Monday, August 10, 2015

A Sweet Read for Teens

Today I have a great book for the older middle school child.  This book looks at our perceptions of weight and beauty along with a little death and mayhem.  All in a days work!

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Title: Sweet

Author: Emmy Laybourne

Target: Grades 8 and up

Series: This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
Laurel accepts an invitation from her best friend to go on a cruise where Solu, the newest diet sweetener will be introduced.  It promises great things.  However because of seasickness, Laurel is unable to try the new sweetener.  Tom, who is a teenage Ryan Seacrest, is hired to promote the cruise and the new product, but his intense healthy regime means that he won’t put anything in his body that isn’t natural.  As Laurel and Tom are part of a small number of individuals who are not on Solu, they can see that the effects of the sweetener after the initial weight drop are not quite right.  People are on edge, fighting and they appear more and more addicted to Solu.  What started out as a luxurious cruise is now turning into a nightmare.

Why I love this book: 
Ok, this book is not for the timid.  Things get pretty gruesome on the ship, but I will say that Laybourne stays away from detailing the atrocities and simply implies.  She lets our imaginations do the rest.  

I loved the original premise of this book.  The idea that there is some fast and easy way to loose weight is obviously questioned in the story, as is our need to go to such extremes to simply be thin.  The story is told from alternating viewpoints of Laurel and Tom so we see both their perspectives.  The idea that a romance takes hold in this scenario is a bit far fetched, but so is the story, so it works.

The book reads well and I was hooked from the start.  This is an edge of your seat thriller, but you have to be prepared for a little social horror.

Who this book is for: 
Great for kids who like adventure, humor, romance and more than a few deaths in their stories.  The originality of the book kept reminding me of another interesting premise in the book Bubble World, which also examines body image.

Final thoughts: 
This is a faced paced story that your kids will not want to put down.

To purchase this book:
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