Reviews

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne

dunnadam's review against another edition

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5.0

I loved this book. I expect it to be my favourite book of 2013.

Jonny has it all, the looks, the voice, the clothes, and a self-named haircut, but what does having at all really mean? What are the costs?

The book starts out with Jonny at 11 acting older than his age, thinking older than his age, spitting out lines from his mother/manager and PR people and record producers by rote, hiding the person behind the image.

There's some great lines in this book, occasionally I'd read a paragraph or a page and re-read it, and re-read it again later to friends or anyone who would listen.

"Whenever Jane's studying the career longevity of pop stars, she's like, Thank God you're not black."

Jonny is real, he talks about getting boners, he plays Zenon, he worries about child predators. The insight into branding strategy translated through the mind of an eleven year old boy blew my mind at the author's brilliance.

The reason though this book gets five stars, the reason it's the best of the year, is for what I wasn't expecting. I'm on this roller coaster ride of fun and inventive writing, and then Jonny meets his back up band, and then he gets an email from his father, and somewhere along the way, at some point when I wasn't looking, the emotion came in. I cried at the end, and I wasn't expecting that from a parody of the perils of fame.

I guess that's what a good writer does, hooks you, then reels in the line without you realizing it, all the way drawing you closer and closer to his net.

I'm hooked.

The author takes a book about Justin Bieber and turns it into an essay on what makes us whole, how we get through, and how we move on. Loved it.

RSVP (to my heart)

minnaobrien's review against another edition

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3.0

This book is very well written, and is an emersive and compelling character study. However, the ending is deeply underwhelming. The themes and perspectives developed so well in the body of the novel are underserved in what was already going to be a weak ending due to the slice-of-life, plot-less structure. It is really only the last two pages that are disappointing, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

labunnywtf's review against another edition

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3.0

The niece was a Belieber for a hot second. Despite my non-caring, I got her a book from the library, and put songs on her iPod, and went with it. Despite my teasing of her, I remember being a fangirl. Then as his popularity dwindled, she forgot all about the fangirling, and became convinced he sucks as a human being.

Oh, fame. So fickle.

I would love to have her read this book, to get her take on it. But...not all of the book. We could leave out the...mayonnaise-y bits.

Pardon me, regurgitating.

This was a pretty interesting read, I will say that. Not subtle, in the least, but interesting. And I feel like it's Bieber with a dash of Lohan, and a few other child actors thrown in for good measure.

Now instead of disliking the focus of the subject matter, I mostly just pity him, based on a fictional character. Interesting.

cami19's review against another edition

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dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.0

rockincook's review against another edition

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4.0

Great little story about the challenges of fame told from the point of view of 11 year old Jonny Valentine, great read, and characters, like living through Biebers' eyes.

Great Stuff.

bethtmorris's review against another edition

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2.0

Interesting concept/topic. OK execution. I kept waiting to make a connection with Jonny but it just didn't happen. I did think it gave a sympathetic view to being a young celebrity for which I would never wish on my worst enemy. Jane was a hard character to take but probably not far from the typical stage mom.

alison_marie's review against another edition

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4.0

A captivating look at the celebrity and tabloid culture, as seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old Justin Bieber-esque pop star. It's both heartbreaking and hilarious.

kdurham2's review against another edition

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5.0

Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

Call me a crazy teen pop fan, but I loved this book that is completely loosely based on the life of a teen pop star maybe like a certain Justin Bieber. As I grew up along side the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, I may have a close affection for anything pop and teen! Jonathan Valentino or Jonny Valentine is a very very young 11 year old singing sensation who through YouTube has gotten a record deal and is in the middle of a tour across the U.S. The book takes you through the cities of his tour, along the road are quite a few antics with his momager, security, vocal coach, tutor and so many others that impact this teen heartthrob!

meghan111's review against another edition

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4.0

I was captured, captivated, and convinced by this novel, which is told entirely in the voice of an 11-year old pop superstar named Jonny Valentine. The voice kept reminding me of [b:Room|7937843|Room|Emma Donoghue|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344265419s/7937843.jpg|9585076] by Emma Donoghue.

sarahbethbrown's review against another edition

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4.0

This is a really fun book about a teenage pop star and the backstage maneuverings of show business, and a FANTASTIC book about an 11 year old. I have never read a book that better captured an 11 year old. Is Teddy Wayne actually a child? Does have a child in his house? He made Jonny Valentine so fully formed and empathetic. I really loved reading this book.