I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. 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—the hottest guy ever!—and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.
The new diet sweetener Solu is about to be launched but before it could be released to the world, Laurel and her best friend Viv has invited her to take a luxurious celebrity cruise where they will test out the sweetener first. Solu’s goal is to make anyone who takes it, lose weight quickly and effortlessly. Then things start to turn for the worse, people start to get addicted to it. Together with TV host Tom, she must find a way to stop it from being released to the public before it gets worse.
I like how this opens up on a cruise-ship. It reminded me so much of my own vacation and I was so excited for Laurel and her friend to go on it. Things start out very normally and innocently and even though all the odd encounters with Tom felt too forced and staged, I thought it was cute they didn’t fall in love instantly. Their romance was gradual and considering the mess that they end up in, wasn’t too unbelievable like other YA romances in books. That ending just went crazy. I mean I couldn’t even believe what I was reading, it was quite like a horror movie. You know those ones that start out so normally, only to have all the cast die by the end. Yikes. The reasoning behind Solu really didn’t make any sense either. It was too convenient for me.
The writing flows well and I easily read this, but I think I lost the plot somewhere in the middle when things start going wrong. It felt like a zombie movie or video game at one point. I’m surprised the characters didn’t end up with PTSD later. I’m not even sure if there’s a sequel, but GoodReads says it’s book one?
If I could describe this book, it’d be twisted. Twisty, turny and all sorts of gore, Sweet will have you wondering about why people want to lose weight so easily when the best way is to eat healthy and exercise.