We are very happy members of the Book of the Month Club. (There is an affiliate link in this post, but the post is not sponsored. We happily pay for our books each month.) Book of the Month Club gives subscribers a chance to pick one of 5 hand-picked books each month for 15.99. You can also pick an additional 2 books for 9.99 each. This month, I chose Love Interest by Cale Dietrich and Jackie chose The Leavers by Lisa Ko which she got at the library and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (the review will follow in a separate post).
Kirsten’s Pick: Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Where to begin with this one? I was looking for something light and fluffy. I have a very busy month and I wanted something I could breeze through. Love Interest by Cale Dietrich seemed to fit the bill. One nice boy and one bad boy are chosen from an elite spy agency to make an important girl fall in love with them. The “winner” is the girl’s partner for life, reporting back to the agency forever and the loser is killed. I didn’t read more than that, I didn’t read reviews and I went with it.
So it turned out to be a Young Adult romance that takes place in a high school and the two boys end up falling in love with each other. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever read a book about a gay male couple falling in love and discovering that they were gay. I totally did not expect that from the description I read (clearly in haste.) I was equally parts disappointed and intrigued by this plot development.
First of all, I genuinely liked reading about Caden’s discovery of his sexuality and his feeling for Dylan. I was really disappointed in the underdeveloped spy agency part. It took away from a new-to-me story type and frankly I would have liked that layer removed. I suppose if I had read a lot of LGBTQ books in the past, I would have liked the change of pace. For my first foray into this genre however, it was disappointing for me.
So how do I wrap up this review? This book made me want to read more books about the LGBTQ community. Reading about the challenges opened my eyes. I’ve always been accepting of lifestyles different from mine, but I don’t think I put myself if others shoes often enough. If nothing else, Love Interest by Cale Dietrich gave me that opportunity.
Now…Could someone PLEASE recommend a 5 star book about the LGBTQ community? I would really appreciate it!
Jackie’s Pick: The Leavers by Lisa Ko
There has been a lot of hype about this book and I could not wait to read it. I wanted to love it. The subject matter was so interesting and relevant, I couldn’t wait to dive in. I found it at the library in an audible edition and immediately was disappointed with the narrator’s voice. It was very difficult to listen to for the 14 hours of this book.
I feel like the narrator can make or break an audible book and in this case, it was the latter. Think back to the audible versions or Harry Potter all told by Jim Dale. The Deathly Hallows is 21 hours long and I couldn’t get enough. The narration in The Leavers sounded forced and therefore, the conversations sounded contrived and unauthentic. The swearing sounded out of place and I could never get into the story. The beginning of the story is from the point of view of Daniel Deming. Eventually, his mother Polly’s is a narrator as well.
Polly is forced to make heart-breaking decisions and is put into terrible situations that cause long term anxiety and depression for her. As a mother, I should be able to relate to her feelings of loss but unfortunately, the book fell flat to me. Two and half Stars
Did you read the book? How did you feel about it? Did you listen to the book and feel differently than I did?