Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
January 10th 2019
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, Delete, Disappear.
All the Lonely People is a timely story about online culture that explores the experience of loneliness in a connected world, and the power of kindness and empathy over hatred.
Going into All The Lonely People, I was expecting incredible things from David Owen. I was not disappointed. This book is currently one of my top 5 books I have read so far this year. I loved it so much! It is gritty, real and explores the idea of loneliness on a whole other level. All The Lonely People explores a varying range of topics, from cyberbullying to the indoctrination of boys into alt-right groups from online forums/communities. All The Lonely People also has magical realism that I completely fell in love with.
The story is based around two protagonists. First, we have Kat. She is targeted by bullies and hate groups online. This leads to her deleting all her social media accounts and eventually her website. However, upon doing so, Kat starts to disappear from the world and goes into the Fade. Here she is isolated from everyone. No one can see, hear or speak to her and she is completely alone. However, she eventually meets Safi, another girl in the Fade and spends a lot of time together.
I love how Kat is a very typical high school girl and how she can be very relatable to people. The feeling that you can only be your true self online is a real thing. Her progression throughout the story is super impactful and reading from her POV was by far my favorite. I also enjoyed the relationship she and Safi have in the book.
I also really enjoyed the other protagonist in All The Lonely People, Wesley – Kat’s bully.
The bully who realizes his mistakes
At first, I wasn’t sure what I would think about him, but as the story progressed, I warmed to him. He is first introduced as “one of the boys” who bullies Kat. However, upon discovering her disappearance, he starts to learn about what may have happened to her. We start learning more about his own life and the struggles he goes through. He also has trouble feeling like he belongs in society and tries to go along with the crowd. The way his life is is also the reason why he gets involved with alt-right trolls. Even though he knows his actions were wrong, he tries his best to fix them. His character progression is also fantastic and I highly enjoyed what happens along the way.
Overall, All The Lonely People has a very impactful message and is written beautifully. The way Owen explores the topic of toxic masculinity and how that can affect the way people are is really powerful. This is just an all-around perfect book. Perfect story, incredible characters and an ending that proves that even though you may change, forgiveness can sometimes be something you don’t deserve.
David Owen is an outstanding author and people need to pick up this book!