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The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,988 Ratings  ·  491 Reviews
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, perple ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Free Press (first published February 4th 2013)
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Will Byrnes
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jonny Valentine is an almost-twelve-year old pop star. It does not take the character’s iconic haircut to let us know who the model for his character is. Jonny faces the problem that has daunted royalty, and state leaders forever. While he may have an outsized talent and while he may enjoy some perks beyond the reach of most of us, his actual life is rather pint-sized.

Jonny is managed by his mother, late of a job at Schnuck’s (yes, really) supermarket in Saint Louis, and determined never to ret
...more
Jennifer
Meet Justin Bi... oops, I mean Jonny Valentine.
description

★★★
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is a standalone, literary fiction novel written by Teddy Wayne. Jonny Valentine is an eleven-year-old pop star. He started out on YouTube, he has a signature hair style, a momanger, and a deadbeat dad. There's also some romantic photo ops with Hispanic celebrity peer Lisa Pinto. It was damned hard to read this without picturing the Biebs. That was the point though.

Mr. Wayne excelled at creating a voice that was ef
...more
Julie Ehlers
Some combination of hearing "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" 5 or 6 times in one day plus reading everyone's raves about Teddy Wayne's most recent book, Loner, caused me to make The Love Song of Jonny Valentine my first novel of 2017. It turned out to be a stellar decision on my part if I do say so myself.

So many times I hear people on Goodreads saying things like "I just couldn't finish this book! It's well written, but it just didn't hold my attention," or "This book was well written, but I just could
...more
Derek Harmening
Feb 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was intrigued by this book after reading an interview with Teddy Wayne in The Millions. He made a great case for pop culture's place in postmodern literature. I'm a big fan of rejecting the notion that an author's work should be "timeless" and avoid making overt references to popular culture, lest it become dated and ultimately irrelevant. What Wayne argues, and what other pomo authors like David Foster Wallace have illustrated, is that the true realism IS what surrounds us every day: billboar ...more
Cheri
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jonny Valentine is eleven (“almost twelve”) years old, a virtual overnight youtube sensation with a signature haircut that makes the girls swoon, and love song after love song. Jonny’s mother, Jane, has traded in her former job working at a dingy grocery store in a less than perfect dream-come-true neighborhood to be Jonny’s Mommager, umm, Manager. Jonny calls her Jane and he believes in her, he listens to her advice, even if he might grumble a bit now and then. Jonny’s dad is gone, gone so long ...more
Jennifer
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
We aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover are we? Too bad. Because as soon as I saw this all of my sparkle senses started going off. It's so shiny and shimmery! The cover was the first thing I loved about this book but it definitely wasn't the last.

Jonny's narration is spot-on. His innocence will make you smile and his cynicism will make your heart ache. He is surrounded by people who truly love him but those voices are drowned out by the fans, the marketing, the big machine that keeps hi
...more
Michael
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Eleven year old pop sensation Jonny Valentine knows that people love him. The singer’s voice, hairdo and image, carefully packaged together by his LA label and manager/mother are what they really love. But within this mass marketing machine, the real Jonny is hidden somewhere. This is the story of Jonny Valentine, a vulnerable boy perplexed but his budding sexuality, his celebrity heartthrob status, the tight control his mother has over him and his absent father.

This book has been on my radar fo
...more
Randy Briggs
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jonny Valentine is a Justin Beiber doppelganger, down to the overhyped hairdo. In the opening chapter of the book, Jonny asks his overbearing stage mom/manager (who he calls by her first name, Jane) for more sleeping pills because he's run out of the ones that she had given him before. Have I mentioned that he is eleven years old? Told by Jonny, this novel is an excoriating look at the seamy inside of the music industry. He constantly walks the tightrope between being a child and a developing ad ...more
Randi Reisfeld
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not sure who the audience is for this book. I read it b/c I was in that world as editorial director of 16 Magazine. I've seen, traveled with, interviewed and photographed many Jonny Valentines--and, significantly, their moms/managers -- "momagers." While this was a fairly accuarate (albeit exaggerated) peek into the "behind-the-scenes" world of say, Justin Beiber, the book left me cold. The narrator, 11-year-old pop star Jonny, sounds like a 30 year veteran of the "biz." He's a puppet of the (re ...more
Mish
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mish by: Michael Kitto
I was expecting to have some fun with this book, after reading the blurbs and a few reviews, it turned out I probably took it far too seriously then maybe I should. Jonny Valentine is an 11 year old child, taken away from an ordinary life and groomed into becoming a singing pop sensation and heartthrob. The book is written like a memoir and narrated by Jonny who give you an insight into his lifestyle and behind the scenes look into his US tour.

