Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

By: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: YA


*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.

1thoughtsSweet is a story about this amazing new sweetener that is suppose to melt the pounds away. You don’t need to exercise, you don’t need to change the way you eat, you just need to eat Solu every day. The creators of Solu have decided to do a publicity event for the release of Solu. They decide to get a cruise ship, load it with the rich and famous, and give them early access to Solu while they cruise the world for a week. Meanwhile, there will be a film crew filming all the amazing results which will air back in the states. However, have you ever heard the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is”? Well that is exactly the case with Solu and pretty soon all hell breaks loose on the cruise ship.

I loved the idea of this story. I mean, there are so many dieting fads out that this seems like something that could be created. I’ll be honest, if all I had to do was eat some sweetener a day to magically lose weight, I would be intrigued to get it. After all, there are a lot of people that I know who eat artificial sweeteners because they are watching their weight. So, instead of ingesting sugar they eat chemicals instead. o.0? So, yeah, I could totally see Solu being something that ends up on American shelves.

Laurel is not rich, nor is she famous. Her friend’s father is extremely wealthy though and when her friend, Viv, found out about the cruise she talked her father into purchasing her and Laurel a ticket. So, there Laurel is, a fish out of water. For the first couple of days Laurel is seasick and doesn’t eat or drink much of anything. Then, when she starts to feel better, she’s hesitant to take Solu. It doesn’t take long for her to notice a change in her friend’s behavior and it all has to do with Solu.

Tom is a celebrity who literally grew up in front of America’s eyes on T.V. Everyone knows who he is which is why he’s the host of the show that’s reporting back to the States. He was always known as being the chubby little boy on T.V. and it took him a long time to lose the pounds and get to where he is now. He knows that with diet fads the moment you stop doing it, you gain all that weight back. So, needless to say he’s not interested in taking Solu.

The story follows both Laurel and Tom while they are on the ship. I will be honest and say that I was not a fan of Laurel at all. To the point where the author could have killed her off halfway through and I’d have been totally okay with that. She was one of those characters that was so annoyingly naive and almost stupid in her decision making that I honestly don’t know how she didn’t get pushed overboard when things started to go south. Even though I enjoyed Tom a little more, I didn’t love him. He was too much of a pushover. One of my gripes with this story is the insta-love between these two. He was just so unbelievably enamored with Laurel the moment he met her, I just didn’t get it at all. This cruise is only a week long! I guess reading the synopsis I should have known it would have been like this when it says that he’s determined to save her but I didn’t think it would be as over the top as it was.

In the end, this just wasn’t for me. I liked what happened on the cruise ship when everyone was hooked on Solu. It was dark, gruesome, and I LOVED it. I kind of wish there was more of it. However, the characters we follow were boring, grated on my nerves, and really kept me from fully enjoying this story. I will say that I did like the ending though. 😉


1favepart“Looking around, I see all these wealthy people – all the minor celebrities and their faces are drawn and lined and angry.
Clothes are draping off them.
They look like extras in some bizarre modern-day luxury-cruise production of Les Miserables.”


3 Thoughts on “Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

  1. well, the premise is amazing. I would so take Solu if it worked. Too bad about Laurel though.

  2. This trope isn’t for me although I did love Clayton’s Wallflower series. There’s just something about celebrities and billionaires that doesn’t appeal to me. I hope whatever it is you’re currently reading is way better than this.

  3. I could see people in rl willing to take that stuff, all the diet fads *shakes head* Sounds like an interesting read 🙂

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