Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza


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 book was sent to me from Doubleday Books by way of one of the authors, Jo Piazza  which she co-wrote with Lucy Sykes . I am beginning to chuckle again as I am typing this because this book was incredibly hilarious and completely satirical. I would love to see this story adapted to screen as a dark romantic comedy. Approaching the plot twist, it began to read a bit slow, but did not take away from the comedic aspects of generation X-er's and millennials dealing with weight loss, dieting, health fads, social media trends and body image.

All the characters in this book had incredibly annoying personalities with their seemingly lack of concern for anything outside of their little obsession with the world of health and fitness, which in hindsight  made them all the more interesting. The character I disliked the most right in the beginning was Beau, he was the childhood friend of the other main character, Janey. They started a business together in which the basis of the business is "looks" and body image. He constantly berated Janey about how she looked and what she ate. It was at a breakfast meeting between the two of them that Beau abruptly fires Janey because he explains that her image does not fit the company anymore. Even before I reached the twist in Beau's story, I knew he fired her for reasons other than what he stated. Although Janey's confidence was easily broken and she spent a good part of the story worrying about her self image, she was still a likable character. She's like the girlfriend you have to constantly tell, "Hey, everything will be ok. Suck it up."

There was another surprising twist in this story to which the title tells, but it's not what you think. I loved the way Piazza and Sykes took very real aspects of a convoluted industry and exaggerated it, sort of; coffee from bird poop, H2BROC {Broccoli water lol}, strange juice cleansers. This story is equipped with all the recognizable and cliche, often weird, sentiments we see across social media in terms of "finding one's self", "wellness" and being "centered." 

"I have friends who look at my Instagram and then say things to me like, "You have the most perfect life." I'm the first one to tell you that the way someone's life looks on Insta is {b.s.} Real life doesn't come with filters. ~ Fitness Junkie

If you are looking for a fun, hysterical summer read, I definitely recommend Fitness Junkie. It had a speedy pace in the beginning but I found it to be a bit overly detailed with fillers toward the middle and end. I also didn't find the plot twist incredibly strong but it fit the context of this very lighthearted story.

"Stop comparing. Acknowledge other people's greatness and you will be more powerful and centered. Others will notice and embrace your confidence. There's nothing sexier than someone who is content with herself and trying every single day to be better and improve on her own terms." ~ Fitness Junkie

My rating: {between 3.5 - 3.8/5}