Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

Over the Top

‘Over The Top [is] a lightning bolt – devastating and stirring … generous and frank.’ The Guardian 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 ...

Details Over the Top

TitleOver the Top
Release DateSep 24th, 2019
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Audiobook, LGBT, Biography

Reviews Over the Top

  • Cindy Pham
    I really appreciate hearing the stories of admirable people like Jonathan who have been through so much trauma and hardship and still come out of it fiercely positive and kind - not just to others but to themselves. The book is written in a conversational style that might be off-putting to people who arent familiar with JVN, but I think it helped show their personality if you have seen them from Queer Eye. Jonathan sheds light on the trauma that ...
  • Laura
    JVN is not a writer. He is a personality. I suspicioned this going into the memoir and feel even more sure of that now. His voice does not translate to the page well: The tangents and analogies that I usually find engaging when he speaks come across as tedious and clumsy here, likely because they are not visually demarcated in any way (i.e. for the love of Michelle Kwan, just use fucking footnotes). He tells rather than shows. He preaches about t...
  • Karin-Isabella O'Connor
    Fabulous book. Honest, raw, funny and heartbreaking. This won't be the last time I read this book. I feel the need to watch the Queer Eye series from the beginning again now. Jonathan Van Ness is such a Beautiful Soul.
  • Kevin (Irish Reader)
    This made me cry with laughter and cry with sympathy all in the same chapterCW: homophobia, sexual assault, depression, suicidal thoughts, deathI loved this biography so much! Ive been a fan of Jonathan since season 1 of Queer Eye and Ive always wanted to hear their story. This book lived up to my expectations and then some more. I didnt expect to feel so seen and resonate with so many of the topics discussed in this book. It made me laugh, made ...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    CW: sexual abuse, drug use, eating disorders, toxic relationships, sex addiction, cancer, death of a loved one, homophobia, bullying, and HIVToday, I took the day off my practicum because I needed a mental health day. So, I decided to pick up some library books that I need to read. This was one of them. I sat there and read it in a few hours. One sitting. Just read it straight through.This is amazing.It's a deep and heartfelt look at Jonathan Van...
  • Johann (jobis89)
    "Its not gonna be pretty, but its my truth, and if I dont share it, I wont be able to help others who are struggs to func."In Over the Top, Jonathan Van Ness uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-care and acceptance that Jonathan is today.Fans of Queer Eye will LOVE this one! There is so much more to JVN than meets the eye, and in this memoir he opens up about all of his parts. It's raw and unflinching, as he ...
  • Emily
    Jonathan Van Ness has written the best of the Queer Eye books and it is SO GOOD 🙌 Hes the only one of the four who have books out now who didnt use a ghost writer. I felt Karamo and Tans books were sanitized and felt fake, but Jonathans is overflowing with realness.He speaks frankly about some seriously hard shit in his life, including being sexually assaulted as a child, bullying, dropping out of college, working as an escort, developing a se...
  • Diane
    Oh, what a sweet memoir this is. I'm a fan of the Netflix show "Queer Eye," and Jonathan Van Ness is one of my favorite people on it. JVN's memoir is filled with both funny and sad stories, all told with his signature flair and charm. I listened to "Over the Top" on audio, read by JVN himself, and if you're a fan of his I highly recommend this performance. His energy is infectious, and he manages to write about his traumatic experiences with grac...
  • Jessica Jeffers
    I do not read a lot of celebrity memoirs, but this one is a must for anyone who is a Queer Eye fan or, really, anyone who has gone through a trauma. The self-help aspects of this book are infused with actual therapeutic principles not just buzzwords and "cheer up" nonsense -- he actually brings up a lot of the stuff that I've talked about with my own therapist as I've been working to process my own long-simmering trauma. Plus, he reads the audiob...
  • Jonathan
    I dont know, it just makes me happy that this guy exists. I have had a rough couple of years mental-health wise, and queer eye, and JVN in particular, have consistently brought happy tears and smiles. There is something about his energy that inspires me to be less of a misery-guts. Which is a good thing. As for the book - well it is not exactly literary genius, but that is not the point. It is his voice, and certainly not polished by a ghost writ...
  • R.K. Gold
    Listened to the audiobook on a road trip I highly recommend the audiobook since the author narrates it. If you like a narrator who doesnt hide their personality and is open to sharing the lowest and highest points of their life with a mixture of humor and a promise of optimism youll love this book.To answer the question asked at the start of the book, would I love you if I knew everything youve been through-YES! Listened to the audiobook on a r...
  • Lilith Black
    DNF at 50%As much as I love Jonathan with all my heart, I had to DNF this simply because the audio doesn't work for me. It's not at all about him, it's my inability to listen to audiobooks. I have thought that listening to this one would be helpful, but no, now I know for sure that I can't listen to audiobooks... If there will be a printed version of it (from what I know just the audio was available on scribd) I will DEFINITELY pick it up because...
