BOOK REVIEW: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Before I begin my review, I’m going to let you guys know that from now on, my reviews will be split into spoiler-free and spoiler sections. Alright, now that I’ve said that, let’s get to the actual review!


Actual Rating: 2.75 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.


First the Pros: The premise really intrigued me. I was so excited to read a book where the main characters fell for each other even though they were supposed to go for the girl (this is pretty obvious or at least mentioned in the synopsis, so this isn’t a spoiler). Also, this book was quite diverse, as it included a gay main character, as well as who I believe to be an African-American side character a bit later in the story.

The Cons: As soon as I saw the book on the shelves, I immediately picked it up. I wanted to read it as soon as I got the chance—I had been waiting for what seemed like forever to read this book.

Which is why I was so disappointed.

When I first started reading, everything seemed normal. As I kept reading though, I realized that I didn’t really like Caden. I felt disconnected from him. However, I went on because I just wanted to meet Dylan. Unfortunately, that didn’t really change anything.

The characters were quite… Flat. I suppose Caden changed a bit and Dylan’s personality developed more as we got to know him better, but I felt they were still quite generic, especially Caden (at least Dylan had layers). Nothing stood out to me. Even Juliet, the girl the boys were supposed to be competing over, was generic. She was the perfect intelligent, yet pretty, nice girl. The only characters I liked a bit were Natasha, Juliet’s best friend, and Natasha’s boyfriend, Trevor. They were the only ones who seemed to have depth. 

Now, another big issue I had with the book was the dialogue. It seemed incredibly unrealistic and forced at times. Yes, sometimes Caden’s words were scripted because he had to convince Juliet to fall for him, but it’s mostly the replies that bothered me. And here’s one from Juliet that really got to me:

“Oh, Caden, I’m so sorry to talk about dads after what happened to you. That’s the height of selfishness, complaining about a controlling father to someone who lost his. I’m so sorry.”

Caden’s response:

“It’s okay, Juliet, it happened a long time ago. I miss him, and I always will, but you don’t need to treat the subject with kid gloves. I had a dad I loved, and then he died. It sucks, but it happened.”

Okay—what teenager actually talks like that? Even if Caden’s words were scripted (and I don’t think they were), Juliet’s words definitely weren’t. Yet, she still said “that’s the height of selfishness.” Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a teenager who would say that.

There are multiple examples throughout the rest of the book that causes the story to be a little less enjoyable because you know it’s not realistic at all.

As for the action in the book, it was too fast-paced. I felt like the author rushed through it to get to the end of the story. The book would have been much better if it was longer, or even split into a duology. The climax definitely occurred too quickly and took away from the story because I didn’t even have much time to absorb what big thing happened before the author moved on to something even bigger.

Don’t feel like you can’t pick up the book if you want to, though. Just because I didn’t enjoy as much doesn’t mean you won’t.

That’s it for the spoiler-free section. If you haven’t read the book, then thanks for reading, and see you in my next post! 👋

Now, if you have read this book, or you don’t mind spoilers, then let’s continue to the discussion.


Let’s start with Juliet. I felt the main problem for this book was just how unrealistic it was, and this included Juliet’s easy acceptance that she had two guys who had opposite personalities after her. Sure, Caden is a Nice, but he was so nice that it was unbelievable. No guy is that nice all the time. Everyone has their moments, yet Juliet didn’t seem to see anything wrong with the fact that Caden was nice all the time.

Now, to the events that happened. When Caden told Juliet he was a Love Interest, she barely reacted. If I were her, I would have definitely been in shock. Juliet immediately agreed to help. Which is yet another unrealistic aspect of the book.

Also, when they took down the Stalkers and defeated the LIC so easily, I was incredibly disappointed. There was such enormous build up—the LIC had controlled so many Love Interests for supposedly centuries and when Caden and Dylan meet Juliet, suddenly they have the solution to all their problems? Suddenly they can take down the LIC just like this? *snaps fingers*

The takedown of the agency took way too little time. It wasn’t stretched out enough. The events just passed in a blur and then everyone was free.

Another, final, thing. Why did Dylan have to say that he really wasn’t gay and wasn’t in love with Caden? I suppose it created more drama, but it seemed a bit unnecessary to me. It actually reminded me so much of Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not. When Juliet said that Dylan was in denial, I flashed back to when I was reading More Happy Than Not and the guy the main character was in love with kept denying that he was gay at all.

