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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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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

9 people found this helpful

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Fabulously honest

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

7 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

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

3 people found this helpful

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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 ❤️

3 people found this helpful

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Much more than I expected.

I loved this book. I was expecting it to be funny as I love Jonathan on QE but I was not expecting such raw honesty and to be moved as much as I was.

What a lovely, brave and good man x

2 people found this helpful

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Jonathan is an icon of our time

I am not sure if it is the timing of this book that makes it so brilliant or the stories within it. The past year has felt like going from one struggle to another and I could not help but feel lifted listening to Jonathan talk so passionately about his loves, his hates, his life, and everything that led up to where he is now: a place of self-love. Jonathan took us on a journey through the dark places he has been, he was vulnerable and showed us his failures. His approach was honest and I thank him for sharing his story, I gained so much listening to this. As someone who has been through trauma, Jonathan gave me new perspective in such a beautiful way.

Stay fabulous JVN x

1 person found this helpful

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Darker than I expected; as funny as I expected!

I love Jonathan on Quee Eye and this book basically makes you feel like you are spending hours in his bubbly, life-affirming company. It was a lot more moving than I expected, with some really heart-wrenching moments and enlightening passages. I think bullied youngsters would benefit immensely from this book, such an inspiring story but also a light, funny read.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book - really honest

I really enjoyed hearing Jonathan's story, in his own words. It is moving and honest. Really great read.

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it is an important book for deeper understanding

when I was growing up, no one in my community was gay (or openly so) - and I had no met gay people until after 25 years old. so, when people are over the top, my subconscious thought it "why wouldn't you just behave normal, you'd likely be more accepted", until a gay friend of mine spoke of the struggles one goes through as a gay person, the unacceptance and pervasive doubt about self worth creates all sorts of coping behaviours that make things worth, but given the cards that are dealt, are inevitable. I love Jonathan's open and honest recollection of his path, back all the way to his childhood, as this truly gave me an understanding and a deeper level of empathy. this understanding truly makes me question, how could anyone treat a gay person differently, knowing how much suffering such unacceptance will cause? how likely it is to mess with their life?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-19

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-09-20

Uplifting and funny

I truly liked the book - audio format was the best choice for me as it felt like JvN was literally telling his story to me on my couch! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.. and reminding that there is always place for self love.

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  • 1drwoman
  • 14-07-20

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
  • 08-02-20

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
  • 05-11-19

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
  • 22-10-19

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
  • 19-10-19

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
  • 11-10-19

wow

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