‘Johnny be Good’ by UK author Paige Toon is one of the best books I have read lately – fast paced and easy to read, it is classic chick-lit. Written from the main character Meg’s point of view, it is in the popular style where you feel as if she is speaking to you casually.
Meg Stiles is a 24 year old Personal Assistant who gets the job anyone would kill for – PA to Johnny Jefferson, hottest rock star in the world. Everyone is over the moon about Meg’s new job – everyone except her. She knows all about his sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle and is really not into the drug scene. She knows little about Johnny besides what she reads in the papers, and feels a little guilty scoring this job that a diehard fan would cut off their right arm for. In fact, when first meeting Johnny, she embarrassingly admits that she prefers Kylie Minogue’s music to his after too many tequilas. It doesn’t take Johnny long to start calling his assistant ‘Nutmeg’, much to her surprise.
Which brings us to the next main character – Johnny Jefferson. At 30, he is the (fictional) biggest star in the world. With sandy blonde hair, green eyes and the silver metal studded belt, he is every mother’s bad boy nightmare personified. Enduring a tough upbringing, incredible talent has carried him far. His motorbike, selection of sports cars and good looks make him irresistible to his groupies. He does have a girlfriend at this point, an actress called Serengeti, but he is still trouble with a capital T. From smaller venues like The Whiskey right through to Wembly stadium, the book takes you on tour with Meg and Johnny which also allows a look into his drinking and drug problems.
Through all this, Meg has to endure watching him try and control his demons and most painful of all, has to watch him with his groupies while her (reluctant) feelings grow for him.
Enter the closest thing Johnny ever had to a brother – his best mate Christian. They have known each other practically all their lives, going to the same school, living in the same street when they were kids. Despite this, we find out their relationship was rocky for a long time when Johnny slept with his girlfriend a few years before. Their mateship now patched up, Christian is writing a tell-all book on his best friend and Meg also finds herself liking him more and more.
No need for a spoiler alert, I won’t give anything away. You will have to read the book to see who, if any, Meg ends up with. The book does build towards a point where Meg has no choice but take things into her own hands to help Johnny kick his addictions. Like his wonderful Mexican cook said: “If I were a bartender I’d have a lot more joy. He likes the booze that one.”
The characters are well drawn, the plot fast moving and easy to read and the ending is perfect. Just make sure you read the sequel – Baby be Mine!