No Spoiler Book Review
This book was the Goodreads Choice Winner for 2019 Memoirs. While I have been reading more memoirs, I don’t typically watch reality TV, so I didn’t know who Jonathan Van Ness was. I didn’t even know that they had rebooted Queer Eye! I was looking for something light and funny and this seemed to fit the bill. Plus it was available on audio from my library, score!
What I love about this book is that Jonathan Van Ness (JVN) is so positive! This book is crammed full of inspirational and body positivity quotes. I love how JVN is unapologetically original and completely himself. If you are looking for a positivity boost, this is for you!
His story is interesting and sometimes dark, but he acknowledges the dark without dwelling on it. Even when he is talking about addiction and HIV, he still manages to maintain the (mostly) light tone of his book. He’s in no way making fun of these topics, he just makes it easier to listen to. You cannot see the light without the dark, right?
A lot of memoirs are just a simple retelling of events from someone’s life. Over the Top has these added layers in the story that make it laugh out loud funny! Apparently JVN has a lifelong OBSESSION with the Olympics. This book doesn’t go four minutes without a ridiculous Olympics metaphor. He also changed all of the names in the book to Russian aliases, which continually caught me off guard. These comedic threads really tied the whole book together hilariously.
This book will appeal to fans of VERY personal memoirs. If you are sensitive to over-sharers, this is not the book for you. If you are interested in learning more about LGBTQ community, the Olympics, Hairdressing or the show Queer Eye, this is a good choice. People looking for inspiration, might find it in this uplifting book. If this sounds like something you might like, you may also enjoy We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey.
The truth is, it hasn’t always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy.
Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye , Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma - yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.
Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’re strong, and you’ve got this.
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