Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

*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.

Title: Sweet
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publication date: June 2, 2015

I received Sweet from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet was not what I was expecting. It was not good, either. Between the poorly developed characters and the instalove, I almost gave up on it so many times. I only kept going because I loved Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14 books and because it was an ARC. I’m already late on it because of my blog hiatus so I didn’t want to DNF it too.

I probably should have.

When best friends Laurel and Viv board the Cruise to Lose ship, Viv is excited to be there but Laurel is less trusting. She thinks she’s fine the way she is and doesn’t really want to be there, but Viv’s father is paying for the cruise so she’s giving it a shot. She’s a little too cool for school, though, so I disliked her right off the bat. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. If you do go, don’t ruin everyone else’s good time or think you’re so superior to them because you wear motorcycle boots and play the guitar.

Their fellow passengers are a strange mix of rich, overweight regular people and celebrity reality stars. I really don’t get the reality star part, other than there needed to be a reason to have Tom on board. A former child star turned Seacrest-esque host, Tom is using this job to try to break back into the business. The combination of a new weight-loss supplement and reality stars is enough to make this cruise a big story in need of an on-board correspondent to Entertainment Tonight.

Each passenger gets packets of Solu with each meal. Some of the food might have been made with Solu in it, too, but I was a little unclear on that part. Laurel is seasick and can’t eat, so she’s not taking any Solu. Tom is currently not struggling with his weight like he has in the past, so he’s not on Solu either. At first everything is fine. Everyone’s losing weight, eating well, and having fun. Everyone except for Laurel, who’s still seasick and mopey.

That’s the slow part of the story. The entire book takes place over the span of a week, but the first 70% of it is fairly boring. Tom and Laurel meet cute and keep running into each other. They have a few conversations, Tom makes an impression by landing on her while slipping on his own sweat while breakdancing, and instalove happens. By the end of this book, they are each willing to sacrifice their own lives for the other. I am not kidding. SIX. DAYS.

“The biggest cruise since the Titanic” should have been a warning to these people to STAY HOME.

The last 30% of the story is certainly more interesting and fast-paced than the first 70%. “A bit wild” is an understatement. Things get crazy fast. One minute people are merely addicted to Solu and looking thinner, the next Laurel and Tom find themselves trapped on a cruise ship straight out of a horror movie. It’s bizarre. There’s no warning that it’s coming. There you are, reading a nice (but dull) contemporary and then all of a sudden…I’m not even going to say it. You might read this book and I don’t want to be the one to spoil it.


Apparently there’s going to be a second book because Goodreads lists this one as Sweet #1. Or maybe it’s just because there’s a prequel novella, I’m not sure. I hope that’s it because a second book is seriously unnecessary. Yes, Sweet ends with a slight cliffhanger — but I’ve seen enough horror movies to know it’s not the type of cliffhanger that’s meant to be resolved. I won’t be reading any possible second book or the novella, but I’ll hope for the sake of those who do that it’s better than Sweet.




  1. Sometimes a DNF is the lesser of two evils, but I still find it hard to DNF a book. I am currently finishing a book simply because it was short and if I finish it I can write a review for it. I probably should’ve DNF’d it instead, but now I am almost done I can at least finish it.
    How weird the first 70% is slow and then the last 30% is crazy, I wonder if that was intentional. I do like the cover for this one and it sounds like fits the crazy aspect of the book.
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