Series: Sweet (bk. 1)
Subjects: cruises, ocean, celebrities, drugs, survival
Setting: Luxury Cruise Liner in the ocean
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense rotating between Laurel and Tom.
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 272 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: Macmillan: Feiwel & Friends
Summary/ product description: “*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.”
My Review: Sweet was unexpectedly entertaining and thrilling. Originally I thought it was just realistic fiction, but it does contain some sci-fi elements. It’s set on a cruise ship, which is cool. There are celebrities and wealthy people on this ship. Most are there to try Solu, a sweetner that supposed to help you lose weigh.
The main characters Laurel and Tom do not try Solu. Laurel’s rich friend Vivika (who brought Laurel) did try it and becomes obsessed. Tom was part of a reality show as a kid and used to be fat, but has a meal plan and work out to stay thin. He’s being filmed during the cruise, updating people on what’s happening before Solu launches. Solu it not what is seems. People using it seem to be losing weigh too fast and all they want it more. They’ve become addicted and would do anything for more.
I really enjoyed the pop culture references and celebrity stuff I think it’s kind of fun. I like that the main characters are not obsessed with thin-ness. Tom has his routine. Laurel doesn’t care about loosing weight. She thinks having curves is more normal than being stick-thin. A lot of this book has meaningful stuff about being obsessed with being overweight. A lot of our culture has taught us than being skinny is better when we should just focus on encouraging healthy eating and exercising rather than hate on fat people.
The last 100 pages of this book are crazy full of action and horror. This cruise gets scary. The addicted people go crazy. They’re like zombies that want Solu. I’m not spoiling anything. I think it’s important to know that this is sci-fi and not contemporary. I hope it will make more people interested in reading it. It kind of reminded me of the TV show The Strain for some reason. How the addicts are described later on. Really it’s about a nightmare kind of cruise. Enjoy!
Cover Art Review: Creepy looking just by being upside down and using dim colors. That blood on the title is even suggestive.