Watch a video book review of Fitness Junkie and other books on my YouTube channel here.
What is it with books about uber-rich women that I find so fascinating?
Fitness Junkie is one of the more interesting ones I’ve come across. Janey is a 40-year-old divorcee , who is a CEO of B, a wedding dress design company she runs with her best friend, Beau.
He is the creative designer. She is the level-headed CEO.
One day at brunch, Beau tells Janey she’s embarrassing. She’s too fat and needs to take three months off to lose 30 pounds. After all, her fatness is not a good representation of the company.
This is the point that could lose the reader. Although Janey consults with lawyers in the book, this could not be legally feasible in real life.
Even if it was legal, would a powerful CEO really roll over, take an unwanted sabbatical, and be happy chasing exercise trends, even with knowledge of a coup in the works? Would a successful CEO have no other business aspirations or machinations?
Absolutely not. The book forces the reader to suspend disbelief for the fun of going on these absurd diet and exercise excursions.
Okay, then. Turn off the logical part of the brain and enjoy the ride.
When you do away with common sense and the disgustingly sexist construct, the story is actually interesting. Like an anthropologist studying the habits of another culture, one which most people will never inhabit.
The trendy terminology alone is fun:
- Facetuning: App that lets you Photoshop photos to be more flattering on your smartphone
- Bruffin: The new cronut. It’s a cross between a brioche and a muffin.
- Heirloom food: Seeds come from foods of yore as opposed to modern agriculture.
- Fashion fat: Anything above a size four. While tiny in the real world, this would make you fat in the fashion world.
- Eating clay: Some women eat clay instead of food in this book as part of their extreme diets.
- Broth: But why stop at clay. Apparently broth replaces actual food for these dieters at mealtimes.
- #Wellthy: This self-congratulatory term signifies physical and emotional wellbeing. Ironically, it’s mainly used among those with economic wealth.
- Sober raves: No drugs or alcohol. These straight-edge raves begin and end in the mornings and often include fresh-squeezed juice.
One particularly guffaw-y moment: Janey goes to a juice bar, asks the owner why he only charges $22 for a cup of juice, and then becomes insta-friends with a shaman who happens to be at the same place.
During her leave, Janey figures out that (of course) her BFF business partner Beau is up to no good. But instead of snapping back, she continues to diet herself to the point of hospitalization. Why?
This sounds like a scathing review, but it really isn’t. This book is a lot of fun. Most of the fun in the winking tongue-in-cheek absurdity. The book knows how ridiculous it is. It’s in on the joke. And at the same time, Janey is likeable. She’d be a fun friend.
Plot holes aside, Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sikes and Jo Piazza actually is escapist fun. Grab the binoculars and explore this other culture in its natural habitat.
I mean, it includes topless yoga. How can you pass that up?
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me an advance copy of Fitness Junkie in exchange for an honest review.