Newest Review: ... Soon her life is all movie premieres, driving Porches and hanging out with other celebrity PA's. However the LA lifestyle is a lot di... more
This Be a Good Book
Johnny Be Good - Paige Toon
Member Name: Lbird99
Johnny Be Good - Paige Toon
Advantages: Unpredictable, Great Characterisation
Disadvantages: None for Me!
I got Johnny Be Good ages ago from Read It Swap It after reading Paige Toon's debut novel Lucy in the Sky. I put it on my bookshelf and then forgot all about it until I read a great review from a fellow dooyooer, and decided to dig it out!!
Meg Stiles is working as a PA to an architect in London, when her boss recommends her to be the PA of wild boy rock god Johnny Jefferson. After all she has never seen what all the fuss is about with Johnny, and he has a gorgeous celebrity girlfriend anyway, so falling for the boss is not going to be a problem. Despite his last PA mysteriously resigning after only 8 months, Meg is confident that she can handle the job. A week later she has flown out to LA and is lounging round the pool of his mansion, awaiting the arrival of her new boss. Soon her life is all movie premieres, driving Porches and hanging out with other celebrity PA's. However the LA lifestyle is a lot different to her old London life and Johnny is a lot harder to manage. Luckily she has Christian, Johnny's best mate and writer of his biography, around to keep her grounded and sane. But will she succumb to the rock god's charms, and will Johnny's lifestyle turn Meg's American dream into a nightmare.
I read this book over a couple of nights, and found once I got into it I just could not put it down. The book is written in the first person narrative from Meg's perspective, which means you really get to know her as a character. I normally prefer third person narrative as I feel that you get a better feel for a range of characters, but felt that first person was absolutely the way to go with this. Although the book is not diarised you feel like a voyeur on her life, seeing tinsel town through her eyes and all the perks and drawbacks that the celebrity lifestyle has to offer.The style is quite chatty and feels like a story being told by a friend. Meg is down to earth and likeable, and although she is quite naive at times, that can be forgiven by the extremity of the situations she was exposed to.
Despite myself I found myself warming to Johnny too - ok most of his demons were bought upon himself but there was something very raw and honest about him, that when he shows a vulnerable side you just want to give him a cuddle!! Christian comes across as the solid reliable good guy, the angel to Johnny's devil, and his obsession with sweets made me smile! I like the way that Paige Toon really brings her characters to life, and makes sure that even a minor character is three dimensional. I really liked Rosa, Johnny's house keeper, and Kitty - another celebrity PA.
The thing I really liked about this book is it is not as predictable and straight forward as I expected. The loud pink and blue cover screamed holiday read, and I already had preconceptions on how it was going to end by about 30 pages in. However, although there were tiny elements of predictability, I am very pleased to say it didn't go the way I thought it would. In fact the epilogue caused me to gasp out loud! I was slightly disappointed at the end, but only because I desperately didn't want it to end so I guess that is a good thing!!
As I mentioned, I got this in exchange for another book, but if you wanted to buy it then you can get it new on Amazon for £4.86, or £2.76 used. As the book is over two years old, you should be able to pick it up cheaply in charity shops etc.
Summary: Fab Chick Lit!