Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Published July 11, 2017 by Doubleday

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.

This is a fun read that reminds me of Crazy Rich Asians - the white New Yorkers ladies-that-lunch version. Janey is a likable character, a successful business woman who is reeling more from her breakup with her gay best friend and business partner, Beau, than from the end of her marriage to her husband. Beau demands that she lose thirty pounds, or else she'll lose her job. Incredulity ensues as Janey tries all the latest fitness fads, and those that roll their eyes at Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop newsletter will appreciate the satire of the appearance-obsessed crazy rich, who willingly cough up thousands of dollars to try the latest workout and diet regimens. Janey's romances with Jacob and Hugh are charming and enjoyable as she figures out who she is without Beau as her anchor. The end does wrap up rather too neatly and quickly, but, like a frothy pink cocktail, makes a good accompaniment to a lounge chair on a sunny day.

I received a review copy through NetGalley.

Rating: 3 Stars

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