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Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
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Laurel and her friend Viv find themselves on the trip of a lifetime, "The Cruise to Lose", surrounded by wealthy people and B-list celebrities. All of the passengers will be the first to try a new dietary supplement called Solu, which is an artificial sweetener that promises to melt off pounds faster than any other product on the market. Laurel is not too excited about the cruise, but she wants to be supportive to her bff Viv who is struggling with her weight.

Tom Forelli winds up on the Solu cruise in an attempt to revive his lackluster career. He and Laurel are the only passnegers on the ship who haven't tried Solu. After a few days, the passengers all lose a remarkable amount of weight but they also seem to have developed a deadly addiction to Solu.

I liked this book's originality and realism. If Solu actually existed, people would lose their minds to get their hands on it! I can also see people trying to sell it for $200 a packet on Ebay or Amazon. The tone of the book quickly changes when the crew tries to ration the amount of Solu the passengers are receiving. The carefree party ship literally turns into a bloodbath. Overall, I liked this suspense filled thriller. It smoothely transitions from humorous to creepy but I thought Tom and Laurel's relationship was too forced and the reason behind Solu's owners releasing the drug was disappointing. ( )
  DMPrice | Jun 29, 2017 |
Very interesting plot line! Would love a sequel just to find out what happens to Tom and Laurel. ( )
  dingesa27 | Dec 6, 2016 |
I cannot say enough good things about MONUMENT 14, and I recommend it to kids all the time. This, however, is going to be difficult to recommend. Not only is it really, really "out there," it's incredibly gory. This is a Lone Star 2016 pick and I do think it is going to interest some of the kids, but the gross factor is high. ( )
  amandacb | Apr 23, 2016 |
Sweet is a science fiction thriller.

Setting: isolated cruise ship

Passengers: overweight and not-so-overweight celebrities who are trying a new product, Solu, which shrinks fat cells, allowing massive weight loss very quickly while eating whatever you want.

Tom Forelli - a child-star who has made really bad movies and is now a Ryan Seacrest-type personality, but he’s gorgeous. He’s a nice guy who is serious; he doesn’t like fake photos taken to manipulate the press and people into believing something that isn’t true. He was a chubby kid but now he’s thin and fit. His best friend is his trainer and they watch his eating to be healthy. He doesn’t take the Sulo because he doesn’t believe in fake chemicals for the body.
Laurel - one of the few people on the cruise who likes her body and thinks her curves are normal. She only agreed to go on the cruise because she thought it would be fun to stop at the Central America cruise stops and spend a week with her best friend, who is paying for the cruise. She plays classical guitar and has always had a crush on Tom. She has her doubts about taking a fake sweetener that hasn’t been tested, so she doesn’t eat any.
Vivika - Laurel’s best friend who desperately wants to lose weight and be super skinny.

Once the cruise begins, Laurel meets Tom in an awkward and embarrassing moment. He likes that she seems shy and doesn’t want to be photographed with a celebrity. He also finds her pretty and doesn’t think she’s fat. He thinks she looks normal instead of ridiculously skinny. When Solu’s side effects become known and everyone is in danger, Tom will do whatever it takes to save Laurel.

I enjoyed this novel. It was fun and I like thrillers even though I’m not a big fan of science fiction. There’s a serious comment about American, food, and sweets that underlies this crazy story. Not many survive. ( )
  acargile | Oct 19, 2015 |
Emmy Laybourne writes the creepiest books and this one is no exception. A food additive called Solu is being promoted as the solution to everyone's weight loss problems. Laurel's friend Viv scored them free tickets on the promotional kickoff cruise. But Laurel doesn't partake of the Solu and begins to notice the passengers are not acting as they should be. ( )
  Brainannex | Aug 16, 2015 |
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"The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. It takes a horrifyingly wrong turn when the gig becomes an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu"--

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