Title: The Friend Scheme
Author: Cale Dietrich
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Length: 352 Pages
Category: Young Adult/Teen Romance
At a Glance: While there were some sweet and hopeful moments among the drama in this book, I also wish I could say I liked it more.
Rating: 2 Stars
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: High schooler Matt’s father is rich, powerful, and seemingly untouchable—a mobster with high hopes that his son will follow in his footsteps. Matt’s older brother Lukas seems poised to do just that, with a bevy of hot girls in tow. But Matt has other ambitions—and attractions.
And attraction sometimes doesn’t allow for good judgement. Matt wouldn’t have guessed that Jason, the son of the city’s police commissioner, is also carrying a secret. The boys’ connection turns romantic, a first for both. Now Matt must decide if he can ever do the impossible and come clean about who he really is, and who he is meant to love.
Review: Two people from warring families falling in love is a premise older than Romeo and Juliet, and in truth, Cale Dietrich’s The Friend Scheme more resembles Westside Story, but without the benefit of jazzy choreography and catchy showtunes. While there were some sweet and hopeful moments among the drama in this book, I also wish I could say I liked it more.
I struggled to finish The Friend Scheme, some of that due to the dialogue, which didn’t advance the story or reveal much about the MCs. In general the storytelling wasn’t particularly well executed, the writing was surprisingly simplistic, and what might have been a plot steeped in suspense and shocking revelations was instead predictable, and in fact, the blurb gives away the one good plot twist. Matt and Jason do live in the end, though, so at least there’s that.
I’m not going to beat this book to death, and I don’t want to end things on an entirely negative note. Matt shone on a few occasions, particularly when it’s made clear that he’s not cut from the same cloth as his father and brother; the mafia life is not one he will ever assimilate to. Matt’s brother, Lukas, had his moments to be the good guy as well, and I liked him more than I thought I would. And let’s give some kudos to the cover artist as well.
While I can’t say The Friend Scheme worked for me, I’m glad it exists for other readers who have a new book to choose, read, and potentially like.
You can buy The Friend Scheme here:
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