Published: June 2nd, 2015
*People would kill to be thin.*
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. 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 (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
*But will they die for it, too?*
Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.
Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.
Another one that took me by surprise. Some caustic humour manages to disguise some really scary situations. So this ends up being quite the horror story, but should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. Ms. Laybourne states at the end of the book that she didn't set out to write an 'issues' book, but there are very clear messages about the current fads in body image regardless.
I love that our main protagonist, Laurel, is happy enough with herself to resist the temptations of the new sweetener and I enjoyed the visits inside Tom's head, he seems to be a pretty straight forward guy, even though his childhood was conducted entirely in the public eye. But I'm not entirely sure that I understood what the attraction was between the two of them. I saw them more as friends than as potential boyfriend/girlfriend.
And then things started to get a little silly. This is the point where the 'issues' fly out the window and the fun starts. As I mentioned, if you take a very large pinch of salt and don't take things too seriously, then you'll enjoy the fun and games. But if you're expecting a serious outcome you are absolutely not going to get it. Ms Laybourne appears to be poking fun at many things in this novel and I for one quite enjoyed it, but I can understand why many people seem a little disappointed. Not a contemporary novel as such and not quite a horror story, Sweet hovers somewhere in between and definitely not for everyone, but I for one, enjoyed it.