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All the Lonely People

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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 t 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.


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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 t 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.

30 review for All the Lonely People

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    Edit: I didn't realize until it was pointed out in the comments that I accidentally stated Kat's romance was "with a boy", which it was not. I'm sorry for misleading anyone who read my review. I can only assume that I'm just so used to writing about that trope that I did it on autopilot. My thoughts on the romance haven't changed. I still think this book has one of the most fascinating premises I've read all year. It is timely, terrifying and - at least in my experience - completely unique. It's Edit: I didn't realize until it was pointed out in the comments that I accidentally stated Kat's romance was "with a boy", which it was not. I'm sorry for misleading anyone who read my review. I can only assume that I'm just so used to writing about that trope that I did it on autopilot. My thoughts on the romance haven't changed. I still think this book has one of the most fascinating premises I've read all year. It is timely, terrifying and - at least in my experience - completely unique. It's a shame it just didn't love up to it. All the Lonely People is about a girl called Kat who deletes her entire online presence after she becomes the target of cyber-bullies. Once her online self is gone, Kat's physical body starts to fade (I would call this a magical realism novel). It is an attempt to explore the loss of an online identity-- when this carefully-crafted public persona is gone, who are we? Owen does a good job of showing the toxic side of the Internet and social media. He touches upon trolling, right-wing hate groups, bullying and anxiety. However, I think some aspects seemed too simplistic and juvenile. These are teenagers, but the book often feels written for a younger audience than I expected. For example, I think the ultimate dismissal of online friends and relationships lacks nuance. It's absolutely fair to be critical of the Internet, but as someone who has made some very real and important friendships online, I disliked the way the author seemed to decide that they were not a part of reality. I think it's a dangerous thing in general when we start to believe that online life is not "real life". I think it's exactly this idea that allows people to disassociate and bully others. It's easy to do when none of it's real, none of it counts toward your "real life", when you pretend there's not an actual human reading your comments. But most of all, I was disappointed that it took a love story to pull Kat back to reality. It's a pet peeve of mine when someone - usually suffering from anxiety or something similar - is cured, rescued or given reason to go on by a romantic relationship. I think it sends a terrible message. Great premise; poor execution. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alice Oseman

