Sweet - YA Review by Sam T

Reader: Sam T.
Age: 16
Title: Sweet
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pub Date: 06/02/15
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I more or less liked the characters, even if they were slightly annoying. After a while I kind of got sick of hearing Viv complain about her weight and Laurel fawn over Tom. The only likable character was Cubby the cameraman, and he's dead. And maybe Derek.
     The book took a turn for the ridiculous halfway through. It was a wild ride, but I can't call it "good", either by comedy standards or by non-comedic ones. I know it's sort of supposed to be funny, but parts of it are too disgusting to make it so. Reading the book is sort of like watching Sharknado- you can't really take it as a serious book, even if the writing was better and less sassy. The book is too ridiculous and childish for older readers but too gory for the youngsters.
     The constant parenthetical statements were kind of annoying, and I got a little tired of hearing Laurel talk. That being said, the author doesn't really craft different narrative voices  for Tom and Laurel; the hallmark of a good book is one where you can take a sentence and immediately know which character said it. This book does not do that. Tom sort of narrates like a Laurel clone.
     The book is supposed to be a social commentary, but I'm not sure who it's targeting. Celebrities? Fat people? People who shame fat people? Skinny people who think they're fat? American society? To be honest, I don't really know and I don't really care.
     Killing off America in the last chapter was a gutsy move, and I have to applaud the author for bravery, but it still really really disappointed me. Sometimes making a risky, original plot development makes a book more interesting; sometimes it ruins it. This ending was the latter.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was only memorable for its campy ridiculousness. Otherwise it was more or less dull. The story seemed recycled, the characters were thin and flat, the story was outlandish. In addition, it was not nearly funny enough to be a comedy but not serious enough to be taken seriously. Overall, it was generally not amazing, but surprisingly not a complete failure.
Cover: The cover was a little confusing. It was hard to tell if I was holding the book upside down or not.
Age Range: 16 through 17
Quality: 2Q - Needs more work
Popularity: 3P - Some teen appeal
Additional Comments: The quality rating is probably more like 2.6 or 2.7, but there were no intermediate options. At points I'd say that it actually reached maybe a 3.4 or 3.5 but the overall average was probably around 2.6.

tags: horror / romance / ya lit

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