The Love Interest – Book Review

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich 

Genre: Sci-fi Young Adult


Cale Dietrich is an Australian writer and this is his debut novel, published through Macmillan.

He can be found on Twitter @caledietrich.


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.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is a gay YA thriller as romantic as it is action-packed.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Sci-fi YA novels are not normally something I pick up. I’ve just recently gotten back into YA novels and sci-fi was never really a fascination of mine. However, I am a member of Book of the Month club, and Dietrich’s novel was presented as one of the choices for the month of May. As soon as I read the description, I knew I had to give it a chance, and my roommate loves this genre so I figured, if I didn’t like it, I could happily pass it along!

Well … I loved it. From the time I got the book to the time I was able to read it, the book seemed to blow up. I was in the middle of publishing my own novel and then attending Book Con, where I heard so much about The Love Interest. So when I came home, it was the first book I picked up.

When I first started it, I had to get over the fact that the main character’s name is Caden and he was no where near the Caden that I had just published a book about. The two were polar opposites, yet I kept imagining my Caden. But Dietrich’s words were able to pull me into this world he created that I started caring about the Nice Caden and became fascinated by the Bad Dylan.

Dietrich has created a world where there are nice and bad people to date high-profile clients who have no idea. And while you are rooting for Caden to win over the girl, you’re also rooting for there to be a solution to this entirely messed up world that Caden and Dylan were a part of. You cannot help but fall in love with each character you’re introduced to … well those–of course–who aren’t part of the LIC staff.

I read most of this novel in one sitting, having to force myself to put it away so I could properly sleep. My only disappointment was the ending. I felt the entire book was so detailed, that the ending lacked connection for me. While it was what I wanted, it wasn’t how I anticipated it.

As a writer, I’ve tried to rework and rewrite the ending on my own terms. But I can’t come up with a solution. I understand why it felt rushed, but honestly don’t think I would have been able to write something better. But despite being slightly disappointed, I would read this novel again and recommend it to those around me.

This novel had me falling in love, rooting for each person, laughing, and breaking my heart all in one. Also, made me feel closer to Australia by Dietrich bringing some Australian English and events to a small town in Virginia.

Cannot wait to see what else Cale Dietrich has up his sleeve!

Chelsea Lauren

Chelsea Lauren is addicted to drinking coffee, writing in cafes, and walking the beach. A New York native, she recently moved to Melbourne, FL and found having conversations with her character’s on the beach is the perfect cure to writer’s block. To learn more about her, check out “About Me.” Her debut novel, Underneath the Whiskey, is now available on Amazon.

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