- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (February 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476705852
- ISBN-13: 978-1476705859
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 99 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,390,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Love Song of Jonny Valentine: A Novel Hardcover – February 5, 2013
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Playlist for The Love Song Of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
The pop music in The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is, by 11-year-old singer Jonny’s own admission, utterly disposable. It’s a mainstream product that goes in one ear and out the other, but not before separating the listener from her money. Yet he dreams of creating art that is timeless, along the lines of his idol, Michael Jackson (especially “Billie Jean”). And though my own musical taste runs counter to Top-40 aesthetics, I, too, have a soft spot for catchy, hook-driven pop.
The contemporary landscape of dance-pop shares some attributes with the crooners of the 1950s and early ’60s, but has its strongest roots in synthesizer-heavy pop from the ’80s. That also happens to be the music I grew up with. Here are 17 songs from the decade, some iconic, some lesser-known. All remain, to me, listenable and danceable after all these years. In other words: timeless.
1. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
2. (I'm a) TV Savage by Bow Wow Wow
3. 88 Lines About 44 Women by The Nails
4. Kiss by Prince
5. I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany
6. Take on Me by A-ha
7. She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals
8. Since Yesterday by Strawberry Switchblade
9. Turning Japanese by The Vapors
10. Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles
11. Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo
12. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
13. Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
14. Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
15. Material Girl by Madonna
16. 99 Red Balloons by Nena
17. Kids in America by Kim Wilde
Called the “angel of pop,” 11-year-old megastar Jonny Valentine has everything but a father . . . and a childhood. Wayne’s novel follows the preadolescent’s national tour as he wows his tween fans (and the occasional adult predator) while secretly searching the Internet for his absent father, whom he hasn’t seen since he was 5 or 6. In the meantime, his hard-partying mother, who doubles as his manager, is trying to ensure that the young star’s career doesn’t go into eclipse. As for Jonny—discovered, like Justin Bieber, on YouTube—he’s 11 going on 30, still a child who loves playing his favorite video game but also one who speaks with adult savvy about the music industry, talking glibly about “rotation stamina,” “performance protocol,” “packaging-strategy perspective,” “MJ” (Michael Jackson), and the like. Wayne’s second novel is both a cautionary tale and an insider’s look at some of the less salutary aspects of the music industry. Pop-music aficionados will be delighted. --Michael Cart
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Top customer reviews
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- The story is quite plot-driven, making it an interesting read. The book is set up by tour stop, moving from LA to the New York eventually
- The relationship between Jonny, and his mother, Jane, seems to be what I'd imagine it to be when a parent has taken control of their child's career. She wants to the best for him, but she also wants the best for her business... which just so happens to be her child...
- Getting into Jonny's psyche and seeing his struggle between wanting fame and a regular childhood makes him a very sympathetic character. You have to wonder how many of these poor child stars are absolutely miserable and feel forced into their insane schedules.
- My favorite character was definitely the bodyguard Walter, the most down-to-earth character in the novel. He genuinely cared for Jonny, protecting him from dangers and trying to give him some tidbits of normalcy.
- I thought the "find my father" subplot was weakly developed.
- The book lacks the depth it could have; at times I thought this on-the-surface aspect was actually a trick, that the reader had to look further to really see the depth. And all I came up with was poor little rich pop singer kid who doesn't know his dad, may want a chance at a regular life, and has a mom with some serious issues. I can get that in an E! Special or in an issue of People.
I think is in a great airport of beach read- definitely entertaining with some really great parts, but as a whole it may not live quite up to the hype.
Most recent customer reviews
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.Read more