family, duty, and the truth | everyone wants to know by kelly loy gilbert

by - 6:00 AM

Kelly Loy Gilbert's newest novel Everyone Wants to Know is a reflective deep dive into the digital world and the constant need for perfection. We get to see the toxicity of the Internet as well as the repercussions of fame through the lens of the Lo family. Honor, as one of the younger Los, has stayed relatively away from the spotlight and been content with participating in her family’s social media fame from the sidelines. With her family as her anchor and her friends by her side, being in the public’s spotlight is manageable. But secrets are soon revealed and Honor finds herself struggling to keep everyone and everything together.

 isbn: 978-1665901369 pages: 374
       publication date: June 13, 2023 | source: physical / tour
      genre: young adult, contemporary, family drama
     rating: 6.8/10

     A M A Z O N    |    G O O D R E A D S    
       B O O K S H O P *    |    B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S
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Someone explain to me how Kelly Loy Gilbert manages to hurt me every single time with her stories and how she manages to simultaneously make me feel seen through her characters despite having different backgrounds? This novel is truly the definition of Internet toxicity and we get to see firsthand how horribly nosy and entitled people can feel when protected by a digital screen. From the fans who claim to support the family, to the haters who are just looking for any sign of weakness to exploit, it really says a lot about our current culture and its dependence on being entertained by others.

I wish I had the time to go a whole deep dive and analyze how being in the spotlight has affected each Lo sibling and how they’ve internalized it, but we’d honestly be here for forever. In short, this family is both supportive and incredibly toxic towards each other and the author captures that dynamic perfectly. While the argument could be made that everyone is just trying their best, it’s fascinating to see the how each family member contributes to feeding the flames of the internet’s narratives. Seeing each of her siblings through Honor’s POV also reveals her desperate need to keep her family together. I loved being part of her journey as she discovers what being a Lo meant to her and how to develop her own moral compass when it comes to dealing with the Internet.

With the aftermath of her friends’ betrayal, Honor spends a lot of novel in a very isolating mindset and her connection with Caden  becomes a sort of beacon. They both are coming from a place of distrust towards the world and slowly realize through each other the gentle reprieve that comes from finding someone to be vulnerable with. I’m honestly a bit conflicted because while I love that we got to really focus on family, I also wanted more page time for Caden and all the others at Saint Simeon. With Caden, Honor finds a space to process her life and all the trauma her family has heaped onto her and Kelly Loy Gilbert’s writing just draws you into her inner turmoil. It’s painful but so cathartic because once again, the author has written a character who so scarily mirrors part of me that I did multiple double takes while reading.

With her fourth novel, Kelly Loy Gilbert establishes herself as a masterful storyteller in creating incredibly real narratives that show the process of real growth. With a fully intended pun, I left this book feeling honored to be part of Honor’s journey and it gave me hope in one day confronting some of my own unprocessed emotions. Everyone Wants to Know is a novel that follows the influence of family versus media and the journey of carving a space for yourself in the narrative of a digital world. 

images sourced from unpexels

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