Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Thriller
Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyinglywrong!
The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli—the hottest guy ever!—and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.
Sweet is told in alternating narratives by Laurel Willard and Tom Forelli. 17-year old Laurel is ready to go on the cruise of a lifetime thanks to her best friend Vivika Hallerton. The cruise is an all expenses paid cruise featuring some wannabe rock-stars, reality TV failures, TV also rans, plus those desperately wanting to lose a bit of weight. Laurel is a bit on the awkward side. She's also a slightly chubby classic guitar enthusiast who may be a bit different from the rest of the passengers. Perhaps it's due to her alternative lifestyle choices in wearing boots with almost everything, and accepting that there's nothing wrong with being a bit curvy. Amen, sister!
The only reason she's even ON this cruise, is to support Vivi's ongoing struggle to lose weight. When she gets sea sick and embarrasses herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli, her dream crush, her cruise becomes something of a bad dream which she can't wake up from. Laurel is even too sick to try the new sweetener Solu which is said to be able to drop 5 percent body weight quickly and safely. Eventually, Laurel starts to feel better and takes advantage of some amazing sights. But, she also notices that the passengers, including Vivi, have all started acting really weird. The same passengers who have been eating Solu like it was the last slice of pizza. Laurel finds help and support from the least likely source; Tom Forelli.
Tom is the former Hollywood sweet heart known as Baby Tom-Tom. He is trying to make a comeback by hosting and interviewing those using Solu. Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. But, what happens when the cruise gets underway is far from anyone's imagination. Tom finds himself ignoring sexy Brazilian reality star named Sabbi Ribiero who his publicists has set him up with, for Laurel, the girl he's determined to save after everything goes to hell, and people start acting like zombies. I have to say that, in the end, I really liked Tom. I liked how he ignored what was right, for what was unexpected in falling for and helping Laurel.
Sweet is written by the same author, Emmy Laybourne, who brought the Monument 14 trilogy to life. Sweet is a twisted mix of comedy, tragedy, and mystery, while exposing the extraordinary lengths that human beings will go through in order to lose a bit of weight. Sweet (Solu) has been compared to Pen-Phen, a drug first introduced in the 1970's because it temporarily reduced weight. This, my friends, is why I refuse to use dietary supplements to lose weight.
Sweet is a book that should be read by everyone, especially those in the media who think that being a bit chubby is wrong. Sweet is a fairly quick paced story, with a nice romance which perhaps moved a bit quick, but then again, the story is only 288 pages. It does have some gruesome scenes which probably should have been highlighted by the author and publisher since it's Young Adult themed. Then again, I've seen worse things on TV. Right The Walking Dead?
**I received this book for free from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**