Sweet (Sweet #1) by Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC via Publisher! (Thank you!)
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly wrong!

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. – Goodreads

Review:

This book was…interesting. Essentially I went in knowing nothing about it which often works in the favor of the reader, and this book was no difference. Sweet is two from two points of view. We have Tom, the child star who is now an adult and fairly sick of being said child star and Laurel, the average girl who just wants to survive high school. While this sounds like a typical love story it’s anything but that. Taking place over seven days on a boat, the reader is taken a long a journey of what happens when one is addicted to getting thin.

One of the downfalls of knowing nothing going into this book is that I really had no idea what the book was about. I was fascinated to find out that this book, over seven days takes place on a cruise ship where everyone is dedicated to getting thin. Yes. That’s in. They are taking this new sweetener that promises to drop the pounds. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the diet sweetener, Solu, it doesn’t know how to make people stop. It makes people addicted to it, but they don’t know when to stop. They begin to waste away because they are so addicted to it and do unimaginable things because they are addicted to it.

It’s not a pretty picture and Laybourne does not hide away from the ugly parts of being a celebrity, being an addict, or being okay with how you look when no one else does. While I found it to be a fascinating look on humanity it was a bit too weird for me as a reader. I didn’t mind how much happened in a short period of time in the novel, but it began to get a bit graphic and gore-y and got to the point I had to suspend reality to believe what was going on. This book was an interesting mixture of contemporary and science fiction, which isn’t bad, just wasn’t what I was ultimately expecting.