In an earlier book review post, I covered The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. At the end of the review, I noted that the authors have another book out called Fitness Junkie and I would have to read it some time. Well, that time is now. Last week I finished reading it (thank you public library) and am ready to review!
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Super short summary:
- After being told by a close friend and colleague that she needs to take a 3-month break from their company to try and lose weight, the main character Janey Sweet begins a journey of fad diets, exercise trends, figuring out who her real friends are, and finding what truly makes her happy in this weight-obsessed culture.
Overall rating: 3/5
What did I like?
- This story isn’t afraid to show you how absurd some diets and exercises are. For example one of the diets that somebody tells her to try is to only eat clay. Literally clay. The sad part is I don’t think this is too far away from what some people actually do to themselves to try and lose weight. The authors are not afraid to use extremes to point out how insane some of these things are and it makes the story that much better.
- The main character Janey is really likable. She was never afraid to try a new class or diet, yet would still call bs on some of the crazier fitness behaviors. Plus it’s obvious she’s loved by friends and family.
- It was the perfect book to read right after New Years. In a time where it seems like everyone decides that they want to start following a new diet or exercise plan, this is the perfect story to bring you back to Earth and give you a realistic expectation when it comes to weight loss. I don’t want to eat clay.
What could have made this a 5-star book?
- Weight is a sensitive topic. I get that. But because the authors didn’t want to offend anyone, the reader is never told a specific number. Ever. Because of this, it’s hard for me to completely empathize with the main character. All we’re told is that she never weighs herself. I understand why the authors didn’t want to assign a specific number. But because they don’t, they need to use other unbiased characters to help paint a picture for the reader.
- No major spoilers, but Janey eventually ends up in the hospital (not for her weight but for a totally different reason). She’s told by the doctor that she looks emaciated and he ends up sending her to a weight self-help group. When I read this, I was totally surprised. Throughout the book, nobody ever mentions anything about her looking underweight. It seems like while she’s eating healthy, she’s eating enough. She even talks about how much stronger she feels since starting to work out. Never once does she mention feeling weak or dizzy. So when I read this, I was just massively confused. There were no prior hints that she was losing too much weight previous to this.
- There was never a final confrontation. So the barebones story is a close friend hurts Janey, she realizes he never really cared about her, and she moves on for the better. We’ve seen this story 1000000 times. And we all know that the best part is when there’s that one final confrontation and the protagonist finally stands up for themselves. That never happens. I spent the entire book waiting and waiting for this moment and nothing. There’s the tiniest face-to-face but it wasn’t anywhere close to satisfying.
I would say that overall I did enjoy this story. But while it had a lot of amazing parts, it still left me wanting more. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to this book and seeing what happened to Janey after the last page.
Are you currently reading a book right now? Let me know!