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Over the Top

Narrated by: Jonathan Van Ness
Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
5 out of 5 stars (441 ratings)

Non-member price: $21.86

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Publisher's Summary

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 understand why he was so...over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgment, ridicule and trauma - yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.

Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’re strong, and you’ve got this.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Jonathan Van Ness (P)2019 Simon & Schuster UK

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What listeners say about Over the Top

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One of my favourite books!

I absolutely loved this! the rawness, the vulnerability I just adore JVN I was so sad it was over when I finished it I could have listened to this sass queen on my commute every morning hahah what a story. Thank yo so much for having the courage to share your story, it’s so important. I sent this book to so many friends I would defiantly recommend!

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So real and entertaining

JVN didn’t disappoint. Such a raw and real recount of his life and how he overcame his troubled youth to be the inspiring role model he is today! So amazing! Love love love!

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fab u lous!

this book was such an eye opening experience into someone's life. JVN was so open and willing to give the world every part of her self and the world is better for it. we need more people setting examples of self-care. it's not an easy road but we learn from our past (good and bad). you are amazing Jonathan! all the power to you #yasqueen

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Thank you

Brilliantly read, thank you for sharing your story with us...now I love you even more x

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So much better than reading myself!

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and was about to buy it when I realised I had an offer from Audible to use.

Listening to Jonathan tell his story felt like sitting down with a friend. I definitely recommend listening rather than reading.


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Amazing

I got to the end of this book and better and more understanding person. Such an impactful story.

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What a powerhouse and pillar of strength you are Jonathan!

This is raw, honest and authentic AF! Thank you so much for blowing the shit wide open when it comes to STIs, abuse and overall trauma. You are an absolute boss! Words really don’t do you justice...just incredible! I hope one day I get to stand in your presence and experience the joy, energy and love that is Jonathan Van Ness. Bloody gorge!

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Fun, honest, moving!

Stylist and media presenter, JVN, narrates his autobiography with his usual verve and exuberance. As someone with a big personality he never had any chance of hiding the fact that he was gay, so growing up in a midwestern town in the States was always going to be difficult. JVN lays out his his good and bad choices very honestly and with good humour. There are some very serious topics such as body shape, drug use, prostitution, HIV, and workplace bullying, to name a few. What shines through are the messages about self-acceptance, that real beauty comes from within, and that it’s ok to make mistakes. 🎧 JVN’s effervescent delivery is entertaining in itself but you can also hear where he is moved by the harder topics. If you love Queer Eye, you’ll love this.

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Worth it

Such an interesting person, so great to understand him more and see how his hornet began. Wonderful book.

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How to love JVN even more...

What a gorgeous, raw, emotional, empowering read this was.
Hearing the words directly from JVN's mouth made it so much more personal and at times, even harder to hear.
Yes, I sobbed at points but mostly I sat and smiled, responded YES QUEEN several times and hugged myself with the realisation of how much we all need to love on ourselves more and more and more.
I had no idea of his life path prior to reading and my heart explodes with love for little Jack and all he endured.
JVN you continue to inspire me, fill me with joy and give me space to forgive my "not so cute moments". Thank you for sharing.
Love!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-2019

This will be something I listen to over and over

Would I still love JVN if I knew all the parts? I don’t think 5 hours of listening to 32 years worth of story is knowing all the parts, but knowing 5 hours more now than I did a few days ago, I love her so much more!!
If you’ve bought this book you’re already a fan and you will not regret this purchase. She’s spilling the T and will tell you some real shit that you’ll want to remember to help you grow too. So much love!

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  • 1drwoman
  • 14-07-2020

Moved and Love JVN even more now!

I have been a fan since I first laid ears and eyes on this magical unicorn of a man. I knew he must’ve gone through some tough times! Jonathan has such a sweet soul and keeps it real. I didn’t know how deep he would take us into his darkness and then back into the light! This book is the Gay Rocky in my opinion! Such a great listen! And so glad Jonathan reads it and not some poser who couldn’t pull it off!
Thank you for sharing your life lessons, your fears, your humour, your success, and your breakthroughs. Highly recommend. Yass Queen!

