So You Thought Your Vacation Sucked . . . until you read Emmy Laybourne’s Sweet

 So You Thought Your Vacation Sucked . . . until you read Emmy Laybourne’s Sweet

So, I went on a cruise to Mexico last year and had a great time despite the fact that I dislike most people and “adventure” is a dirty word if it has to do with real life and not a book.  I barely speak Spanish, my husband booked it twenty four hours before departure, and who takes a toddler out of the country, especially a drama queen toddler like mine?  (Seriously, she threw a fit when I wouldn’t let her pet the drug dogs when we disembarked in Mexico and then the guards wanted to let her pet them because she looks like the saddest human ever when she cries — it was ridiculous).  Anyway, this is one of the two cruise disaster books I’m covering this week, and it is my idea of a PERFECT beach (or cruise) read – a light, funny, fantasy romance with some violence thrown in for good measure! It would be an epic Bon Voyage gift to any YA reader who is headed out on the high seas this summer, and if you liked Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, snap this one up asap!

Goodreads Summary

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. 

My Thoughts. 

I thought this was awesome, but I have a sick sense of humor.  Lots of people on Goodreads got bent out of shape because it was unrealistic and shallow – duh!  This isn’t War and Peace, folks, and it wasn’t meant to be, so if you are looking for a serious summer romance, keep looking.  If you think that people are ridiculous and shallow and fun to look down upon but you are sometimes secretly convinced that Leonardo Dicaprio would pick you from a crowd of bimbos because of your superior intelligence and humanity, pick this up.  It is fun.  

Now, for the real details, the alternating narrative structure allowed me to connect with Laurel and gave a lot of insight into the character of Tom, the hunky celebrity host. I thought the pacing of the romance was too fast, but there was a time constraint because the setting is a seven day cruise. Ideas about body image and moral responsibility attempted to add some depth to the book, but ultimately this is still a fluff read (which is okay — again,  no one wants to read War and Peace on the beach).  Be prepared for snotty rich folks, celbriskank mean girls, and blood and guts.  Good times!

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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