Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Genres: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
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When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin–the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin–her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place?
A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.
For some reason, it took me quite a while to get through this book. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t feel like I had to know what happened next right away – which contributed to my languid reading speed. In my opinion, the pace didn’t really pick up until the last few chapters. Specifically when Janey goes to The Workout Retreat – that is when exciting stuff starts to happen, so I was a bit disappointed that the book ended so quickly after that.
Even though Janey goes to all these different kinds of fitness classes, I wasn’t overly inspired to exercise or join fitness classes myself. The classes she was doing actually sounded kind of horrible. But as I read on, there was one thing that really stuck with me. It is something that her friend CJ says towards the end of the book:
“I think it’s a lie that all women want to be skinny. I think we just want to be told it’s okay to look the way we look.”
Never has a truer statement been written, well there probably has been, but that one really stuck with me. I would say it is safe to assume that all people, all women want to feel confident. That includes being confident in her mind, in her abilities, and her body.
At times some of the writing felt a little disjointed. I felt like I could tell when the voice changed sometimes. A paragraph would flow nicely but then there’d be this weird sentence that just didn’t feel natural. It wasn’t too distracting, but it was something that bothered me a little.
The satirical take on the health and fitness world was really entertaining. It was easy to imagine some of these characters, and perhaps the real life people the author’s got their inspiration from. You’ll definitely chuckle your way through this enjoyable read.
Thank you to BookSparks for the copy! I’m really glad I had the opportunity to read the book and participate in the pop-up blog tour. If you need a light fun read, definitely put Fitness Junkie on your list!
I received a free copy of this book from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.