Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, YA
Publication date: June 2nd 2015
by Feiwel & Friends
*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.
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-
I really enjoyed this book. Yeah, the MC’s fall for each other rather quickly, but I thought it was a great read. I liked that it covers addiction, insecurities, and being true to yourself. There is a lot of depth to this book underneath all the craziness of it. It’s a harsh world where people are constantly being judged for how they look. This book shows us that. Laurel is okay being a bit curvy and not all skin and bones, but her friend has always been insecure about her weight. Boy TV star Tom used to be chubby and had an embarrassing public break up. He’s there to work, Laurel is there for her friend. They both don’t take Solu, and find quickly that it’s a good thing. They also find each other. Can they warn the world before it’s too late though? That is the million dollar question.
Laurel was so easy to like. She is down to earth, and a bit on the shy side. She doesn’t like to stand out, so going on this exclusive weight loss cruise is a bit much for her. The only reason she’s even on it with some minor celebrities and other rich people is because her friend Viv wanted her to come. All expenses paid by her daddy. Laurel is fine with her weight, and always tells Viv that she is perfect too, but it means a lot to her BFF so she goes. Thank goodness she gets super seasick at first to keep her from taking Solu. But anyways, she isn’t so sure about it being that this cruise is the first time people are having it. And besides, she is fine with her body. She was awkward, but in an endearing kind of way. She is also a fantastic best friend, and even though she does fall for the boy, she doesn’t make it easy. She is not a pushover. She was just a really fantastic character who was comfortable in her own skin and I loved that.
Tom was a child TV star. The world has loved him since he was a child. He had a bit of a PR fail when he and his GF broke up, but they are trying to get him back in the spotlight. What better way than to be the exclusive media coverage of a historic event like the Solu release? Well, things don’t go as planned. Between his manager trying to set up a fake relationship with a snotty, sexy celebrity that he has no interest in, being totally interested in Laurel, and the weird stuff going on with the people taking the Solu, it’s not a great time. He was pretty sweet actually. He has a good heart, and his intentions are good. He’s just not used to defying those who are in charge of him and his career. I thought he was really great.
So let me just say I love that this covers addiction in a way that isn’t too serious or preachy. The book is pure entertainment, but it’s also very good about showing how addictive things are. How addiction can kill you. In this case people are not only killing themselves, but others to get more of the Solu. I loved how the story progressed, and how we get both Tom and Laurel’s POV throughout. This book goes from entertaining to a bit creepy and I thought it was great how things went downhill and how everything turned out. I have to say that the ending didn’t surprise me, but I thought it was quite clever, and could possibly set up for a future book. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read what this author writes next.
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