21 April 2008
Book Review: Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon
Toon has really written another super novel here, with fantastic characters who are so all well written and brilliant, you want to read on and find out more about them! The book is written in the first person in Meg's narrative. This works well within the book, because we are seeing LA from an English person's perspective, so you immediately feel at ease with her and can easily follow her story. Toon has a great writing style which is fantastic for first person, and the natural flow of Meg's story makes a great reading experience, and draws you in to Meg's character and consequently the story.
The character of Johnny was completely over the top and outrageous, but because he is supposedly a "rock-god", this really does work! He's clearly a bad boy, and you can see Meg's attraction to him right from the start, but he is actually a more complicated character than initially appears. His story continues alongside Meg's throughout the book, and the contrast between the two characters makes for a great chemistry and therefore I really enjoyed reading it! Johnny is extremely mad, but he is a fantastic character, and definitely one you love to hate. Christian is the other main character in the book, a fellow English character for Meg (although Johnny is English, he comes across as more American than Meg or Christian), and the most likeable of the group. He is Johnny's best friend from childhood and his happy demeanour and naivety endear you very much to him, and his softness compared to Johnny's brashness throughout the book was picked up on throughout by myself.
The story was really good, and I very much enjoyed the way that the book went all around the world with characters, giving us a really good look at what the life of a PA is like. I liked the way that Paige makes the character of Meg very real and likeable, showing that she is struggling with the job, and hasn't made her too much of a supergirl, able to do it all. Toon has really explored all levels of Meg and Johnny's relationship, and I just wanted to keep reading all the time to see how things were going to change, as they did pretty much every chapter! I also enjoyed the cleverly sly reference to the main characters (Lucy and Nathan)from Toon's debut novel Lucy in the Sky in this book, a very clever tie in for those who notice, and a good sneaky update!
Toon has really tapped into the chick-lit market with gusto once again, and has come up trumps with her second novel, which I can say I thoroughly enjoyed, perhaps a tad more than her debut even! She has an easy to read writing style, a great set of likeable characters in some outrageous circumstances, and a story with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until the end. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the open ending - I would have liked it all wrapped up nicely with a definite ending but Toon has left it quite open and unfinished. Hopefully we'll get a reference to them in Toon's next novel as she did for Lucy in the Sky in this book! I'd still strongly recommend the book to anyone who loves a bit of fun chick-lit, because it's great and so enjoyable!