Today I’m really excited to host the last stop on the blog tour to celebrate the publication of the brilliant All The Lonely People, the third novel from David Owen.
It’s rare that I approach publicists to join a blog tour, this one I had to be on! I will never turn down the opportunity to shout about David’s books, they’re incredible and some of my all-time favourite books!
Along with our reviews we were given a question to answer, it took a lot of thought to answer and took a very different path to what I had planned.
How has the internet made your life better and how has it made it worse?
This is a really good question and doesn’t have a quick answer so bare with me (or just scroll down and read my review), I’ll start with how it made it better. Long before I joined the book community I’d made some great friends online, I’d never really had friends IRL and it was great to find other like-minded people. I found a place with people who lived the same bands etc, the same as I have in the book community. I finally found somewhere I somewhat fit in and even got to meet some IRL and it was brilliant.
This also ties into how the internet made my life worse. As a result of distancing myself from someone online who made me uncomfortable, I became the victim of online stalking. No matter how many times I deleted Twitter and Facebook and created another he was there, even if I used a nickname or pseudonym. Not only was I forced off social media, I was too scared to leave the house as he had threatened to come for me, and probably would have followed through on that threat had he lived in the same country. I also lost the friends I made. I’m even following one on my book Twitter and I still don’t exist to them anymore. It was a long time before I felt able to create new accounts, longer still before I would even post a photo of myself. It was terrifying and it never leaves you. I still strongly believe in the positives the internet world offers, the bad shouldn’t be dismissed, even if you haven’t experienced it yourself. Trust me, people do. I should probably leave this here, this isn’t the example I planned to use, I think it was an important one and felt good to finally talk about it.
I put a right damper on the tour, didn’t I?
if you’re still here, please check out my review below.
Author: David Owen
Published by: Atom
Publication Date: 10/01/19
I received a free review copy from Atom in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Everyone tells Kat that her online personality – confident, funny, opinionated – isn’t her true self. Kat knows otherwise. The internet is her only way to cope with a bad day, chat with friends who get all her references, make someone laugh. But when she becomes the target of an alt-right trolling campaign, she feels she has no option but to Escape, Quit, Disappear.
With her social media shut down, her website erased, her entire online identity void, Kat feels she has cut away her very core: without her virtual self, who is she?
She brought it on herself. Or so Wesley keeps telling himself as he dismantles Kat’s world from across the classroom. It’s different, seeing one of his victims in real life and not inside a computer screen – but he’s in too far to back out now.
As soon as Kat disappears online, her physical body begins to fade and while everybody else forgets that she exists, Wesley realises he is the only one left who remembers her. Overcome by remorse for what he has done, Wesley resolves to stop her disappearing completely. It might just be the only way to save himself.
All the Lonely People is a timely story about online culture – both good and bad – that explores the experience of loneliness in a connected world, and the power of kindness and empathy over hatred.
You know those messy reviews I write because I can’t form words to tell you how how much I loved it? This is one of them. All The Lonely People is the incredible new book by David Owen, told from the perspectives of Kat and Wesley, both lonely in different ways. Kat doesn’t have friends, she’s part of forums and had her own blog etc but is still very much an outsider. After a period of cyber bullying involving Wes and a group his friends at her school, Kat, understandably, deletes her blog. Not long after Kat begins to fade, not just figuratively but literally. So much of Kat’s life is online that when she deletes her online life, a large part of her goes with it, triggering the Fade, gradually fading from people’s memories too. Wes (yes, that Wes), the only person who remembers Kat after vows to ensure others do. I think that’s all you need to know, I don’t want to spoil it.
I was incredibly excited to receive an early copy of this, everyone knows how much I adore Panther and The Fallen Children, mainly because I never shut up about them. I can confirm All The Lonely People is even better and has become my new favourite, not just because themes such as cyber bullying, toxic masculinity and loneliness are at the forefront and done brilliantly. Kat is someone easy to relate to, we all spend way too much time online, feel invisible, strive for a sense of belonging, to be seen, feel connected to someone. This is something I feel Kat wants and I so badly wanted her to get it, not saying if she does though! Wes is a tricky character, it’s so easy to hate him. By the end you’ve seen who he is as a person and can’t help but empathise with him, while still holding him accountable for his actions. I should probably stop before I spoil it all.
This was the first time I really saw myself in a book, after finishing it I just sat there and cried. It’s like a comforting blanket for the lonely who just want to be accepted and fit in, knowing you’re not alone. I wish it had been there when I was a teenager, not only would I have felt less lonely having it, it would have helped with things I was going through myself. I can’t recommend this book enough, It’s a timely, insightful and thought-provoking read.