Jonny’s schedule is so full on that it’s too the poi
...more
Lisa Beaulieu
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow! I was not going to read this, thinking it would be cloying if he pulled it off, to hear a long story in the voice of a 11 year old pop star, and thinking also there was no way he WOULD pull it off. Wrong on both counts. The 11 year old voice was perfect. I kept thinking about "Room" which I couldn't finish as I did find the child narrator voice cloying ... perhaps this works better because the child is older. But believe me, this kid is in a metaphorical room just as horrifying as the other ...more
Three
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
se mi avessero detto che avrei adorato un facsimile di justin Bieber e, ancora più impensabile, la madre che ne ha fatto un fenomeno da baraccone e ne controlla i destini, avrei chiamato il 118.
Invece per questo jonny valentine, che non è un adulto ma decisamente non è un bambino, che vomita prima di ogni spettacolo, fa servizi fotografici fintamente paparazzati e sa ogni risposta che bisogna dare durante le interviste ho avuto un colpo di fulmine.
E lo stesso per sua madre, che è una persona ver
...more
Cari
Sep 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
3.5. Felt this started a little flat but all of a sudden I was totally invested in the characters. Funny and clever and so much heart.
Stephanie

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Being a kid on the verge of puberty is hard enough, but for Jonny Valentine it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Jonny is a pop star at the ripe old age of eleven. Having grown up in the spotlight, Jonny never got to experience things normal kids do. With every second of his life planned out, Jonny doesn't even have time for fun, let alone friends or school.

Sheltered by his psych
...more
Laura
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

At the time I was reading this book, the real-life singing star whom Jonny Valentine is based on was going through some troubles of his own with the press. Society has a tendency to raise a celebrity to "superstar" status, and then watch with glee as that celeb comes crashing down, only to be replaced with the next big thing.

Jonny Valentine, at only 11 years old, gave me some insight as to the incredibly hard work it takes to conti
...more
JoAnne Pulcino
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
THE LOVE SONG OF JONNY VALENTINE

Teddy Wayne

A touching novel told in the amazing voice of an eleven year old tweeny bopper super star. This coming of age or twisted coming of age tale offers us a peek into the life of an idol where the author addresses the nation’s obsession with fame and fortune, and its price.

Jonny Valentine’s controlling mother/manager, Jane, oversees Jonny’s entire life from his carb intake to his schooling and security. She regulates his wardrobe, his hairstyle, his soaring
...more
Judith
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a fictional account of a Justin Beiber type pop star and it is absolutely captivating in its apparent authenticity. I have no idea what it's really like to be an insider on a cross-country tour of a pop-rock star, but this book, told from the perspective of the kid himself gives the illusion that you are right there with him. And why would that be interesting? Because his life is hard and luxurious at the same time. He is totally innocent and completely jaded. He is shockingly ignorant a ...more
Roxane
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
What's odd about this book is that we've seen this story before. I wanted to like this but there's nothing new here. The book felt formulaic and overly long. There are things Wayne does really well--Jonny Valentine has a clear, consistent voice throughout the novel. His mother Jane is probably the most interesting character in the book though we sadly don't see as much of her as she's not, well, Jonny Valentine. The ending is excellent but also, expected. Throughout the novel, I kept thinking it ...more
Bernice
While trying to borrow a different book on Overdrive, I accidentally selected this title. Since it was already on my Overdrive bookshelf, I might as well listen to it and was not disappointed. This is a story about a child popstar named Jonny Valentine and his life on tour. He faces several issues, such as trying to meet his father, making a decision whether to stay on tour or go to a regular school, and conflicts with his manager-mom, Jane Valentine.
Joel
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
We live in a strange world. Celebrity has grown from a byproduct of accomplishment to an end in and of itself, and the upshot of it is a culture that is increasingly obsessed with itself and with its own image. We create viral superstars--cats with angry faces, news bystanders with catchy phrasing, children caught on tape being children--and then we discard them without a thought. We obsessively follow traditional celebrities--to confirm that they're just like us, that we could be living their l ...more
'Manda
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, fiction
To give a brief summary before I start my review, this book details a few months in the life of an eleven year old pop star. He deals with many problems that you can imagine a tween pop star would deal with (the lack of a real childhood, for one.)
This review may contain a few small spoilers, but I'll try to keep it mostly clean of them.

