Hey all! I’m excited to be digging a bit deeper into SWEET by Emmy Laybourne in today’s post. I read this book in one sitting, and it was a quick easy read that was fun, funny, creepy as hell, and surprising! I’m covering the first half of the book today, which takes us up to around page 137. Here’s what’s happened that’s worth noting in the first half:
Like a lot of the books I’ve done this year for the book club, this story is told from the point of view of a guy and a girl, Laurel and Tom. Tom is a child star turned interviewer in his late teens, on the ship to cover the events of the revealing of the amazing Solu diet powder. Laurel is the bestie of rich gal Viv who invites Laurel to join her on this amazing cruise.
From the start, I could see what was coming (in the best way possible) Laurel doesn’t try the Solu, and her bestie Viv takes her shares. Tom doesn’t try Solu, as he’s all about getting fit the healthy way. Everyone else on the ship pretty much is head-over-heels in love with this product and what it’s doing to them.
The two protagonists meet at the start, when Laurel pukes on Tom’s shoes during an interview on day 1 thanks to motion sickness, though he noticed how pretty she is right before that happened. And then that night at the club Tom accidentally crashes into Laurel. And then kisses her straight after (for publicity, even though he didn’t really mind). During their next encounter Laurel reams him a new one about it. And so they go, back and forth, for their first few encounters]. And all the while, all the people around them are happily ingesting Solu and losing weight and feeling excited about the results.
Slowly they become more friendly, with Tom making an effort to get to know her and Laurel trying to be herself in the face of a hot celebrity. And during this we start to see a shift in those around Laurel and Tom. Viv is more irritable. Rude. Just generally off. Tom’s manager is more brusque than usual. People start getting a bit aggressive involving Solu, wanting more. Laurel notices Viv craving the snacks and describing Solu like an addict. And everyone seems to be partying harder too. And then Viv starts to look sickly, hollow and ragged. She passes out. Tom carries her to their room, where they tuck her into bed and Laurel and Tom end up kissing.
That’s where we leave off today, but let me tell you, there was no way I was going to stop reading right there!
Emmy has created some fantastic voices with these two main characters.I love Laurel. She’s a practical, level-headed gal who can totally hold her own. And Tom, I love his self-awareness, being famous but not really loving all it brings. They feel relatable and their reactions felt very realistic. It’s pretty great. I also love the plot she’s set up. I can see generally what’s coming, and I anticipate it with glee. I cannot wait to see how she plays out the story within the confines she’s created. They’re isolated from communication for a few days (Tom’s forced to pre-record a bunch of stuff at one point) so no one outside of the ship is going to know what’s happening. And something’s definitely going to be happening!
Stay tuned soon for part 2! We’re also lucky enough to have an awesome guest post from Emmy which I’ll be posting in the near future. Don’t miss it. And don’t forget to post any questions you might have for the author in the comments or on our social media feeds!