Interference is a YA romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma. The typical ‘matchmaking’ machinations are there but with a contemporary midwest US setting. But where Emma was a kind soul trying to help others, Kate in this book often feels manipulative and unpleasant. Readers who don’t mind that kind of character will likely enjoy this book, however, since it is an easy and romantic read.
Story: Kate, the daughter of a DC politician, was betrayed by her ex; private photos of her were taken out of context and posted online to make her and her father look bad. Losing the election and tucking his tail between his legs, Kate’s father moves the family back to his small Texas home town. There, Kate meets Hunter, a quiet and unassuming guy. At the same time, she befriends shy Ana and tries to set her up with Kyle, the hot quarterback. But things don’t always go as planned….
The story is nothing new here – smooth talking city girl who can con anyone into doing what she wants ends up in the country helping cows give birth and avoiding rattlesnakes. Cue typical football jocks and mean cheerleaders and nearly every cliche is hit squarely here. Since Kate spends most of the book conning people (lying, manipulating, etc.) to meet her own desires, I had a hard time getting into her. We’re told she’s smart but don’t really see much of that. Add in the usual rancor and rudeness to the love interest Hunter and one has to wonder what Hunter (a simple guy who hates drama) would see in her.
Some smart choices were made in translating the themes of Emma (e.g., using politicians to replace nobility) and certainly readers don’t need to have read/seen Austen’s works to appreciate Interference. It’s enjoyable on its own as a light read with a nice moral at the end. Yes, it is highly predictable even if you don’t know the outline of Emma. But as an enjoyable way to pass the time, it works.
Because so much felt recycled (not so much from Austen as from every YA contemporary romance out there), I don’t feel comfortable rating this more than 3 stars. I didn’t really like the heroine Kate and felt Hunter was far too perfect and smug to really be interesting. Both could have used more character flaws other than those needed to create deus ex machina story drama. Side characters fared little better. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.