Overall, this is a fairly good novel. I love most how the author, Teddy Wayne, shows how Jonny Valentine, the eleven year old pop star, has grown up and matured b
...more
Sam
In Teddy Wayne’s latest novel, readers join up with an 11-year old pop star as he criss-crosses the country on a concert tour. Yes, as everyone has noted, this Jonny Valentine kid is Bieber-esque if not actually Justin Bieber himself. We see resemblances to him everywhere, down to Jonny’s similar discovery on YouTube. So Teddy Wayne is purposefully and obviously taking the Bieb’s real life story and drilling down deeper to examine the concept of celebrity. Like a gem, he’s putting it under a lig ...more
John Luiz
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As the father of two girls who had to suffer through Jonas Brothers and One Direction concerts during their tween years, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend time reading a novel with a Justin Bieber-like character at its center. Once I read the sample first chapter, though, the quality of Teddy Wayne’s writing convinced me to give it a try. I’m glad I did – this is one of the best novels I’ve read all year. It does what you might expect it would – showing how much everyone involved in promoting and ...more
Book Him Danno
The modern appetite for news and information has gotten out of control. Every bus crash, windstorm, and flu outbreak is available to us in an instant through the internet. When everything becomes instant news, then the flow of information coming to us can never end. The side effect of this is all aspects of someone’s life, no matter how remotely famous, becomes open to the public. Discover three kidnapped women and the next day we all have access to your previous arrest records; and you were the ...more
Shannon
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Instead of playing baseball and crushing on girls in his class, eleven year-old Jonny Valentine is in the middle of a cross country tour, promoting his new album. Jonny made a name for himself through YouTube and his career skyrocketed with help from pre-packaging by his record label and the constant supervision of his mother and manager, Jane. As his tour progresses, Jonny begins to search for answers to questions about his childhood, father, emerging sexuality and, eventually, his future.

Teddy
...more
Robert E.  Kennedy Library
If you’d told me I’d like a novel narrated by a Justin Bieberesque 11-year-old pop star, I would have called you nuts. But I found this tragicomic novel by Teddy Wayne, author of 2011′s Kapitoil, very affecting.

Off on a national tour managed by his party-hearty mother, Jonny the star (not to be confused with “the Jonny”, his trademark hairdo) is heading for a crisis. Furtively logging on to his mother’s computer to try to locate his absent father, worrying his market share in various demographic
...more
Autumn
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was the funniest and at the same time the saddest book I've read this year. It made me really sad for child pop stars. However, Teddy Wayne did a brilliant job presenting such an awful lifestyle in a humorous way.


You could take out the name Jonny Valentine and stick in Justin Beiber and you'd probably have a fairly accurate picture. Jonny Valentine was discovered from YouTube videos and went from nobody to superstar in like a month. His overly controlling mother/manager has every aspec
...more
Danna
The Song of Jonny Valentine is a book that I really wanted to like, so much so that I read over 200 of the 290 or so pages before giving up. I thought this story of a tween idol would be fun, enjoyable reading... Sadly, no.

Jonny is an 11-year-old pop star with an overbearing, over-drinking, and over-the-top mother as his manager. Other characters include Walter, Jonny's quietly comforting bodyguard; Nadine, his strict yet sweet tutor; Rog, his past-his-prime voice coach; and various other celebr
...more
Mary Gramlich
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Where do you go when you are too far away from home to return?

Jonny Valentine is an eleven-year-old child prodigy with the voice of an angel and a mother who managed to capture his talent and run with it all the way to the bank. This does not make Jane mother of the year but her ability to tap into a market ripe with cash flow is her brilliance and control her mantra.

There are chefs, bodyguards, and more entourage than Jonny could have ever imagined possible when he started out and still cannot
...more
Virginia
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jonny Valentine is a teenage crooner whose prepubescence unfolds as a media spectacle, as a virtual commodity shaped (down to his signature Bieber-ian coif, "the Jonny"), by his Botoxed mother-manager Jane, and the pop music industry. Teddy Wayne's fun if flawed follow-up to Kapitol provides a unique vantage into celebrity culture's exploiting of child stars: first, Jonny rarely mentions money or fame (ostensibly why most entertainment moguls enter into a Faustian bargain with the devil, w/ the ...more
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Teddy Wayne is the author of the novels "The Love Song of Jonny Valentine" (Free Press, Feb. 2013) and "Kapitoil" (Harper Perennial) and is the recipient of a 2011 Whiting Writers' Award, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, the 2011 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize runner-up, and a finalist for the 2011 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award finalist and the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. ...more
More about Teddy Wayne

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“It’s super-important to have a strong social media presence, and Jane’s always going, When interviewers ask you about your Twitter, say you love reaching out directly to your fans, and I’m like, I don’t even know how to use Twitter or what the password is because you disabled my laptop’s wireless and only let me go on the Internet to do homework research or email Nadine assignments, and she says, I’m doing you a big favor, it’s for nobodies who want to pretend like they’re famous and for self-promoting hacks without PR machines, and adults act like teenagers passing notes and everyone’s IQ drops thirty points on it.” 5 likes
“Sometimes the guys who look the most normal are the biggest pervs of all.” 0 likes
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