Johnny be Good by Paige Toon
|Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: A great, engaging story about a young PA to the stars, swept off her feet in her first job in Hollywood. Think sun, swimming pools and some sexy thoughts.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: June 2008|
|Publisher: Pocket Books|
Johhny Be Good is the second release from Paige Toon, who had a hit last summer with Lucy In The Sky, and it's a really enjoyable read like the first. In fact, I grabbed it in a 30 second dash through an airport bookshop on the basis that I'd really enjoyed her first book.
Meg is a 20-something living in London, enjoying her job as a PA. However when her boss has a business dinner with some friends, everything changes. Johnny Jefferson, the British bad boy of music needs a new assistant, and she's just recommended Meg for the job. Within days, Meg is flying out to LA where Johnny now lives, and trying to come to terms with life in the shadow of one of the beautiful, famous people.
Life's a bit different in La La Land, and Meg soon finds out that in addition to her old duties of organising meetings and co-ordinating diaries, she now has to monitor her boss' drug and alcohol intake, keep track of his overnight visitors and deal with the guy writing his biography, an old friend from England. Well this one at least she can deal with – he's a nice, down to Earth guy, and one of Johnny's oldest friends – but the others push her to the limit at times. LA is no normal place to work. Everywhere Meg turns there are paparazzi harassing her (as she drives one of Johnny's cars), ex-conquests of his stalking her, tabloid gossips to contend with, and a massive rumour mill even within the music/acting community. Still, with a boss that attractive it's hard to say no, and when he relaxes around her and starts to show the real him, well then she's really in trouble. Could Meg, the girl who didn't even know much about her superstar boss when she started, and who prefers Kylie actually be falling for this bad boy?
This is one of the best books I've read in ages, and one of my favourite airport reads. The author works at Heat magazine which is probably a great source of inside knowledge on the industry, and the writing, like the magazine's style, is casual and upbeat, without being annoyingly colloquial. It is such an easy, satisfying read it's hard to put down and it took me back to my days of reading in lifts and in the metro and even when climbing stairs, just to snatch a few more minutes with the characters. I loved Meg to the extent that I thought we could be friends in an instant if we ever met, and Johnny and Christian had a great Hugh Grant vs. Colin Firth Bridget Jones thing going on. Some of the other characters were less developed – like Bess, her old BFF in London, and Serengeti who enters and leaves the story in a whirlwind of emotion and dog-poo – but not to the extent that it damages the story.
The ending is a little abrupt, but it still liked it. It also was not what I was expecting – I foresaw two options, but this was a different third one that came out of no-where. My only word of warning for people like me who take books everywhere, is that in the current paperback release, the story finishes about 30 pages before the end of the book, and is followed by an extract from her earlier novel, Lucy In The Sky. Having read this one a couple of times, I didn't really want to read the sneak-peak they include, but I had to since I had budgeted on the book being a good few pages longer than it was when I went out with it. (It was either that or not read while sitting alone in Mexican Starbucks – puh-lease).
This book would appeal to fans of easy reading books with fun characters, like the Shopaholic series, while if it's more on life in La La Land that you're after, you might enjoy a different journalist-come-author's take on it, The Motherhood Walk of Fame by Shari Low.
You can read more book reviews or buy Johnny be Good by Paige Toon at Amazon.com.
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I read this a while ago and loved it, Paige Toon definitely has a flair for chick-lit! It was a very enjoyable read, as was your review.