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 that is non-stop action from start to finish.
A 2018 ALA Rainbow List Selection
"Dietrich both flips and examines certain stereotypes in regards to gender and sexuality while also serving up some high stakes spy adventures."--Entertainment Weekly
"This sci-fi young adult novel is the answer to all of our cliché love triangle woes. Caden, the kindhearted boy-next-door, and Dylan, a brooding bad boy complete with dark poetry and a leather jacket, are in competition for the genius Juliet’s heart. The winner gets the girl, and gets to live out his life in peace. If you’re looking for something funny, action-packed, and romantic this summer, then this is your next read."--PBS Newshour
" There’s a Hunger Games vibe here to be sure—a deadly teen-on-teen competition—and this is packed with similar questions of morality. High stakes, well-developed characters, and an LGBTQ slant on the classic spy story make it all the more intriguing. Stock up—this one has something for everyone."-- Booklist, starred review
"In this subversive take on the quintessential YA love triangle, two guys—the clean-cut boy next door and the brooding bad boy—compete for a girl’s affections. But nothing is as it seems: the guys are actually secret agents, trained to follow a script and fulfill specific romantic roles, and whoever doesn’t win his target’s love will be killed by his ruthless employer. ... Dietrich’s debut is impressive, provocative, and a clever take on well-worn romantic tropes. ... while the thriller elements add tension and numerous surprises."--Publishers Weekly
"Caden is a spy. He’s spent most of his life so far in an underground facility being groomed physically and mentally to become a Love Interest for someone influential. Now he’s finally been chosen. Caden’s been pegged as a Nice, the nerdy-boy-next-door type with perfect abs and ocean blue eyes...fans of spy fiction and LGBTQ titles will find the novel worth reading."-- School Library Journal