For some reason, there I saw similarities between the writing styles, and I did not love the writing style in More Happy Than Not. Perhaps that is also what took away from the story for me.

What did you guys think?


The Book Cleansing

If you’re worried by the title—take a deep breath and relax. It’s not what you think it is. I am not getting rid of any of my precious books.

Rather, I’m returning the enormous stack of library books sitting on my nightstand that have been abandoned for a while now.

A month ago I had been on an enormous fantasy and historical fiction kick, so I checked out a ton of books of those genres, preparing to devour them. Unfortunately, that was also when my reading slump started. And those two genres are not what you read when you’re stuck in a reading slump.

Now, I’m not necessarily in the mood for fluffy contemporary, but realistic fiction (I’m fairly certain there is a difference), or even—dare I say—nonfiction. (This is influenced by something that I will be the subject of my next post.)

I have decided that I will return all the books and start over with new ones. Of course, I plan on picking up most of them again one day (minus one I DNFed which I’ll get to later). But, just in case any of you are into fantasy or are curious as to what books I’m returning, here they are (I will be linking them to their Goodreads pages):

  1. Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
  2. Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
  3. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  4. The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
  5. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  6. Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra
  7. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
  8. The Muse by Jessie Burton

Let’s get to the book I DNFed. Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra. Me choosing not to finish it has nothing to do with the reading slump I’m in. There were many issues that I could not look past. I read just the beginning before I gave up on it.

The premise had me intrigued: A girl with a speech impediment that allowed her to only speak “normally” (as in without a stutter) if she mimicked another person’s speech, struggling to find her own voice.

That fell completely flat for me.

Let’s start with something that had me feeling disappointed. Of course, I do not believe the author intentionally made this the message of the story, but here’s what I got: the main character feels worthless until—*gasp*—a man finally decides he wants her! Then, everything is okay. Then she’s alright in the world. All she needs is her “knight in shining armour.”

Here’s a paragraph taken directly from the book:

Only look at the man, I wanted to tell her. Francis Thornfax was the delivering angel I’d longed for, the shining knight come at last to my rescue. I’d hardly dared hope that Daniel might be right—that Mr. Thornfax might not mind my deficiencies, that he might be immune to society’s disapproval. And now that I’d heard from the man himself, this confirmation of his interest in me. The darkness barred me from a clear view of his beautiful face, those guileless blue eyes, and that full shapely smile—and I was grateful for the darkness. I felt I might say anything, do anything!”

It’s lovely that the man could look past the main character’s deficiencies despite the way society thought in the Victorian Era, but honestly? It was awful that the main character was satisfied with the first man who accepted her (never mind the fact that he just happened to be incredibly handsome). She should have wanted to fight her own way to acceptance, not just depend on a man she’d just met! Perhaps a tinge of romance would have been fine, but the book made it seem as if romance solved everything. As if getting a man was the main character’s solution to all her problems. (At that point I was so frustrated that I wanted to bang my head against the wall.)

This brings me to my second point. The romance. I thought the book was supposed to include mystery, but it was so unbelievably slow-paced that reading even one page felt like ten and all I read until I gave up was about finding the main character a man and Mr. Thornfax.

Ah, well. That is the end of my rant. Apologies if this post turned out to be rather long, but I suppose you could count it as partly an update on my reading and a review of a book.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Air Awakens by Elise Kova Book Review: PART 2

So, I may or may not have broken a promise… Whoops.

I know I said I would post every Saturday, but unfortunately I was unable to post yesterday, so now I’m modifying my schedule: I will post every weekend. That promise I can definitely keep. I will either post on Saturdays or Sundays.

Alright. I’ll be talking about the characters and plot here.

First of all, I want to bring up Aldrik. I thought he was an interesting character… Until he fell for Vhalla and turned into Mr. Nice Guy. Sigh. Then—I thought he was an interesting character once again! See, he didn’t just suddenly become nice. He was only nice to her. And even then, he was quite cold during the (slight spoiler) trial. He’s not a good guy. Far from it. He only cares about himself. Except when it comes to Vhalla.

Now, as much I appreciate he’s not like those cliché guys who were nice the whole time but “built up walls to protect themselves,” I didn’t think his and Vhalla’s relationship was very healthy. Though, that’s another part that made Vhalla so real. She trusted him so easily, was betrayed (sort of), then trusted him again. That’s human.

