Review + Giveaway || The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Publication Date: May 16th 2017 by Feiwel and Friends
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating:★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

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.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher as part of the Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

From the moment I first heard about the premise of the book, I got intrigued and I wanted to read it, even if love triangles are basically a hit or miss trope for me.

The Love Interest is a refreshing take, subtly satirical, on love triangles and other YA tropes. Reading every page of this book was worthwhile.

I adored the complexity and polarity of Caden and Dylan’s personalities. Both of them had the struggle of being a Love Interest. The premise was Caden is the nice guy, while Dylan is the bad guy, and they need to work and make Juliet fall in love with them. One will get chosen and the other one will die. Caden and Dylan’s characters were well-developed and I loved how there seemed to be layers in their personalities. Their dynamics work well too, and the chemistry… just wow!

“I’m not, nor will I ever be, her friend. All I’ll ever be is the scumbag who manipulated her into falling in love with me.”

Juliet was very interesting too. Basically, the set up was she’s been friends with Caden for a long time so there’s the possibility of a friends turned lovers which is my favorite trope. I loved her with Caden too! Her personality is strong and it’s one of the things I like about her character.

The only issue I had with the book was towards the end of the book, the writing felt really fast-paced and rushed. The book was action-packed, and I liked that, but during some scenes things were just happening here and there, which made it a little lacking in terms of story depth.

“You know love can drive people to act irrationally.”

Overall, this book was a pretty solid debut. Cale Dietrich’s writing is very effective and entertaining. It’s a bit meta, which is refreshing, and I loved the pop culture references thrown casually in the book.  It’s definitely a good read if you’re in the lookout for something action-packed, and swoonworthy. It’s a good mix of sci-fi/thriller and contemporary, y’all!

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Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Print (PH only)

Synopsis

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

I read this book in one sitting because it’s really good! I was still high and dry from April Feels Fest, a local event courtesy of the #romanceclass community. Waiting in the Wings was one of the books that got featured in the live reading, and I’d say that it was one of the main reasons why I read this book. I felt so much kilig during the live reading and the same thing happened while I was reading the book.

Erin, the main character, was lovely. I really like her overall vibe and I could relate to her. Ramon was so adorable, I’d love to just cuddle with him forever. He’s such a great friend to Erin, and I just love how supportive he was of her, even if it somehow stomps on his feelings. It’s also worth noting that Ramon has alopecia, I think it’s a good thing to have this representation in books. Pio, the other guy that makes up the love triangle, is adorable as well. Although, I saw him as a bit reserved, but he’s also lovely and it’s hard to hate him! I heard that Tara is writing a story about him, so I really can’t wait to read about that.

I really liked the whole premise of the book, which featured theatre arts. I’m probably the least person you’ll see on stage, but you can bet that I’ll be one of the people who can fill in the audience. I’ve always had an admiration to theatre people and seeing plays and productions were the best things I did during college. It’s nice to see this aspect of the arts in the book up close.

We can’t all be stars, Erin. You know that. Some of us need to stay behind in the dark so others can shine.

I don’t usually enjoy books with love triangles but this was one big exemption. The love triangle was well-executed and there was literally zero bad blood between the two male leads. I just love how the whole thing unfolded, the romance between the three was fun to read. Also the “labyu” drops, oh my gosh, those were my favorite scenes!

I think I’m a bit on an advantage here since I have already experienced the feel of the book because of the live reading, even before I was able to read the whole thing. If any, it heightened my experience in reading. I also love Tara Frejas’s writing style, the emotions were easy to pick up, and it made me swoon so hard! This was my first from her and I can’t wait to read more!

ARC Review + Giveaway || How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017 by HMH BFYR
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher as part of the Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Okay, first of all, I’m glad that I seem to be in a diverse reads marathon because the past several books that I recently read features an LGBTQ+ main character. Another thing is that I was really looking forward to reading this one, not only because I loved Ashley’s Suffer Love, but also, the main character is bisexual which I can identify with.

For some reason, I liked that the story started with a conflict. Grace was forced to live with his ex-boyfriend, Jay, because her mom was currently dating Jay’s dad. Isn’t there anything more awkward? To add, Grace’s mother was also unstable, so she basically learned to be more independent than she should be. To top that, her mother develops a bond with Eva, the girl she likes, and Grace felt a little betrayed by that.

I think I fell in love with Grace and Eva too early, because I always anticipate for their scenes together. They’re just so lovely and their chemistry was strong. I quite enjoyed the fact that they hit it off quickly, and how the whole thing unfolded was enjoyable to read. Grace was also able to explore her feelings and sexuality throughout the book and it was delightful to read because Ashley nailed it with her writing.

“Here’s the thing about wishers: they’re always changing you. They’re either dying out or they’re realized, and then they’re not wishes anymore.”

Another thing I loved about the book was Luca and his personality! I love how supportive he was of Grace and that he always has her back, and vice versa. Also, Luca’s relationship with his mom was tight, and free. I enjoyed their occasional banter, and of course, sweet scenes together.

I guess the only issue I had with the book was how little the situation about Grace’s mom, Maggie, was resolved. I think there could have been a better resolution for her situation. Also, it may be a little odd, but I would have loved to have seen more of Jay, his dad, and the overall home situation. Though I guess, I would understand why Grace would prefer to be not at home at all. However, I enjoyed the little interactions Grace had with Jay, especially towards the end of the book.

Overall, this book didn’t disappoint. Blake’s writing flows freely in this character-driven book. She nailed writing different kinds of relationships and all of those were shown in this book. I totally recommend this one especially if you’re looking for a sweet, yet poignant f/f YA.

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