The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Young Adult / LGBTQIA
Published on May 16th, 2017
ARC from Netgalley
| Review |
To say The Love Interest was a disturbing read would be an understatement. While it was nowhere near a The Hunger Games replica, it had a similar feel to it, and I had nightmares after reading that series. What I loved most about this book was Dylan and how he was so damn candid from the very beginning, latching onto the boy he’d been pitted against because he knew Caden was the only person who truly knew how he felt. It took so much courage to be open with Caden, and I loved Dylan for that. Parts of this ‘game’ would change him for sure, but right up until the end, he was going to stay who he was at his core. It was heartbreaking from the very beginning, and I loved the evolution of Dylan and Caden’s relationship. I also loved that Caden thought about Juliet’s feelings and how, by being targeted for a ‘Love Interest,’ she would never have a chance at a real relationship. I also appreciated Juliet’s parents. There were some humorous moments with them, and they really were the only light part of this very somber story. There were a few surprises along the way, and oddly, though I saw one of them coming, I was still shocked. I think one of the most disturbing parts of this book for me were the ‘coaches.’ It was almost as if Dylan and Caden were pieces on a chessboard. Their feelings didn’t matter at all, and their coaches never even entertained the idea that maybe Caden or Dylan did something simply because they were compassionate and not because they were playing a part. I would have rated this book higher if it hadn’t been for the ending. I think it was a bit drawn out and not as entertaining as it could have been, but I loved every single moment up until things started to fall apart for Dylan and Caden. They were wonderful characters, and I was rooting for them throughout the entire story!
I was surprised at how quick of a read this book was. Time just seemed to fly by while I was reading; it was so well paced. Overall, I thought The Love Interest was a wonderful read, and I’d recommend it despite the lackluster ending. The goodness of the events leading up to it outweigh the end for me.