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Book Chats: Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

To answer the obvious question, no, I’ve not been living under a rock. I know the book came out and was devoured by the masses months ago. I actually finished this book a few months back and never got around to typing up my thoughts. Now that I’m in a major blogging mood I figured there was no time like the present to give yall my 2 cents on Over the Top.

Just so its clear from the get-go, I love JVN. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, but I definitely tune into his IG stories every morning to watch him feed his cats sooo….

Over the Top chronicles the life experiences that have molded Jonathan into the person we all adore so much today. He does not hold back, letting us in on some of the darkest moments of this life including molestation, prostitution, drug use, and his HIV+ diagnosis – all the while maintaining a written voice that is 100% authentic to the way he speaks in real life. We all know his voice and his manner of speaking so when you read his words it’s almost as if he’s talking directly to you, telling you his journey.

A celebrity memoir obviously isn’t going to be award winning literature, but I wouldn’t let the fanfare around JVN turn you off from giving this book a chance. Over the Top is really a testament to the JVN’s bravery and his willingness to sacrifice his own privacy if that means helping others feel less alone on their journeys. His sharing of what would conventionally be less-than-flattering parts of himself lets the reader know, “Hey I’ve been through all this shit and I’m still here trying my hardest and thriving so you can too.” Life is messy and JVN doesn’t shy away from those parts. His story, like most of our’s, is not shiny and perfect, and having a celebrity sharing all of their messiness is actually quite refreshing.