Title: Everyone Wants to Know
Creator: Kelly Loy Gilbert
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Review Copy: ARC via publisher
Summary: This ripped-from-the-tabloids young adult drama by the critically acclaimed author Kelly Loy Gilbert about a girl’s famous-for-being-famous family fracturing from within as their dirty laundry gets exposed.
The Lo family sticks together. That’s what Honor has been told her whole life while growing up in the glare of the public eye on Lo and Behold , the reality show about her, her four siblings, and their parents. Their show may be off the air, but the Lo family members still live in the spotlight as influencers churning out podcasts, bestselling books, and brand partnerships. So when Honor’s father announces that he’s moving out of their northern California home to rent an apartment in Brooklyn, Honor’s personal upset becomes the internet’s trending B-list celebrity trainwreck—threatening the aspirational image the Los’ brand (and livelihood) depends on.
After one of her best friends leaks their private conversation to a gossip site, bruised and betrayed Honor pours all her energy into reuniting her family. With her parents 3,000 miles apart, her siblings torn into factions, and all of them under claustrophobic public scrutiny, this is easier said than done. Just when Honor feels at her lowest, a guarded yet vulnerable boy named Caden comes into her life and makes her want something beyond the tight Lo inner circle for the first time. But is it fair to open her heart to someone new when the people she loves are teetering on the edge of ruin?
As increasingly terrible secrets come to light about the people Honor thought she knew best in the world, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to her family and fighting for the life she wants.
Review: I’ve been a fan of Kelly Loy Gilbert’s writing ever since I picked up Picture Us in the Light and realized that it was set at Monta Vista, a school in the area that I grew up. It was the first time I felt so seen in fiction, and I ended up convincing more than a few childhood friends to read it. So given all that, you know I was very, very excited for Gilbert’s latest book, Everyone Wants to Know.
Gilbert’s latest is a razor sharp look at an all-too-relevant topic at the moment: influencer culture and particularly influencer families. If you pay any attention at all to this space, you may have seen recent discussions, articles, etc regarding children who were raised by influencer parents and didn’t consent to becoming influencer content. In Everyone Wants to Know, the influencer family is the Lo family, a family who once starred in a reality show before spawning an influencer empire. The narrator, Honor, must grapple with the fallout when her father announces that he’s leaving the family and secrets are uncovered.
People who follow influencer culture will find Everyone Wants to Know propulsive and compelling. The level of detail is incredible — it reminded me of Crazy Rich Asians. At times, I found the amount of detail and cascade of event after event somewhat overwhelming, but overall, I found that it meaningfully contributed to a gripping tale of family drama.
My favorite part was Honor’s reflections on family and cultural heritage. I loved the historical and cultural tie-in to where Honor’s parents and grandparents came from. An Asian American take on influencer family drama resonated with me.
For people who are interested in influencer culture, this is an absolute must-read and came out at just the right time in this cultural moment. I definitely recommend checking it out if it sounds intriguing to you! (And please, please read Picture Us in the Light!)
Recommendation: Get it soon!