Blog Tour + Review: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Posted May 11, 2017 by Madalyn || 16 Comments

Blog Tour + Review: The Love Interest by Cale DietrichThe Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 16th 2017
Pages: 384
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Welcome to my stop on The Love Interest Blog Tour! Read on for my review of this wonderful book + a chance to win a finished copy!


Isn’t it always the best feeling when a book lives up to the epic promise of its premise? I mean, two guys competing to become the lifelong love interest to a girl who is sure to grow up to be someone important, all in order to sell her secrets to a centuries-old hidden organization? Sign me up! And, friends, I’m happy to report that The Love Interest definitely delivered on that front.

Upon starting the book, I was a bit thrown by the dystopian feel of the story. I expected it to be a contemporary about a spy organization, but there are lots more sci-fi elements to the story than I expected. However, though there are some sci-fi elements thrown in, it’s still set in our present-day world. I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi, but I still really enjoyed this book! The Love Interest is told through Caden’s first-person POV. He’s finally leaving the Love Interest Coalition and going out into the real world… to compete to the death with another guy to become a future inventor, Juliet’s, Love Interest. She can only choose one of them, and the loser will be incinerated (of course, Juliet will be clueless as to these sinister behind-the-scenes happenings). There are two different types of Love Interests: Nices and Bads. Caden is a Nice, while his competitor, Dyl, is a Bad. The entire situation is made all the more precarious when Dyl and Caden begin to develop romantic feelings for each other, instead of Juliet.

Overall, I thought the concept of The Love Interest felt wholly original. I can’t believe this is Cale Dietrich’s debut novel! I was so impressed by his storytelling. This book takes familiar tropes and exploits them in a witty way. I especially loved the discussion and portrayal of sexuality. This book truly examines the stifling effects of heteronormativity. It’s something I struggled with lots when I was coming to terms with my own queerness. Until a certain age, I never even considered that I could be anything other than straight– not because being queer was wrong in my circle (I have the most liberal friends and family you could imagine), but because society literally gives you no chance to consider yourself anything other than straight. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but hopefully, if you read the book, you’ll understand. 😉 I also liked the exploration of different forms of expression of masculinity (shown through the Nice vs. Bad dichotomy). Idk, I just thought this added commentary on identity and expression was woven so seamlessly into the story and was so refreshing to read about.

As for the romance, it was completely swoonworthy. Every interaction between Caden and Dyl was completely laden with sexual and/or romantic tension. I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop over the course of the competition. I also adored Juliet, Natalie, and Trevor. I kind of expected the three of them to be marginal side characters in the story, but they ended up being totally three-dimensional and important to the plot.

The only complaint I have about this book is that the ending felt a bit like a cliche dystopian ending, but given the originality of the story itself (and the epilogue, which I felt redeemed the ending), that didn’t take away very much from my enjoyment of the book. Also, can we just discuss how great it is that this book is a standalone and not book one in a series?! The Love Interest was brilliantly written, with a high-stakes plot that made the book difficult to put down. I think it’s an important addition to queer YA fiction. I absolutely loved it, and I highly recommend you pick it up!

Follow the rest of the stops on the blog tour:


  • 1 Finished Copy of THE LOVE INTEREST by Cale Dietrich
  • US/Canada Only
  • Follow the tour for more chances to win
  • Runs through May 19th
  • Please read the Rules & Regs in the Rafflecopter

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Have you read The Love Interest? If so, what did you think? If not, do you plan to pick it up soon?

About Cale Dietrich

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.

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16 responses to “Blog Tour + Review: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

  1. So I hate love triangles, but this has been on my radar, because how rad does that sound? I’m glad that it’s well executed too. It totally sounds like a fun and swoony book, perfect for me! Will check this out from the library!

    • I know, right? This didn’t really feel like a love triangle for me, because neither boy *actually* liked Juliet, they were just pursuing her out of obligation, ya know? I really hope you enjoy this one when you get to it, Nick!

  2. Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle

    Yesss, so glad to hear it’s swoony and lived up to your expectations! I’m really looking forward to this, I love the premise. It does seem unusual that it would feel so sci fi, maybe they use a lot of gadgets? Haha. Can’t wait to read the book.

  3. Wow, I’m so excited to read about Caden and Dyl’s romance!! It sounds amazing. I’m glad you enjoyed the book and thanks so much for being on the tour!!

  4. […] The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (avg. rating: 3.16 | my rating: 4.5) // I’m not surprised to see this one on the list, but I AM surprised it has the lowest average rating of all the books on this list. I’m also sad because I highkey really enjoyed this book??? I understand people’s criticisms of it, but I thought the way this story addressed heteronormativity was really clever and I actually loved the romance (plus, the premise is so cool!). […]

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