THE LOVE SONG OF JONNY VALENTINE by Teddy Wayne (is my Boyfriend)Posted: March 5, 2013
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT:
You guys I haven’t had a honest-to-goodness Book Boyfriend in forever! I’ve been dating so many woman books this 2013! This blog shouldn’t even be called “Books are my Boyfriends” anymore, it should called “Books are my Isle of Lesbos.”
But I finally have a book for you with a penis! It’s an eleven year old penis. Well, an eleven-almost-twelve year old penis. I know, grossest. But it’s a penis that belongs to a Justin-Bieber-like pop star. So… less grossest?
The novel is a roman a clef of the aformentioned Bieber doppelganger as he wends his way through the national tour of his second album (the final stop, like Justin’s tour in the documentary Never Say Never, is Madison “Omigod” Square ” Nine Year Old Girls Screaming Everywhere” Garden.) (I have never seen this documentary.) (Just kidding, it’s on Netflix Instant so I’ve seen it two and a half times.)
Jonny narrates the adventures and misadventures of the tour for us. We become intimate with his manager/mom (okay, fine, I know the word is “momager” I’ve read US Weekly before), his bodyguard, tutor, vocal/dance coach, the Selena Gomez-like Disney tweenybopper with whom he is finagled into a fake relationship, and so on and so forth.
There’s a couple of story threads running through: Jonny’s second album isn’t doing as well as his first and there’s a lot of pressure to make this tour work so the label doesn’t drop him, Jonny attempts to reconnect with his long-lost father, Jonny tries to successfully masturbate (he’s got the beginning and middle part down fine, it’s getting to the end that provides the arc for this subplot, which somehow manages to be the ickiest/sweetest thing, it’s okay, the emotional logic on this one bewilders me too.)
In the end the book is a character study of a boy who is way too young (see “The Great Masturbation Subplot of 2013) and way too old (he talks about calorie intake and record sales like a middle-aged suit) and it’s the incongruity that makes him such a treasure of a narrator. He’s maddeningly arrogant, heartbreakingly insecure, steps-of-the-swimming-pool shallow, and what-the-fucking-fuck deep, all inside one little person who doesn’t even have any pubic hair yet (okay, by the time the book ends he’s got one, I will not begrudge Mr. Valentine his one pubic hair.)
I think the last few pages wrap up a little quick. It was the only section of the book I didn’t quite believe, but I don’t want to spoil why for those who haven’t read. The end didn’t RUIN the book for me, it just didn’t feel like the right stopping place for the character I had come to know/be teenage-girl obsessed with
One of my favorite book bloggers/book friends Rebecca Schinsky called it in December when she deemed the novel “fanfuckingtastic.” It’s true, it is. Get a copy and be screaming Madison Square Garden twelve-year-old fangirls like us!
WHAT KIND OF BOYFRIEND IS HE? What kind of boyfriend do you THINK a Justin-Bieber-everything-alike is?
MY DATE WITH “THE LOVE SONG OF JONNY VALENTINE”
I try not to Kim-Macafee-in-Bye-Bye-Birdie faint in front of him.