Sweet – Emmy Laybourne

Sweet – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: October 20, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Horror
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 24, 2015
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3)

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.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.


Emmy Laybourne has a great way of blending serious situations and a note of levity and that’s exactly what I was looking for when I picked up SWEET! I really enjoyed her apocalyptic/disaster trilogy (the Monument 14 books) and I was definitely in the mood for the tone of Emmy’s books when SWEET was next in the queue.

The thing that readers need to know about SWEET before starting is exactly what kind of book they’re picking up. I read several reviews on Goodreads after I was done with my read of the book (which I thoroughly enjoyed) to see that so many readers were disappointed because they were expecting a contemporary romance or a realistic fiction novel with serious issues. While SWEET does have a romance and it does address serious social and personal issues, the book really reads like a cult classics or a campy horror novel. You’re picking up a book about that has a feel of zombies crossed with vampires on a cruise ship… keep that in mind! I’d say SWEET really leans more toward horror or thriller more than anything if I had to classify it so while it does have a more serious side and some cute romantic moments, remember that this book will first and foremost turn your stomach!

That being said, this was exactly what I had expected from SWEET and it was so much fun to read! I don’t read a lot of horror or books with so much gore but the levity of it kept me interested and amused! SWEET was fun from start to finish. I loved that the book was an exaggeration of a bigger message on body image with some touches on addiction, respect, and valor. There’s a serious message underneath this cruise ship nightmare and I really enjoyed how that came across!

It was a bit more gory than I had expected but that doesn’t really turn me off! I have a much harder time watching gore than I do reading it so I wasn’t too bothered by how intensely the book turned. It added to that zombie/vampire feel which made me feel like I was watching a campy horror movie and that was actually a lot of fun! It’s not something I immediately run to but it reminded me a bit of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead (except the people in SWEET weren’t exactly zombies… but think of that kind of feel)!

SWEET was funny, horrifying, and meaningful all at the same time. It was a super quick and fun read for me and if all of these things sound appealing to you, I’d definitely recommend it! I won’t tell you anything about it but I totally loved the ending and thought it was just perfect. I also loved that it expanded my reading horizons since this isn’t normally the kind of book I’d pick up. This is just another thing I love about young adult and YA authors — there really is no limit to what you can write and what genre gets published!

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

sweet goodreads updates

13.54%??? I don’t even know how that happened…


Tom // Character Obsessions: Public image, physique, reality. 
Tom was a fun character for me! I really enjoyed how he was a child celebrity who’s trying to find his own name as a teenager/adult now. It was interesting to see how the business of Hollywood and fame affected him so much and how his publicists pushed him into fake situations just for the publicity. I enjoyed that he was trying to stay true to himself and who he really wanted to be.


Kept Me Hooked On: Horror. I don’t really read a lot of horror — mostly because I’m not a scary book kind of girl — but I do enjoy some horror with humor! I really liked how SWEET was horrifying but also funny.
Left Me Wanting More: Depth. Sure, of course. SWEET was light and I really appreciated that but I almost wanted just a bit more out of the characters! I wouldn’t really change anything though. The tone was perfect for me!

Addiction Rating
Try it!

Horror not your thing? Me either! But I totally enjoyed this book quite a bit. If you’re not ready for campy, then I’d say pass but if you’re going into SWEET knowing exactly what it is and that’s something you enjoy, I think it’ll be a hit.



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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6 thoughts on “Sweet – Emmy Laybourne

  1. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    I am so glad you enjoyed Sweet! I agree with you that I saw a lot of reviewers that didn’t like Sweet, some because they didn’t know what kind of book it was going in, which is understandable since this book is crazy! I love that it was horrifying and crazy. What a ride!

  2. Jill the OWL

    I really want to check this book out! I’m glad to see a review of it. I loved the Monument 14 series, so I was curious how this one was. It sounds like it’s totally what I like!

  3. Alexa S.

    I haven’t seen all that many reviews of Sweet that lean toward the positive until I read yours. And, even though I know it’s probably not going to be for everyone, it actually does sound like it’s a fun, campy sort of read! The perfect diversion for an hour or two, in any case. I might actually have to check it out if I’m in the mood for a story like it 🙂

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