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Summary

A mesmeric, harrowing and uplifting childhood memoir that will open up much-needed conversations about identity and mental health.

It was an ordinary day in 2016. In Gatwick Airport, Jonathan and his wife, Anna, were having breakfast with their two little children while waiting for their flight to be called. And then it happened, a familiar sensation that Jonathan hadn't had for decades: an out-of-body experience that transported him to another place, the safe place he used to escape to in his mind when he was a boy.

Because growing up in conservative 1980s Dublin, where there was little tolerance for children who were 'different', Jonathan Joly was, indeed, a different sort of child: creative, expressive and - on the inside - a girl. The limitations of the people around him to understand his differences led to years of tyrannical bullying and abuse, forcing him to withdraw within himself to the point of clinical absence. His only chance for survival was the inner world he created for himself, rich with loving and supportive friends and playmates, that only he could see. Jonathan's invisible friends were his lifeline, and on that day at the airport, they came flooding back and have remained with him to this day.

This extraordinary childhood memoir is not only an important, thought-provoking and exhilarating listen, it gives hope and community for all those who have ever felt 'other' and proves how vital it is to provide children with the safe space to be themselves.

In All My Friends Are Invisible, Jonathan Joly, known widely as one of social media's most successful content creators, shares the secret he's kept hidden these many years. He shows the beautiful world he retreated to time and time again when life was unbearable for his 'skin machine'. Most importantly, he introduces us to his invisible friends, and in so doing you may be transported back to the friends you had as a child that no one else could see, and who may have saved you, too.

When you find yourself living in a world that doesn't understand you, and you lack any connection to anyone or any place, you are faced with few options. You can choose to leave this world and hope whatever lies beyond ends up being better, or you can create your own. It will require grit, hardship, pain and suffering, but the rewards will be great, and the journey will be greater, and the adventures will be endless. So, at a very young age and faced with these options, I chose the latter.

©2022 Little Squid Media Unlimited Company (P)2022 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about All My Friends Are Invisible

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An interesting story that blurs many lines

This book claims to be a memoir, but reads/listens more like a childs fiction book. The overuse of adjectives in describing minor details and settings seems out of place and not blended in with the overall flow of the story. At times throughout, it is difficult to understand whether the Gazelle character is an invisible friend, or a whole new persona for the author in this invisible world.

8 people found this helpful

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Hugely disappointing

I have watched saconnejoly since before emelia was born love the family. When Jonathan did his "coming out" video of course with all the constant hype I was interested to hear what was coming. And it was this book. Naturally Jonathan got alot of heat from people who have struggled to come out to there peers and have suffered homophibic terror. But Jonathan isn't gay he says, nor transgender or a girl!! Anyway I have the audio free thankfully because I wouldn't waste the money. You first off feel for him his family life was turbulence with domestic arguments through his parents. He has to do things he doesn't like, haven't we all!!. It jumps all over the place but doesn't explain about his journey. Loads of kids have imaginery friends and make up thing like domdie. His family was down trodden and poor yet he went to an all boys prestigious school!!. It comes across like Jonathan is writing a fictional story that doesn't have any conclusion, other than drawing people in to buy the book reaping the income but giving no insight or conclusion to what he is or who he suddenly wants to be now his son Eduardo has shown another side to him. Not that he is an adult and a father and on social platforms how does he see himself is he trans, is he a man with a feminine side. Or does he has gender identity issues where he doesn't know who Jonathan is?.

Also how does this public outing of his family and siblings make him feel better. It sounds like his mum and dad are. Monsters they way have been described. Now that this book is out there I am still left like so many other thinking WHY. what did you gain from this apart from income through sales, exploiting your young son, and how humiliating your family, is it fair that they now are going to be exposed to being spotted and potentially abused for your stories. This book isn't going to help many as there was no clarity in it. It doesn't explain its badly written and seems like an eleborate tale. I have said many times since Eduardo expressed his interest in being more girly you jumped on that like yes, now I can use this to my advantage. The constant tiktok, pointing out with a huge finger point saying my son wears dresses, no one had an issue with Eduardos dresses, it's that you his protector his parent were and have continued to use this for your own gain, you see it as supporting your son it's more a case of a man in his 40s having a mental breakdown. You need to seek professional help to deal with it seems some seriously bad issues that are deep routed instead of doing this fictional writing. I'm very sad abd disappointed I feel sorry for Anna and the kids. They deserve more.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautiful, heart wrenching

Just finished listening to Jonathan tell his life story. I’ve been listening on and off all day, eager to listen to the next chapter. Found myself relating to it so much and had actual tears on one certain part too.

And now as a mum I just wanted to help little Jonathan, very heart wrenching. Would definitely recommend!

3 people found this helpful

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An insight into people

I too had invisible friends that helped me cope and I have a son similar to youJonathan.
Thank you for the insight

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Amazing!!! thank you Jonathan!

incredible! thank you for sharing your story! I know this will help a lot of people out there. you should be so proud of what you have created! I'm dyslexic and I really wanted to read your book thank you for making it an audiobook so I can enjoy it!

2 people found this helpful

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A must listen for Sacconejoly fans

This was an interesting listen as a Sacconejoly fan of many many years. It is very interesting to know Jonathan's history and now love the family more for it!

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What a journey!

This book was so interesting and heartbreaking all at the same time. I’ve followed Jonathan and his family via socials for years and it’s hard to even fathom how he’s achieved so much success after such a difficult start in life. Your story has really opened my eyes, thank you for sharing!

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amazing

I loved it, I couldn't stop listening so before I knew it I had listened to the whole book in one sitting.

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Gripping!

It sounds odd to say I really enjoyed listening to this when it’s about such a difficult subject and childhood but Jonathon did an incredible job. So eye opening! I hope this helps a lot of people. Would love more books to go through later life too.

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Excellent

Absolutely heart breaking story of Jonathan's early life. As a long term fan it's been incredible to hear it read by Jonathan.

2 people found this helpful