Thursday, March 7, 2013

Justin Bieber & Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Posts have been a tad heavy of late here at Newsworthy Novels, what with the Inquisition and sex trafficking and such. So how about some fluff for a change? Something a little light.

Well, you're in luck because Justin Bieber is all over the British press.  For example, here is yesterday's Daily Mail article "Justin Bieber slams critics in Twitter tirade before heading out on the town in London in bizarre gas mask:"
Justin Bieber has launched a Twitter tirade against his critics and told fans he is only judged by one power - God. The 19-year-old singer posted a series of messages to the social networking site speaking out about his partying, relationships and his religion. Justin denied allegations of his recent bad behaviour and said that he didn't have to answer to anyone and wrote: 'im only judged by one power, and i serve him.'... The singer, who was two hours late for his debut concert at the 02 arena, started his rant with the message: 'rumors rumors and more rumors. nothing more nothing less. might talk about them 1 day. rt now im just gonna be positive. cant bring me down'...Justin's rant comes after claims that the reason for Justin's tardiness on Monday was because he threw a 'massive tantrum'. According to backstage sources Justin was in a foul mood after waking up late because of a night out and the 'stroppy youngster locked himself in his dressing room to play computer games'.

(And no, I didn't know what "stroppy" meant either.)

You want a novel on what it's like to be one of the world's biggest pop stars before you're old enough to drive? Enter Teddy Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine:
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.
What caught my eye about the Daily Mail story was that it mentions Twitter, video games, and Bieber trying to hide his face when he goes out, themes which all come up in the first few pages of Wayne's book.  And in an instance of life not sufficiently imitating art, Wayne's fictional teen idol has his Twitter account managed by his mother.

UPDATE:  some well-written, longer reviews of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine are available at The Literary Omnivore and bookreporter.

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