Netgalley Review: The Love Interest

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

May 16th 2017

Date I Read The Book:

March 2017

My Star Rating:

4/4.5 Stars

Official Summary:

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.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

When I first requested this book from Netgalley I was expecting a YA version of
“This Means War”. But I was extremely pleased to be wrong.
The Love Interest is essentially a satire of every love triangle YA trope, and it is gloriously aware of that. It also subverts the love triangle in that, our narrator, who is the “Nice Boy” of the love triangle, falls for the “Bad Boy” rather than the girl whose affections they are meant to be competing for.
The romance was impossibly cute. It’s well executed, and doesn’t feel campy. I thought its pacing was good – definitely didn’t feel like instalove. Caden is an adorably awkward, out-of-his-depth narrator, who constantly feel for Dylan’s seduction tactics intended – theoretically – for Juliet. I loved the friendships in the book as well.
The pacing of the book is fast, but well balanced – it stays exciting without getting ahead of itself. The setting remains contemporary, and the romance is of heavy focus, but the book also plays heavily on action tropes and contrived scenes common in YA fiction.
It had its flaws of course, sometimes it felt too caught up in the tropes/satire. Sometimes I got frustrated that, despite everything, Juliet still often felt at times like a plot device, the lack of ability to communicate feelings for most of the book (which plagues most YA) was still present, etc.
There was a specific thing towards the end that bothered me – don’t continued reading this if you don’t want spoilers!
But towards the end, there was this whole “Dylan’s isn’t gay” thing going on that has Caden equivocating on whether he loved Dyl or Juliet and the whole thing was utterly unnecessary, not really used to further the plot, it was just annoying to add drama to an already rushed end.
But over all, I LOVED it. I definitely recommend it.
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