  • Pantelis Andreou
    Jonathan Van Ness is life! This book is life!Genuinely funny, extremely heartfelt & heartbreaking at the same time!For gods love just read it! I hope one day to listen to the audiobook as well!Keep slaying queen!!! Jonathan Van Ness is life! This book is life!Genuinely funny, extremely heartfelt & heartbreaking at the same time!For god’s love just read it! I hope one day to listen to the audiobook as well!Keep slaying queen!!!
  • Katey Moore
    I listened to the audiobook version of this book and it felt very much like Jonathan was reading a report. The style felt very forced. I love him to death, but it was not an easy book to listen to. The book itself was also kind of confusing-- like 1/2 memoir, 1/4 self-help 1/4 advocacy. I am glad I read it because I LOVE JVN and I appreciate the look into his darkest secrets and I am glad to know more about being HIV positive and the stigma peopl...
  • Janine
    4.5 stars, rounded up.After a really disappointing experience with Tan's book (I still love you Tan, I just struggled with your book - sorry!), I was so hesitant with this one. I didn't want anything to ruin the GORGEOUS view I have of JVN. I am happy to report this did not at all disappoint. It's such an honest, vulnerable, well-written book, and I'm so glad he was brave enough to share his story. I think what is most remarkable about it is how ...
  • Pam Faste aka Peejakers
    JVN tells his story in a rambling, sometimes slightly uneven way, but I not only really enjoyed this, I got a lot out of it on a personal level, in a serious kind of way. He is, of course, OTT AF in all the ways, what else? And irrepressibly loquacious, endearingly goofy, often hilarious, gloriously queer and nonbinary, and just, in every other way, unapologetically his own beautiful self.  And I appreciate the way he doesn't present a curated v...
  • *mk*
    This book will both break your heart and inspire you. Van Ness talks about their childhood and adulthood, both the good and the not-so-good, with their signature voice and energy and positive attitude. It was heartbreaking reading about the challenges they have faced and continues to face to this day, especially when you read it in the JVN voice, which is so prevalent here. I recommend this to anyone who has suffered through some kind of addictio...
  • Brittany
    Oops I read the whole book today 💁♀ it was beyond amazing Oops I read the whole book today 💁🏽‍♀️ it was beyond amazing
  • Kelly
    Funny, heart breaking, very real look at jvn. I love him even more. I felt how badly his step fathers death hurt his family, I pictured a little jack performing floor routines and smiled, the audio version is awesome.
  • Rick
    A truly remarkable memoir, especially from someone so young. A lot of wisdom and courage here we can all use as an example for how to be our most authentic selves.
  • Celine
    I love and admire Jonathan Van Ness so much, I don't really have much to say because this book was just so raw and dealt with a lot of heavy-yet-important topics, and uff. Really, no words, just love and admiration.
  • Taylor
    4.5 Jonathans story was such a harrowing and inspiring one. Like, Im sitting on my bathroom floor with tears in my eyes because of this book. I loved it!!RTC. 4.5 Jonathan’s story was such a harrowing and inspiring one. Like, I’m sitting on my bathroom floor with tears in my eyes because of this book. I loved it!!RTC.
  • Nikki Stafinski
    If you're planning on reading this, I highly suggest you listen to the audio version that's read by JVN himself. Hearing him tell his own story in his own voice truly makes the experience. I've always loved Queer Eye, and Jonathon was always my favorite-- as he is many people's fav because of his upbeat, bubbly, and sweet personality. So hearing about where he came from, the hardships and struggles he faced, and how he overcame his demons to beco...
  • Stephanie Gillespie
    I hope culturally we can continue to normalise the idea that being a survivor is so much more common than anyone realizesIt is not a secret that I am a huge fan of the queen that is JVN, so of course I was going to pick up god memoire. Over the Top shows all the pain and passion that JVN went through to become who he is today. It is raw, honest and incredibly real. This book has a lot of trigger warnings such as child abuse, drug and sex addictio...
  • Kristin Garrett
    The answer to your question, JVN, is yes. I do still love you, on a deeper level. Im happy about that.I honestly shouldnt be reviewing this, as I rarely enjoy non-fiction so this book wasnt my jam from the start. But JVN is so I gave it a shot. My only issue is there were points that felt... rambling. And it read a bit like stream of consciousness than really well organized thought. I listened to the audiobook, and if my attention drifted for a s...
  • Mellie Antoinette
    This is a #blameitonlitsy find, as Id never heard of JVN, and...She is ADORABLE!! Ironic the core question at the heart of this memoir is, would you still love me if you knew all my parts? I have no idea, Jackie, who are you?!? Mystery solved - love, squish, whole 9 yards!
  • Kazia
    I love JVN so much and I love this audiobook so much. Also Im really proud of him for slowing down his speech pattern when narrating! I love JVN so much and I love this audiobook so much. Also I’m really proud of him for slowing down his speech pattern when narrating!
  • Jenny Bunting
    Like the human who wrote this, I love it.