Everyone Wants to Know (Paperback)
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A ripped-from-the-tabloids, “achingly wrought” (BookPage, starred review) young adult drama by 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.
About the Author
Kelly Loy Gilbert believes deeply in the power of stories to illuminate a shared humanity and give voice to complex, broken people. She is the author of Conviction, a William C. Morris Award finalist, Picture Us in the Light, When We Were Infinite, and Everyone Wants to Know, and lives in the Bay Area. She would be thrilled to hear from you on X (previously known as Twitter) @KellyLoyGilbert or at KellyLoyGilbert.com.
Seventeen-year-old Honor Lo and her tightknit family are reality show celebrities, but life in the spotlight has taken its toll. Their show, “Lo and Behold,” is no longer on the air, so Honor’s parents and older siblings make their money from endorsements, brand sponsorships and book deals. To maintain that cash flow, they must present an image of togetherness and likability, which becomes nearly impossible after Honor’s parents announce their separation. The family becomes the subject of criticism in online forums and gossip magazines, and Honor even cuts off ties with her two best friends because she thinks one of them sold her out to People magazine.
Honor doesn’t want anything to do with a public persona; the pressure of fame has even led to panic attacks. She’d rather make art—miniature clay food—and spend time with her family, even as divided as it is. She meets a boy at school, Caden, who is experiencing his own family dysfunction, but his personal struggles leave her feeling insecure. And just when things are at their worst, the family receives devastating news that alters their whole trajectory.
Kelly Loy Gilbert’s fourth novel is an incredible exploration of celebrity obsession, consumerism and the way even “wholesome” reality TV can exploit children, all told through the story of a loving family that has lost its way. Honor’s mother pushes her kids to maintain their brand and “control [their] narrative,” while her dad constantly speaks like he’s giving a TED Talk. Though some people may deem the Los’ pursuit of fame exploitative, Honor’s parents view their success as an embodiment of the American dream, particularly since Honor’s Chinese ancestors worked tirelessly so their descendants could thrive.
The members of the Lo family feel like real people whom Gilbert has simply observed and described, even as she goes deeper and questions their culpability. For example, how much privacy are they entitled to if they put their entire lives online? Complete with realistic dialogue and achingly wrought emotion, Everyone Wants to Know is a thought-provoking novel about empathy, individuality and toxicity that reminds readers of social media’s power to distort reality, and that behind the accounts are real people whose real stories you know nothing about.
— BookPage, STARRED REVIEW
* For Honor Lo, family is all there is. The youngest of five siblings, she and her twin brother, Atticus, have spent most of their lives as public figures, first on TV as the subjects of their parents' hit reality series Lo and Behold and now as tabloid fodder. While their parents maintain momentum in careers where they're famous for being famous (think Chip and Joanna Gaines), and their elder siblings rake in the residuals as Instagram influencers, Honor and Atticus are finishing high school. Honor alone tries to protect her privacy and cherishes the time her family can be alone together, so when her parents shock social media by splitting up, her world is upended. When someone she thought she could trust leaks her personal thoughts to a news outlet, Honor tries to retreat into her family, but the secrets there are only just beginning to come to light. Gilbert (When We Were Infinite, 2021) has crafted a peculiarly affecting story: Honor, fierce in her love for her family, often can't see how her parents' narcissism has impacted her, and her first-person narration can be frustrating, though no less devastating as she struggles to connect with peers, a potential romantic interest, and herself. It's a delicate line that Gilbert walks with her characters here, and the book itself is the twist of a knife—but an exquisite one.
— Booklist, STARRED Review
Via a white and Chinese American teen’s poetic narration, Gilbert (When We Were Infinite) delivers a binge-worthy drama starring a flawed, richly characterized family of TV personalities. Having grown up appearing on reality show Lo and Behold, 16-year-old Honor Lo, her twin brother Atticus, and their three older siblings learned to be wary of outsiders to protect the family brand and project an idealized version of their lives. Things upend when Honor’s parents separate. Her father moves to Brooklyn, while she, Atticus, and their mother move to a new Bay Area town, where her mom starts pressuring the twins to engage in brand campaigns like their influencer siblings. Distrustful of new classmates after a former friend betrays Honor to a gossip mag, and unsure if she wants to follow her siblings’ path, Honor throws herself into planning a reunifying family vacation. But as she grows closer to an enigmatic crush and bombshell revelations deepen family fractures, Honor must reevaluate her commitment to preserving her perceived reality. A fast-moving opening propels readers headfirst into the family’s spectacle-like drama, while sensitively handled themes surrounding “mixed-race trauma,” online privacy, and the consequences of cultivated personae round out the intensely emotional plot. Ages 12–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen, Folio Literary Management. (June)
— Publishers Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW*
When your entire life is a public commodity, how do you figure out what’s real?
Influencers Nathan and Melissa Lo raised their family—16-year-old twins Honor and Atticus; high school senior Skye, and oldest siblings Wrangell and Jamison, now in their mid-20s—in the spotlight. There was their reality show, Lo and Behold, not to mention a podcast, a book, and more. They have a carefully crafted image: “wholesome and really cute, somehow both relatable and aspirational” and also “Asianish” (both Lo parents are biracial, Chinese and White). Married Jamison has a toddler and a profitable social media career. Menswear designer Wrangell distances himself from the family media circus. Skye leveraged her YouTube popularity to become a brand ambassador for Baylor University. Volleyball star Atticus stays centered and ignores the trolls. But Honor struggles with severe anxiety and obsessively reads comments about her family on celebrity gossip sites. After Nathan announces he’s leaving Northern California for Brooklyn, the Los’ world is rocked. When Honor’s confidences to two lifelong best friends are leaked to People magazine, she’s devastated. Melissa and the twins move, and Honor meets a boy who also hides behind walls; when another crisis strikes, she faces deep-seated fears of trusting again and navigates conflicts between being a good Lo and her own well-being. The superlative characterization and insights into complex, messy family dynamics make this a deeply humane story that readers will ponder and reflect upon.
An emotional roller coaster grounded by achingly authentic characters. (Fiction. 13-18)
— Kirkus Reviews
*The latest from Gilbert thoughtfully explores how perfection is only surface deep. Readers won’t be able to put down this absorbing novel.
— School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
*Gilbert's novel is illuminating, nuanced, and salacious as it astutely explores the complexities of being mixed-race and in the public eye...Everyone Wants to Know revels in its dramatic plot and shrewd examination of toxic, codependent families.
— Shelf Awareness *STARRED REVIEW*
*Complete with realistic dialogue and achingly wrought emotion, Everyone Wants to Know is a thought-provoking novel about empathy, individuality and toxicity that reminds readers of social media’s power to distort reality, and that behind the accounts are real people whose real stories you know nothing about.
— BookPage *STARRED REDVIEW*
*The book itself is the twist of a knife—but an exquisite one.
— Booklist *STARRED REVIEW*
*A fast-moving opening propels readers headfirst into the family’s spectacle-like drama, while sensitively handled themes surrounding “mixed-race trauma,” online privacy, and the consequences of cultivated personae round out the intensely emotional plot.
— Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*
An emotional roller coaster grounded by achingly authentic characters