I’m not saying their relationship is as awful as Daemen and Katy’s. Because it’s not. But I do think they could use some time to communicate with each other. Because honestly, I do believe they belong together, but really, I feel like Vhalla is at the bad end of the relationship. Aldrik seems to have the upper hand because he knows more and he’s spent his entire life being manipulative. I think they should be equal.

But I just have to give a shout-out to the fact they didn’t kiss once in the entire book, yet you could still feel the romantic tension.

Now, moving on to Aldrik’s brother, Baldair. Man, I hated him at the beginning of the book. He was the epitome of cliché guys who are sooo hot and charismatic. Ugh. Then, when we actually got to meet him, I found him fascinating. I may be reading a bit too much into this, but he seems too nice. I’m conflicted. At first I thought: Hm… He’s way too nice. That’s suspicious. Then, I thought: Wait, is he actually this nice??? Then: No way, no one’s this nice. I think. Then: Okay. This guy cannot be trusted. I think. 

I just don’t know what to think about him. Well, I do. I don’t trust him. At all. The guy’s just way too charismatic. I wouldn’t trust a guy that charismatic.

Those were the two characters I wanted to talk about, so let’s move on to the plot.

Though the characters were very intriguing and real, I was not a big fan of the storyline. It was really cliché, which is why I originally was going to give the book a lower rating.

It was the classic: “I-thought-I-wasn’t-special-but-apparently-I’m-super-special-and-essential-in-winning-a-war-or-some-other-important-event.”

Sigh. How unfortunate. Also, I felt like there wasn’t much world building. We were barely informed of the war and I had no idea how the politics worked. We were only given vague explanations about… well, everything.

While the characters were well-developed, the actual story was neglected. I wasn’t a big fan of the writing either, as I felt some sentences were too choppy, or other sentences were mistakenly joined.

So, those were my thoughts character and plot-wise about the book.

If you’ve read this book before, then tell me what you thought in the comments below, and if you have not read this book, then tell me if you plan on picking it up or not.

Thanks for reading! 🙂



Winterspell by Claire Legrand: A Short Book Review

I’m not giving a synopsis this time because the review will be fairly short, but you can easily find it on Goodreads. I also won’t be putting the book cover (though I must say, the cover is quite stunning). That said, here we go!

Actual rating: ???

Well. I didn’t make it very far into this book, did I? I seem to be dnf-ing books more than usual. I normally finish books I don’t like just to see if they’ll get better. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t.

But, I am noticing a trend here. I seem to be dnf-ing books with terrible romances lately…

I mean, I got through the insta-love in Girl Online, but only because the book was fairly short and the font was large. This book has tiny font and is fairly long. Not happening.

In a way, I feel guilty for giving up a book just because of the romance, but I can’t help it. The majority of YA books have romance. And when the romance happens, it appears constantly. Sometimes it even overshadows the plot. Even if it doesn’t go that extreme, the romance is always there. And the reader is made aware of that.

And I knew that was going to happen with this book.

Before I start ranting, maybe I should speak about the good parts. The writing, I thought, was quite complex and I liked the style. The story was very fascinating and I could tell it would be dark. Oddly enough, I liked the father. Because he had character.

I thought Clara, the main character, was kind of generic. She was special. She could fight. Blah, blah, blah… Also, despite those two things, she seemed quite weak. I know she would probably develop into a badass female protagonist later in the book, but she’s so squeamish and whiny in the beginning.

Now, let’s get to the romance. Or at least the beginning of it. It really bothered me. (Slight spoiler – honestly, this one doesn’t matter because if you read the book it’ll be obvious) Clara is attracted to a statue. Yes, the statue ends up being an actual person who was cursed, but before she knew that, years before she knew that, she was attracted to the statue. There is a name for when a person is attracted to a statue: Agalmatophilia. Ummm… I doubt the author addresses that in the book, which concerns me.

Also, aside from that, there was 100% insta-love. Clara and the statue-turned-human/prince (I forgot his name – oops) immediately felt a connection to each other. *smacks hand on forehead*

So, yeah. Not finishing this book. But, I suppose you could possibly like it for its storyline…

Thanks for reading! 🙂

P.S. You can also find my review of it on Goodreads.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch Book Review


Goodreads Synopsis: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

I tried. I really did. I don’t DNF a lot of books, but this was one of the books that I actually couldn’t finish. There are only two things (normally) that put me off a book: a bad plot or terrible romance.

