A review by daja
Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy

emotional hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


Starting this book was such a treat! This book follows Savvy Sheldon, a plus size Black woman who is freshly out of a bad relationship. Because of this, she goes on a journey of improving her life romantically, health-wise and career-wise. 

The beginning of the story started so strong from me, especially the first chapter. Savvy's ex had the audacity to say certain things to her and I was so here for her revenge glow-up (I know it wasn't the healthiest way to go about being on a diet, I was here for the potential scene of pettiness). However, that quickly lost its glamour. Savvy is pretty insecure about her weight and has low self-esteem. I knew this was going to be a focus for her character growth because it was a major motivation for her to get healthy. However, after a certain point, I started to get annoyed with Savvy's insecurity. Even 70% into the story, it felt like she was still super insecure and not really learning to love herself. She was doing all of these tennis lessons and yoga sessions but it didn't feel like her self-esteem was improving. Others had to point out to her that she was growing and becoming healthier. It wasn't until the very end that she really saw her own beauty. Also, the glow-up really only felt superficial. I didn't really see her do the internal work to improve her self-esteem. It was mainly the male love interest, her friends and her working out that made up her growth arc and I think that's why the entire character arc didn't work for me. Her entire glow-up wasn't the healthiest way to go about trying to get healthy either. 

I didn't hate Savvy's character, though. I really loved that she loved how to cook. The food descriptions sounded so good! And I really liked how caring she was of other people. I also really enjoyed the friend groups of each of the love interests. They were so funny and I loved how supportive they were. Spencer, the love interest, wasn't really that interesting. He was a contractor who worked on her house and had a dog but honestly, I don't think he felt like a real person to me. To me, this is because most of the book felt more like a women's fiction novel than a romance. Most of the book focused on Savvy and her trying to grow. Like I mentioned before, a lot of that was her yoga sessions and tennis lessons. Those scenes felt very repetitive to me and I wish that it would have focused on building the romance between Savvy and Spencer. Spencer almost fell for her instantly and I couldn't really see why he liked her. I know he was attracted to her but there was nothing else I really got from it. 

Overall, it was an okay read. It probably should have been marketed as a women's fiction novel. Also, if it engaged in more about Savvy's life outside of the fitness aspects, I probably would have enjoyed it more.

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