Jonathan Valentino was just a regular kid from St. Louis who happened to be a good singer. Then, his mom uploaded a couple of videos to YouTube. They went viral, and Jonny Valentine, boy pop star, was born.
Of course, none of these events actually took place — it's the fictional plot of Teddy Wayne's new novel, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine. But Wayne strikes a familiar chord with his story. (Perhaps one taken from a Justin Bieber song.)
Rather than focusing on Jonny's rise to tween idol status, Wayne chronicles what happens after the catapult to fame -- allowing us a glimpse behind the curtain of too-young pop stardom. Jonny, only 11 years old, ends up trapped between the innocence of childhood and the necessary upkeep of his manufactured, pristine image.