt-rep
The son of a mobster and the son of a police commissioner falling in love??

elise (the petite punk)
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Friend Scheme is a Romeo and Juliet type story following Matt and Jason, two teenage boys who start to fall for each other despite being from rival families. As their relationship advances, they must keep secrets from their families and each other as they figure out where their loyalties lie.

I thought this was a super fun, fast-paced story about forbidden love and identity. The romance was great and I liked t
Let’s start with the positives...
The characters are cute! The MC is super sweet.

Unfortunately that’s about it. The writing is just.. immature? Like reading a Wattpad story? Honestly, I’m not really sure how to explain it. I STRUGGLED to read this book. I didn’t want to DNF because I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing lately but it was definitely a struggle-read. There’s no depth. The whole ‘mob/gang’ schtick very poorly done. But I could see this book and it’s writing style appealing to a you
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, lgbtq-character, ya
I was really hoping to like this book because it gave off big Romeo and Juliet vibes.
However, there were a few things that I just couldn't get on board with.

The writing was very short and choppy.
Many parts of the book were written one line after the other.
Or short pieces of dialogue after the other.
In a line.
Like this.
(This did make it quick to read, but I really did not connect with it.)

There were quite a few times in the book, where the love interest wanted to talk to Matt about his feelings,
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
3.5 stars

This was a really fun book that I didn't want to stop reading. It's dramatic and over-the-top and sort of ridiculous, but that's what makes it so much fun. Matt and Jason had such wonderful chemistry and banter - I loved them together and seeing them try to develop such a strong friendship first before romance, and how that foundation meant so much to the both of them was wonderful to see. I thought Matt was a great character - seeing his struggles of family vs duty were well thought ou
Sylvs (NOVELty Reads)
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA thriller fans and people who enjoy the forbidden romance trope
Wow, I liked this even more than I first thought!

Before heading into The Friend Scheme, I read through a lot of reviews both bad and good to gain a sense of exactly what I was going to get into. A lot of people commented on the writing style, the characters and the story in its entirety. That in itself made me cautious enough to look carefully into the story, the plot and into all the criticisms that the book gotten. At the same time, I also tried to overlook my prior opinions just to make sure
Mary Katherine
Aug 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgtbq, bad-decisions
It's rare that I dish out a 1-star review, but this one really worked for it. The premise was really strong, homophobia didn't win in the end, and Luke was a semi-interesting side character. That's about all the silver lining I could find here. I read a lot of YA and there's something to be said for a more simplistic writing style--this was just so stripped down to the bone that it lost all of its heart and soul. With the host of editors listed at the back, I'm a little bit flummoxed how that oc ...more
If you look up "disappointing" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of this book.

Where do I even start... I was promised a gay and modern Romeo and Juliet with mafia families, and it was totally not that. I actually got this book because it was featured in a Buzzfeed article that claimed Matt and Jason, two teenagers who are supposed to be enemies because of who their families are. I won't repeat what this inimical relationship is, because the Buzzfeed article got it wrong, and actually kind
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
So the good news is, this was better than The Love Interest.

The bad news is, it still wasn't great.

There were some good things. I reeeeally loved Luke. Like. A+, Luke. I liked Cassidy too. The romance was definitely pretty sweet too.

But it just lacked a lot. There was TOO much focus on the romance and not enough on the background. Like, Matt is the son of a crimelord but like... we barely get any of that. They throw some Molotov cocktails and talk about killing their enemies. But like... there i
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
What are friends for?
Matt and Jason. Are they or aren’t they?
Is he who he says he is, or something more?
Enjoyable read and likeability is high!
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
A disappointment tbh. I really wanted to like this; the concept of it is so good and so cool, yet it failed to deliver in any real way. I expected a dramatic crime thriller with gay romance, but instead got... boys talking about video games?

Matt had such promise as a character. I really like the concept of this son of a mob boss being totally out of place in the world of crime. All he wants to do is play his games and watch movies and be gay, and I love that. But it's something that quickly fal
Gemma ♕ Bookish Gems
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-rep
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked it, but also didn't like it.
The premise for this book was huge and as a dark romance lover I was super hyped for this and being it a BL novel, I wanted it even more.
So, I got the book and read it in span of aprox. 5 hours - which is super fast, and I don't know if it's a good thing, or a bad thing.
The plot is way too simple and shallow and characters are not that likable? Like, Matt's personality is few times okay, but other times he is just so plain and an actual douche and same applies
May 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-arcs
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely wish I had better news regarding this book. In fact, this was one of my most anticipated reads…and well, it fell flat. The unfortunate thing is I don’t have much to say about this book. It wasn’t a DNF, but it was close. There were a few redeeming characteristics of this book.

This was an enemies to friends to lovers trope, queer Romeo and Juliet style. All of which were good things. Sad
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