Review & Giveaway of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: February 2013
Categories: Coming of Age, Literary
Source: Free Press
When Whiting Writers’ Award winner Teddy Wayne published his critically acclaimed debut, Kapitoil, it was hailed as “one of the best novels of [this] generation” by the Boston Globe and was shortlisted for a spate of national prizes.

Jonathan Franzen wrote in The Daily Beast that “no other writer, as far as I know, has invented such a funny and compelling voice and story for [this type of character.]” Now, in The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, Wayne turns his sharp wit, flawless narrative ventriloquism, and humane sensibility to our monstrous obsession with fame.
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.

My Thoughts:

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 him famous.

Every move that Jonny makes is choreographed. Every morsel of food that he eats is mentally cataloged and combated by exercise. Every song that Jonny sings is researched to garner and preserve the most fans. Even though he is fawned over by nearly everyone he meets you sense that he is simply a very lonely little boy.

This book is a scathing commentary on our celebrity worshiping culture that I couldn’t put down.

I do hope you’ll enter the giveaway for this amazing book:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Update: Congrats to Kristin from my little heart melodies! You’re the winner! I’ll be emailing you for your details. I hope you LOVE this book!

31 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

  1. I have been curious about this one and looking forward to its publication this year! This book looks right up my alley—I love social commentary books, fiction & non-fiction. Thanks for hosting a giveaway 🙂


  2. Like BookBelle, my first thought was Justin Bieber. I love that this is a look at celebrity and young stars. It really is crazy how much children in the industry are treated like the adults with all the character creation and perfection. You'd think people would have an idea now of how bad it is…


  3. This had me sold: \”a scathing commentary on our celebrity worshiping culture\” – I'm not a celebrity worshipper but it's a pretty fascinating element of our cultures. I personally can't understand it because I never was like that, as a kid – I never had a band or a singer or an actor that I loved to excess. I liked some and I put up posters and read magazines mostly to fit in, but I didn't really get the idolatry! Must have just been too much of a book nerd I guess. 😉 Would love to read this, thanks for the giveaway Jen.


  4. I thought Justin Bieber too, but I'm working with 12-15 years old pupils and sometimes it's so lovely to see and hear them talk about their favorites. It sounds like a great book.


  5. It sounds really interesting, a book about fame in a very young boy!!I also thought of Justin Bieber :)I suppose the giveway is only for US, right? (just in case…)


  6. Excellent review of this one…I'm so sick of celebrities!! Yesterday the headline news on The Today Show was all about the Golden Globes or whatever…nice.


  7. Because you keep saying how awesome it is, I think you should just throw out the other entries and let me win, okay? Just kidding, if I win I know it'll be coincidence, not because Jennifer loves me and my blog so much. :)I'm glad you really liked it. Sounds like something I'll have to read anyway!


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