Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Laurel isn’t on the Cruise to actually lose weight. That’s what her best friend’s here for, and she’s just tagging along because that’s what friends do. Only thing is, she doesn’t know what she has bargained for until people on the ship start going crazy for the promotional product being handed out on deck: Solu. Forced to team up with Tom Fiorelli, America’s beloved golden boy, she’ll do whatever it takes if it means saving her best friend, and maybe the world, from the deadly product.
Who isn’t guilty of being fooled by the latest dieting fad? Friends of mine have tried the military diet, coworkers have attempted the cookie diet, heck, I’ve even heard of the cake diet. I, personally, am a hater of anything that involves cutting out cheese and butter from my caloric intake, but a cake diet? I might be interested. Who wouldn’t be happy eating cake every day for two weeks straight? Admittedly, though, I don’t really know how that might actually work to anyone’s benefit.
In our current day and age, it isn’t strange to hear about get-thin-quick solutions that sound almost magical, and Sweet covers what happens when people find another one of these crazy-sounding weight loss supplements that happens to sound even better than the rest, and what’s more?
You get to hop on a cruise for it. Everyone’s dream, am I right?
Sometimes, it’s like everyone around you is so fixated on changing their appearance that they take on an almost zombie-like character, and well, Sweet makes that a reality. I loved the idea that this book took that idea on in the literal sense and made a satirical piece of work building from it. It plays out a lot like Sharknado might if it were written out as a novel, but believe me, this has ten times more class. Not to trash Sharknado, though, because I’ve actually seen all of the films multiple times, and have even marathon-ed the series time and time again. What can I say? I have a selective taste in films.
Besides shedding light on the sometimes-destructive world that is dieting, Laybourne focuses on self-love and acceptance, and Laurel was a fantastic role model and main character. Sure, she wasn’t perfect, but who is? What mattered is that she was happy with herself, despite the flaws she identified with, and still felt confident and happy in spite of them. In a time where teens are so often fazed by media and what is expected of them, Laurel reminded me that it’s alright to revolt against the norm and what’s expected of you. So much love goes out to her strong and inspirational character. Tom was an equally intriguing character in his own light, and that in part might have to do with the fact I was picturing him as Angus Jones from Two and a Half Men… without all the facial hair, that is.
This book is unique in the sense that it’s comedic, frightening, and earnest all at the same time. Anyone in search of something that hasn’t been done before and plays on all your different bookish taste buds will love what Sweet does for the literary world.