This month, I chose The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich as my Book of the Month book. I picked this book because the premise sounded interesting. A secret spy organization breeds love interests to stand beside famous and important people throughout history to collect and sell their secrets. I thought this book had the potential to be a great novel. There was a promise of a satirical aspect of love triangles, sci-fi action, and a bad ass female character. However, this book was a disappointment.
First, the main character, Caden, was not well-developed. Caden struggles between wanting to be the perfect Nice love interest and showing his true personality. Instead of a dichotomy, it feels sloppy. Caden has small outbursts where is true personality shines through. But it just feels like Caden is a whiney kid. I understand most of the characters in this book are teenagers, but few teenage boys I know actually whine. All of Caden’s relationships also feel forced. Caden is slowly developing feelings for his rival, Dyl, and doesn’t quite know how to process it. Just it just comes across forced. Same for his relationship with Juliet. There’s no underlying friendship. Caden is forcing himself to like Juliet or appear to like Juliet.
Second, Dyl is also hard to believe. Dyl and Caden are fighting for their lives to have Juliet choose one of them. Dyl is a Bad who has all of these action scenes, but they’re brief and frankly just made me roll my eyes at how stereotypical “bad boy” each set piece was. Borrowing from Twilight and having Dyl save Juliet from a truck. Dyl stepping in when Juliet gets “mugged.” Just his entire rugged bad-boy persona physically pains me. Then there’s how Dyl feels towards Caden. It goes back and forth about having feelings and just being “bros.” It is a little obnoxious. Dyl is too over the top and is forced to play someone a little too sexy for high school.
Third, the first two-thirds of the book are painful to read. I kept wanting to walk away from this book. It’s boring. It’s a cliché. Many lines were stolen from other big romantic moments. Like a blue horn from How I Met Your Mother. In fact, I’m fairly certain Dyl’s profession of love to Juliet was exactly what Ted Mosby told some of his girlfriends. The book was slow. No Hunger Games-like action as promised. I often found myself skimming large paragraphs nd even pages because Caden’s internal monologue and descriptions brought nothing to his character or often time the plat. The last third of the book is where we finally see some action. Juliet’s inventions are pretty cool, but again are borrowed from other sci-fi fandoms. Such as Black Widow’s body suit and an electrocution glove. The book does pick up pace and becomes somewhat easier to read, but I still don’t walk away from this book feeling impressed.
Finally, Juliet’s best friend Natalie is also being too forceful. I don’t think that Nat had to be a Love Interest also in order to drive the story forward. I suppose it truly does show how integrated Love Interests are into society. But I don’t like it. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but I don’t need to see three “spies” from the same organization in order to drive a point home.
I also walk away from this book with a few questions. Mainly, I’m confused about the ending. How did a small group of teenagers take down a giant spy organization? I know some of the events are plainly explained, but I don’t believe it. I’m also confused about the mistrust thing about Caden not being sure who he can trust to breakout everyone else. What’s he so mistrusting about? He thinks he’s a great liar, he’s not, but he thinks he is. So, does he just assume everyone else is too? It would make sense, the spy organization breeds liars. And a year later, everything is fine? There were no repercussions about destroying an organization that it its claws in all aspects of society? I don’t believe this.
Overall, I was not impressed with this book. I didn’t like the writing style. It seemed too informal and a little immature at times. I also think that this book was hyped up. You’re supposed to wonder what’s fake and what’s real in this book. I can save you from wondering. It’s all fake. The LIC has its claws everywhere. This is the first book that I’ve chosen from BOTM that has let me down. Better luck in June!