Laybourne, Emmy. Sweet
June 2nd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Laurel isn't thrilled to be going on a cruise to launch Solu, a new weight-loss supplement, but she's glad to be with her best friend Viveka, whose father is paying for the cruise. Laurel doesn't understand Viv's obsession with her weight, since Laurel is a little heavy but would rather worry about practicing her guitar. Tom, a former child star, is on the cruise doing interviews and promotions, but isn't about to mess up his diet and exercise regime with Solu. The two hit it off even though Tom's "people" have him paired up with a reality show starlet. The Solu does what it purports, and people on the cruise are losing a vast amount of weight, which makes for good filming. The inventor is hoping to drive the demand of the product up before the launch. However, Laurel and Tom soon find that the drug is making everyone a bit crazy, since the Solu is so addictive that people can smell it several rooms away, through doors! Soon, the ship is a seething hotbed of danger and violence. Can Laurel, Tom, and a handful of others who didn't take Solu escape from the madness and let the world know about it before it is too late?
Strengths: This was a tremendously intriguing and fun read. I loved Laurel and Tom, and was so glad when they were able to connect despite the people around them. The premise of a weight loss supplement that makes people go wacko was brilliant, and the ending was vastly amusing. Great writing, great story, great characters.
Weaknesses: Might be hard to find the right reader for this-- romance readers will be put off at the violent ending, but dystopian fans might be put off by the beginning. The cover tells us nothing at all about the story. That said, I can think of a lot of readers at my school who will enjoy this.
What I really think: Made for a great Friday night read at the end of a long week! Might just be my Cybils YA Speculative Fiction choice!