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Unofficial rule of the New York fashion industry: if you must buy the bruffin, you absolutely cannot be seen eating said bruffin.

Janey Sweet, co-founder of a wedding-dress company called B, doesn’t realize she’s committing a crime until B designer and her best friend, Beau, shoves a tabloid with a picture of her eating a bruffin ("the love child of a brioche and a muffin") in her face and ends their breakfast conversation by calling her the “f” word—fat—which is unacceptable according to their business arrangement formed decades ago. Since B wedding dresses are notorious for not going above a size 4, Janey is out until she drops her bruffin habit and 30 pounds along with it. No joke. It doesn’t matter that she’s lost both of her parents within a year or that she’s going through a divorce. To Beau, being skinny is the only thing that matters. With the same delicious brand of satire that Sykes and Piazza became known for in The Knockoff (2015), Janey falls down the rabbit hole of fitness trends, skinny mommy blogs, and juice cleanses in search of a weight-loss savior. If you think naked yoga isn’t real, Google it. If you don’t think you can laugh at scenarios involving psychedelic cactus and an exclusive healing ceremony in Brooklyn, then you won’t appreciate this book’s particular flavor of excess. The journey to skinny is livened up by a memorable supporting cast: there’s CJ, Janey’s college friend who is levelheaded about everything besides her weight (in that respect, she’s a maniac); Jacob, a superattractive, dumpster-diving single dad; and Ivy, Janey’s younger cousin, a former ballerina–turned–SoarBarre instructor with the mouth of a sailor. The journey culminates with Janey becoming a follower of “The Workout,” the latest craze promising to have you 15 pounds lighter, as long as you’re able to pay the exorbitant price associated with a retreat to St. Lucia. Though it’s hard to sympathize with someone who can afford to have healthy meals catered on a daily basis, this novel is about indulging in the ridiculous. You’ll have to overlook details like sporadic point-of-view changes and the fact that St. Lucia is not actually a Spanish-speaking country on the path to finding your inner “warrior queen.”

You’ll breeze through this one like you would a Saturday spin class with the most fabulous playlist and the promise of brunch cocktails after.

Pub Date: July 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-385-54180-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2017


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