Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Books I've Read: The Love Interest
This was one of those really frustrating books which had a fantastic premise, but was let down somewhat by some not-great writing and numerous flaws in logic.
Set in an unspecified future, people of great promise are identified young. To ensure their secrets are shared with 'the powers that be', these promising young people are paired up young with a carefully selected Love Interest who will spy on them for the rest of their lives.
Becoming a love interest is competitive and boys are groomed from a young age in compounds until they are deemed ready to be sent on assignment. Divided into bad-boys and 'nieces', each target is sent two love interests, one bad and one good. The pair then vie for the girl's attention until she picks one over the other.
In a twist though, the unsuccessful Love Interest doesn't get returned the pool and sent out to try and woo another unsuspecting woman, they are killed.
The MC in this story is Caden, a 'nice'. He is paired with bad-boy Dylan to woo Juliet, a budding young scientist who is developing dangerous weapons in her home-laboratory. Armed with the best training possible, the two young men are sent out into a world they have never experienced to make Juliet fall in love.
What they didn't expect was the bond that forms between them two of them, something that complicates the fight to the death.
There was so much I enjoyed about this book, especially the subversion of the love-triangle trope, the awkward, unrealistic dialogue from the Love Interests who had never experienced life outside the compound, and the whole idea of manufacturing happily-ever-after love amongst teenagers.
Unfortunately the book was let down by some flat, un-interesting characters and some pretty glaring holes in the story's logic. Some of the writing wasn't top-notch either, but I'm not 100% that wasn't on purpose to illustrate how out of step with the real world both Caden and Dylan really are.
And let's not even talk about the ending...
So while this is a reasonably enjoyable read, I didn't love it.
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
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 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.
From debut author Cale Dietrich comes a fast-paced adventure that is full of both action and romance and subverts common tropes.