Feb 112013
Review: The Love Song of Jonny ValentineThe Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
Published by Free Press on Feb 5, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Format: Paperback from Publisher
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he is. The talented singer’s image, voice, and even hairdo have been relentlessly packaged—by his L.A. label and his hard-partying manager-mother, Jane—into bite-size pabulum. But within the marketing machine, somewhere, Jonny is still a vulnerable little boy, perplexed by his budding sexuality and his heartthrob status, dependent on Jane, and endlessly searching for his absent father in Internet fan sites, lonely emails, and the crowds of faceless fans.

Poignant, brilliant, and viciously funny, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators, this literary masterpiece explores with devastating insight and empathy the underbelly of success in 21st-century America. The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is a tour de force by a standout voice of his generation.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is an in depth look at what being a young male singing sensation is like, and it’s not real pretty. Jonny is quite isolated and lonely, with only his bodyguard and his video games for company most of the time. It is certainly not a life for a kid, and yet it is taken right from modern times.

I would be remiss to not point out the obvious parallels between Jonny Valentine and Justin Bieber. Young singing star – check. Iconic hairstyle – check. Standoffish, overbearing manager mom – check. And so on. It was quite something to read a story that seemed to be so familiar based on common celebrity gossip.

I did take offence to the constant masturbation mentioned in the book. It didn’t add anything to the book, other than to make the reader feel slightly pedophile-ish knowing that you were reading about an eleven year old; a kid really. It almost made me stop reading at one point.

Without the sexual angle, this was an entertaining book that left me feeling very sorry for Jonny. It is sad and unfortunate when having a talent means you don’t get a real life, and instead, are living a shell while pretending to have it all. It made me feel bad for celebrities, especially the child stars.

  One Response to “Review: The Love Song of Jonny Valentine”

  1. Ugh. That’s too bad about the gratuitous masturbation scenes. Especially since it’s a younger boy. I have this on my shelf to read so I will make sure to prepare myself!

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