Author: Paige Toon
Publish date:4th September 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
There is a reason I return time and again to Paige Toon books, the characters and the stories she tells are intriguing and take me out of my own world and into another taking me on a journey from the first to the last sentence. I feel like I have been exported into the pages, living the lives of the characters seeing and feeling everything thing they are, being enticed page after page before I know it hours have passed and I have finished the book saddened that it has come to an end but smiling because I adored it.
I was delighted to know that there are 5 books and one short e-book to these characters stories, plus a short story on hidden pages, the first being Johnny be good, I read book after book before I knew it I had finished all 6.
Johnny be good
Meg Stiles is a pop music fan through and through, she loves nothing more than to singing along (really badly) to Kylie which it makes it all the more funny when she goes to work for the rock god Johnny Jefferson as his PA in the glossy and magical Los Angeles.
Going from a PA for an architect firm to a rock star with piercing green eyes who is extremely hot, well-known ladies man who can’t say no to sex, drugs and rock and roll, Meg doesn’t know what she has let herself in for or how it is going to change her life and her heart forever.
There is light and shade to this story, Meg has stepped into a whole new world, there is tall palm trees lining the streets of Beverly hills, the glitz and glamor of film premiers getting to meet film and music stars she has only ever seen in magazines and films, getting papped by photographers on the back of Johnny’s motor bike, living in Johnny’s exquisite mansion in the hills with its breathtaking views of Los Angeles. A world her friends would only dream of and wish they were in her shoes, LA LA land isn’t plan sailing, there are down sides to this new life for Meg they are dark and heart breaking. The rock and roll life that Johnny leads, Meg has been thrown into is littered with alcohol, drugs and the man she is in love with is self-destructive only she can help him.
The stories draw me to read Paige’s books but mostly its the characters that keep me reading. The characters in this book had me at the very beginning, Meg is a normal girl, who works for an architect firm as a PA, her boss offers her services to Johnny’s lawyer when he is desperate to get Johnny a new PA. Within days Meg has turned her life on its axis, the girl who leaves her life and friends behind in London isn’t the same girl who would return 6 months later. From the very first page you know Meg is a total sweetheart even if she can’t sing, she is a great friend and amazing at her job, she was always the girl to go for the good guys, bad guys never entered her radar that was until she meet Johnny.
I went through stages of how I saw Meg first she was naive to the hollywood world, everything was new and shiny to her in owe of her extraordinary surroundings wanting to show her friends back home the most amazing place her life had taken her too. Falling for Johnny Meg changed, completely understandable after what he put her through. she became stronger though, at some points I wish she would have given up on him I understood why she couldn’t. she got a glimpse of the good guy he was, they shared special moments though some were fleeting they were real, she clung on to them in the dark times, holding onto the man she knew he really was and his true feeling for her. There was a string attached from her heart to his, no mater how far she went she couldn’t break it, she was tethered to him, her heart being pulled and distorted but could it heal and repair its self when those words she always wanted to hear finally came I LOVE YOU MEG?
Johnny Johnny Johnny you defiantly live up to the rock god image, sexy, talented but screwed up. his character was a journey in its self, what he goes through in just the first book is mind-blowing and you just want to slap him to sort himself out. he’s so complex and has been through a lot in his life, he has people surrounding him that want him to keep making money and Meg is the first person who has actually saved him money (you’ll get that when you read the book) .she doesn’t care about his career how famous he is and you can see he appreciates that through the story but doesn’t want her getting to close. You see he fell for her from the moment he met her, when she was lounging at his poolside in her boring black bikini, for Johnny Meg was his good girl who was untainted by the life he leads and didn’t want to taint and corrupt her or anyone else to. He couldn’t admit his feelings to himself for her untill it was too late, till he did the unthinkable and could he come back from doing the thing that hurt Meg the most, could he win his girl back?
Johnny made me feel physically sick and dirty reading at what he did to himself the states he got himself into, doing lines of cocaine being done in hotel rooms, him falling asleep in his own vomit surrounded by naked woman he had picked up in random places. going off the rails for the second time and Meg having to rescue him from himself, taking him to a remote cottage to try to save him from the destructive dangerous path he was on.I was scared for him, the words on the pages made you connect with his character and see addiction from the addicts point of view and the person behind the addiction. there is a long road for Johnny, just when you think you have sussed him out and he is on the right path you take you on a detour.You are left wondering are you seriously ever going to sort yourself out for good or will he just be another washed up rock star taken before his time.
Christian is the light to Johnny’s dark , he is Johnny’s best friend from childhood they have been through a lot together and he comes in and out of the story as he is writing Johnny’s biography. I like the relationship with the 3 of them they are a trio, a great little friendship when they are together there is humour to the story. he is the sweet guy that Meg normally goes for, he is by Megs side supporting and caring for her. He is always there to catch Meg when Johnny has hurt her, protecting her heart but he can’t stop it from wanting what it wants and the inevitable hurt it is going to be caused. He sees what is coming for Meg, he has seen it time again and he likes Meg and falling for her too. Will the nice guy and a sugar addict just like her win Megs heart?
There are extremely dark, episodes in this story, how Paige wrote about the tour was so detailed and you can see the sights Meg is seeing and feeling, like you are there with her witnessing the self-destructive mission Johnny is on. you see him vulnerable, and its sad to see after getting to know him seeing his potential, his talent he is and then him doing that to himself you think is Meg is going to keep getting hurt in the process of trying to save him, can she save him?
There are some real characters in this book that make is well-rounded adding laughter and lightness and sassiness to the story. One being Bess Megs best friend we get to see her a little more in the second installment baby be mine, Serengeti Knight Johnny’s actress girlfriend who off-screen isn’t very nice and has the typical LA girl yappy dog in tow, Rosa the cook who is a sweet loveable lady you just want to have a big hug off of her, Santiago the gardener/pool guy the cutie that Meg strikes up a friendship with that makes Johnny jealous. Meg meets a new friend in Kitty another celebrity PA for an older actor, they check out the LA scene getting dressed up to experience the glamorous side to LA, they understand each others lifestyle where as time goes on Meg becomes distant from her friends back home as she can’t open up because of her contract making her isolated from her old life even more as times goes by.There are so many characters that make this book so entertaining to read, Paige always has amazing characters you take to your heart whether you love or hate them.
My favourite part of the book was the cottage, Meg trying to save Johnny from himself I laughed at the rock star doing puzzles in the small cottage in the middle of nowhere, taken away from his out of control life by someone who cared for him the person not the artist. those scenes were lovely to read.
Johnny be good is just the start of the adventure that is Johnny and Meg, this isn’t a simple story, or a pretty one, when you think the darkness has seen the light, the switch gets turned off again. there is though lightness to balance out the shade there is always love, adventures and laughter reviews coming of the next instalment of this story.
A must read I’ve read it twice already.