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  • Laura Dunn
  • 08-02-2020

Perfect, funny, heart warming, devastating - a real rollercoaster

Hearing Jonathan’s voice read his words made this book. I would have loved it just reading it but this was the PERFECT audio book and perfect narrator! It’s an emotional story from start to finish. I cried, from laughing so hard i nearly peed, from gut wrenching sobbing where I thought I would never stop crying, to warm fuzzy feeling tears of pride. If you want to find out so much more about your favourite queen and queer eye character, you HAVE to listen to this. I feel like me and JVN are BFF’s now I know so much! Haha! I can’t see how anyone would not enjoy this!

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  • Kavya
  • 05-11-2019

Amazing,

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect 🤷🏾‍♀️😂 but I am so glad I decided to pick this up. Such a beautiful and uplifting story. I cried, I laughed, I screamed but most importantly I was deeply loved and touched by this story :) lived and told by a truly beautiful and gorgeous soul 🥰

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-10-2019

Very good

Inspiring book by an inspiring queen.
Some of the anecdotes feel like they are missing vital details.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-10-2019

Loved it!!!

A fabulous treat to hear Jonathan tell his story in his gorgeous voice. Superbly entertains and raw authenticity.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-2019

wow

loved every second! didn't even feel the pass! love that is was you narrating! love you

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  • lizzie
  • 26-09-2019

Fabulously honest

Such an incredible life story. I didn’t think I could love him more, but now I know who I love.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-2020

Conflictingly but delightfully moving & hilarious

What a brutally honest, riveting book. JVN's portrayal of his story in the audiobook version is fantastic and had me laughing out loud at times, brought to tears at others but he manages to walk the tightrope between the two flawlessly. For anyone who's ever felt isolated or misunderstood, this is for you. For everyone else, this is even more so for you. Highly recommended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-05-2020

what a Queen among Queens

as a pansexual and gender non conforming woman who has struggled and continues to battle with lots of mental health issues, this book made me feel like maybe I can learn to like myself. because jvn is my most favourite human being, and if he can hit those lows and still be lovable. maybe I can too.

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  • Jem Gibson
  • 17-10-2019

Brilliant!

This book is so brilliant! Uplifting and super real! Raises important issues but is fast moving and hilarious simultaneously. Well done JVN

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  • Sofia
  • 30-09-2019

So inspirational and eye-opening

I love Jonathan from Queer Eye and was curious to find out more about his life. I honestly didn’t expect to be so inspired to love myself and keep learning how I can be more compassionate towards myself and others. Jonathan is a real modern day hero and everyone should listen to this book as it offers a real insight into the lives of people who are not fully accepted in our society. I am a white straight women but I can relate to everything he said - it’s a human condition to feel insecure and unaccepted. It’s very comforting having listened to his story and I’m so grateful he is being open about these issues. Love you JVN ❤️

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  • Jose Manuel Arrias
  • 15-08-2020

Heartbreaking. Inspiring.

I love him even more now. Truly recommended. Never read/listened to a book that made me sad and happy so many times.

He is a truly incredible human being, despite the good and the bad things.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-08-2020

Would recommend to a friend or anyone to be honest!

Wow, it was raw, beautiful, honest and I loved every second, what a journey! You will laugh and cry, but you won’t be disappointed!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-08-2020

5 stars!

JVN is so brave sharing his story, so well read. I cried and laughed out loud! 100% recommend.

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  • Meg
  • 28-07-2020

Positivity Honest and Beautiful

A truly authentic, raw and real journey, read by a totally open author. Worth a listen, especially if you are a Queer Eye fan!

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 27-07-2020

gets better as it progresses

At first I felt that I would've enjoyed the book more if I was American and was able to relate or at least now what he was talking about when referencing cultural things during his childhood. But the part I enjoyed the most is when he started working in California, to the end of the book. It has made me see Jonathan as a tridimensional real person, and not just a celebrity. It has also given me hope for my life and my journey of self-love, and has inspired me to treat myself with more compassion and patience, and not think that everyone is doing better than me and everyone has better lives than mine.
This has also consolidated my interest in biographies.

The one thing I would've changed is his narration, there were really dramatic moments when I felt his narration should've shown a bit more of emotion.