Everyone Wants to Know
Kelly Loy Gilbert
Simon & Schuster
Published June 13, 2023
About Everyone Wants to Know
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.
Typically I like books about intense family drama, but I will admit I struggled with this one. Maybe because the toxicity of some of the characters was so high? And the betrayals just kept mounting while people insisted their behavior was okay? I’m not sure.
I really liked Honor as a character, and thought in the context of this story about a family who framed every decision with “but what will this do to our image” kinds of inquiries, her name is pretty bold and appropriate. I loved that choice.
Her relationship with her twin brother Atticus is also a bright spot in the book for me. I like the way they balance each other, tease each other, and speak truth to one another.
It took a while for her relationship with Caden to really grow on me, but when it did, I found that I really liked him. I couldn’t tell for a bit whether he was truly emotionally closed off or whether he was keeping his distance because she asked for that kind of relationship. As the story progressed, though, and I got to know him a little better, I really liked him. He’s messy but smart. Aloof, but not cold.
Some of the secrets that came out about the family I did not see coming. I did see some things coming, though. Some of the things were dealt with in a way that felt complete and emotionally satisfying, but other things are kind of left without being fully resolved. That’s pretty true to real life, so I don’t mean that as a complaint. I sometimes struggle with stories that end with emotionally messy stuff still in an emotionally messy state.
I definitely feel like the author brought me directly into the center of all the Lo family drama, and I’m impressed by her ability to do that so consistently and believably, and yet, I’m also kind of exhausted. Ha! I enjoyed the book, though, especially Honor and her relationships with Atticus and Caden.
Fans of BOYS I KNOW by Anna Gracia will find a similar exploration of tension within family relationships and tenuous forays into romantic relationships.
Content Notes for Everyone Wants to Know
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Honor and her family are biracial– white and Chinese American.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. References to sex and some brief/vague descriptions of hands touching and bodies pressed together.
Some brief exploration of what toxic relationships and gaslighting look like.
One character’s mom is a recovering addict, so he and his friend group do not drink alcohol or use any drugs. In one scene (at a wedding), a bride holds a glass of champagne.
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