A lot YA fantasy books have romance, and I’m okay with that. I adore a great (especially slow-burning) romance. I can put up with a slightly cliché romance. The two things about romance that I cannot stand are insta-love and love triangles. Now, it depends on the love triangle. For example, I thought the love triangle in The Infernal Devices trilogy was a good love triangle. Love triangles that are either extremely cliché, ridiculous, or both are what bother me.

Unfortunately, that was the case with Snow Like Ashes. This book had a great plot. I was enjoying the book a lot before the love triangle was introduced. In fact, I was absolutely immersed in the world and story. When the romantic tension between Meira and Mather grew more prominent, I didn’t mind because they didn’t spend too much time being mushy gushy.

Then, we were introduced to Theron. This is where I bang my head on the wall *insert image of me doing that here*.

Not only was there a love triangle, but there was insta-love. My two biggest pet-peeves when it comes to YA romance. Theron himself wasn’t too bad (other than seemingly being obsessed with being incredibly bulked up like the Hulk), but the insta-love was terrible. Don’t even get me started.

Then, the love triangle was even worse. Of course the two guys have to get extremely possessive. I CANNOT STAND when guys get so possessive. It is absolutely unnecessary and ridiculous. I was ready to jump into the book myself and shake some sense into Mather and Theron. I tried to push on, but just couldn’t. With the direction it seemed to be going in, I had the feeling that I would have to endure an entire book’s worth of horrible manly possessiveness.

I could be wrong. I didn’t finish the book, so I don’t know what really happens in the end, but if the romance continues to be like that, I can’t continue. Even if the story is absolutely amazing, I will perpetually be thinking about the awful love triangle.

I don’t think I can continue the series since I couldn’t even get through the first book, which I’m very disappointed about because I had really high hopes for this trilogy.

Of course, everyone has different opinions, so maybe you’ll be able to dismiss the love triangle and enjoy the book.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Thanks for reading!

Stolen by Lucy Christopher Book Review



Goodreads Synopsis: It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

Okay, so let me start by saying this: This book made me rethink my thoughts on nature. I am not a big fan of the outdoors. In fact, I avoid going outside as much as I can. But, after reading this book, I’ve realized that there is beauty in nature too. Maybe there are bugs, and venomous snakes, and yes, there’s extremely harsh weather, but that doesn’t mean nature isn’t beautiful. Maybe when I actually decide to go outside (usually during the summer), I’ll actually appreciate the sun and the vibrant colors and the fresh air. Though, I do love how snow looks. And it’s snowing where I am, so it looks like a pristine, white landscape.

I also really want to go to the desert they were in (but only for two days because I would probably suffocate and burn in the heat). I just want to see the sand and experience the moment when the sun was setting that they experienced.

Now, to the actual critique of the novel. I loved the author’s description of the desert and nature in general and appreciated the fact that she actually brought up Stockholm Syndrome (unlike in some YA books where the main character falls for their attacker/kidnapper, or someone who treated them terribly—*cough* Obsidian *cough*—and no one brings up the fact that it could be Stockholm Syndrome). All in all, I enjoyed the story and loved learning about Ty (the kidnapper—I was quite fascinated with his twisted-ness and… different views and opinions) (he was an incredibly interesting character).

Reading about a kidnapping from the victim’s point of view really helped me understand more. I got to see the true struggles, both emotional and physical, the character faced.

The only issue I had with the book was that the main character, Gemma, was so squeamish. And whiny. Okay, I would be kind of squeamish too, but (slight spoiler) I wouldn’t start screaming and moving around a lot if I were specifically told not to move at all when there’s a snake in front of me.

Also, I felt Gemma was a bit generic. Kind of like all the other girls in YA realistic fiction books. (But, I suppose that was the point because she kept trying to tell Ty she wasn’t special.)

Lastly, about the writing. Or, at least, about what was described. I was glad that the author actually included daily occurrences in life like having to use the bathroom. Look—everyone does it. It’s no secret, so why do authors just decide to leave out that aspect in practically all realistic fiction books?

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed it. I would recommend it, especially if you want to start to appreciate nature more (like me).

I know this review was kind of short, but I don’t want to ramble, and this is my first book review.

If you’ve read the book, what are your thoughts on it?

Since this was my first book review, feedback would be appreciated! 🙂