Book Review: “Fitness Junkie” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

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!

Looking for your next read? Check out my book review of Fitness Junkie. #book #bookreview #review #fitness

12 thoughts on “Book Review: “Fitness Junkie” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

  1. Interesting that the main character goes from having to take time off work for her weight and then is told by a doctor that she is underweight. Seems like a huge jump. Is this a true story?

    1. Sorry – I might have been a little too vague in my review to prevent any spoilers. To go a little further into detail: the main character partly owns a wedding dress company and is told by her business partner (the designer for the company) that she’s considered overweight for the fashion industry. It’s alluded to that she was actually at a pretty healthy weight before she started working out and that’s how she becomes underweight by the end of the novel. But all of this information is left pretty ambiguous, unfortunately. And this is fiction.

  2. I’m disappointed to hear the weaker points of this, as it was on my re-read list. I really enjoyed their first book, too! However, I hate that every story related to fitness and health has to end in some sort of eating disorder PSA. As a former ballet dancer, people have made those assumptions about me for most of my life. Uh, I eat properly and exercise a normal amount, but thank you. Sometimes people just miss the mark!

    1. I totally agree! And it was really disappointing because the main character would make comments to herself about how much stronger she’s getting. She would say things like “I wouldn’t have been able to lift this before I started working out” To me that implies that she was healthy throughout this novel and that she was becoming stronger. So when her doctor ended up telling her she was underweight, I was really confused. I felt like they had so many different story lines that they had to end everything super quick.

  3. Great review , it’s odd that she went from needing to loose weight to emaciated and no one commented on it, the best book I read about weight was by Nyrae Dawn called Measuring up.

  4. Maybe the lack of a satisfying resolution/confrontation was an editorial choice to reflect real life. We don’t always get that opportunity. Doesn’t mean we don’t want one though, in books and life. Thanks for the review.

  5. I hate when I get to so invested in a book and then the ending is unsatisfying. I’m very confused as to how she could look underweight if she had looked so overweight that she had to take three months off of work to get healthy, too. But, it definitely is a good time of year to read something like this. I’m currently reading — ok, listening to on audiobook — The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Basically, it’s about living your life with intention, caring only about what really matters to you, and deciding what you are willing to deal with on a day-to-day basis since happiness only lasts until your next problem arises.

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