    EDIT: Because I don't think enough people are aware of this, and there are some deeply misinformed reviews of this book, THIS BOOK IS QUEER. The central romance is an f/f romance. The boy and girl narrators do not get together. David Owen's newest book is David's best book yet. I went into this expecting a nicely melancholic examination of loneliness using a cool magic-realistic sort-of metaphor, but what I got was not only that, but also a harrowing examination of how boys and young men are bein EDIT: Because I don't think enough people are aware of this, and there are some deeply misinformed reviews of this book, THIS BOOK IS QUEER. The central romance is an f/f romance. The boy and girl narrators do not get together. David Owen's newest book is David's best book yet. I went into this expecting a nicely melancholic examination of loneliness using a cool magic-realistic sort-of metaphor, but what I got was not only that, but also a harrowing examination of how boys and young men are being indoctrinated to the alt-right by online communities. I've never seen this particular issue explored in a novel. The book follows two protagonists: Kat, a girl who is targeted by violent, nasty trolls on the internet, so much so that it causes her to begin to physically disappear, and Wesley, who has managed to get involved with these trolls to combat the loneliness he feels elsewhere in his life. As Kat starts fading more quickly and heading towards disappearing forever, forgotten by everyone, she meets Safa, a girl who is also fading, and starts to feel a strong connection with her - maybe even something more than friendship (THIS BOOK HAS GOOD WLW CONTENT, MY FRIENDS). Meanwhile, Wesley starts to see the error of his ways, but he might already be in too deep with the alt-right trolls... This is a searingly feminist story which explores toxic masculinity in every sense - from violently misogynistic neo-nazi YouTube gamers to dads and brothers who can't properly express their emotions. What I found most incredibly excellent about the way all of this is handled is that no character is excused for their behaviour - it is explored WHY these boys and men think and behave in this way, but none of them have to be forgiven, even if, by the end of the novel, they have managed to change themselves for the better. Just, WOW. Yeah. This was masterful. I don't normally write big long reviews but I've always thought David Owen's books are deeply underrated and this has proved that for a third time. This book is brutally real and gets to the heart of the crushing loneliness that so many people feel, while also exposing the truly terrifying reality of the rise of the alt-right online. I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    All the Lonely People is a warning about the internet and social media's propensity to attract bad seeds, the blurring of the line between reality and perception, and identity. It's a hybrid of the young adult, coming-of-age and fantasy genres, specifically magical realism. Owen explores many important topics throughout the novel, including cyberbullying, self-identity and the dissociation between online actions and the real-world consequences of said actions. The internet is a playground for th All the Lonely People is a warning about the internet and social media's propensity to attract bad seeds, the blurring of the line between reality and perception, and identity. It's a hybrid of the young adult, coming-of-age and fantasy genres, specifically magical realism. Owen explores many important topics throughout the novel, including cyberbullying, self-identity and the dissociation between online actions and the real-world consequences of said actions. The internet is a playground for those with criminal tendencies and a haven for those who are lonely; when the two collide all hell breaks loose. Here, trolling, flaming and bullying leads to protagonist Kat deleting her social media accounts and results in her feeling as though she has lost her identity. As her friends had pointed out Kat's behaviour is actually very different online to how she behaves in real life, as are many others, and some people are indeed guilty of forgetting that behind that online presence or persona is a real, feeling person who could be heavily impacted by their actions. This is effectively an analysis of online culture using fiction as a device to get the message across. Shortly after ending her time on social media Kat begins to fade in real-life both physically and from the minds of those she calls friends and family. The fade itself is an interesting concept that allows a person to disappear without all of the ramifications that come with suicide. I don't want to explain too much as this mysterious idea is one of the main reason I decided to pick this book up. This is a gritty, topical novel in which the characters, both major and minor, are beautifully drawn and very relatable with their features and flaws. Compelling, well written and a perceptive story on the dangers of the internet and social media, Owen has a knack for exploring topics that really affect young adults but in a way that both young and old will enjoy. I also appreciated that the ending was not the type we regularly see in novels, namely the happy ever after. Here, the conclusion is realistic; however, there is hope for the characters' futures, and I like that a lot more than something unrealistically joyous. Many thanks to Atom for an ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  "The fade is loneliness made material" This was such an interesting and unique read. The book talks about loneliness in the digital age and I think that the fade was the perfect metaphor to capture the feelings the author wanted to describe. Kat starts experiencing the fade after being bullied on her social media accounts. The reason why she's the target of these violent acts is because she gave The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  "The fade is loneliness made material" This was such an interesting and unique read. The book talks about loneliness in the digital age and I think that the fade was the perfect metaphor to capture the feelings the author wanted to describe. Kat starts experiencing the fade after being bullied on her social media accounts. The reason why she's the target of these violent acts is because she gave a presentation in media studies about misogyny on Youtube and toxic masculinity, and she also called out a famous Youtuber that a lot of people watch. Throughout all the book Kat has to fight the fade in order to return to her true form. (view spoiler)[ In the end she will succeed with the help of Safa, a girl who so desperately wanted the fade to happen but then later realized that making contact with others and being present is what she really wants and needs. Thanks to the fade Kat is able to make a difference, be present at the women's march in London and also stop something that might have gone really bad. (hide spoiler)] What I appreciated about this book was how themes were dealt with. This book talks about toxic masculinity, peer pressure, bullying (cyber and in real life), misogyny, feminism, social media presence, fandom and the beautiful thing is that it doesn't hold back. The book tells you the good and the bad and it doesn't sugarcoat it. I've never found a book that dealt with this variety of themes in such a good way and that's why I'll make sure to check out David Owen's other works. I highly recommend this one!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    All The Lonely People is a book that so many readers will be able to relate to. It explores the effects of social media in a way I've not seen in YA books before and ultimately looks at how lonely people can feel in this modern world. The idea of your existence fading without your online profiles being active was one that I found really thought-provoking. A brilliant read! Full review: https://kellysrambles.com/2019/01/26/...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathy - Books & Munches

    The idea of someone disappearing once their online personality has been erased is very intriguing, especially since so many of us have an enormous social life online. The thing that made me want to read All the Lonely People is automatically also the thing that made sure I kept on reading. At the start of the story, you immediately see how Kat's cyber-bullied into deleting all her online accounts and starts fading. The idea that your being can be that linked to an online presence is.. baffling b The idea of someone disappearing once their online personality has been erased is very intriguing, especially since so many of us have an enormous social life online. The thing that made me want to read All the Lonely People is automatically also the thing that made sure I kept on reading. At the start of the story, you immediately see how Kat's cyber-bullied into deleting all her online accounts and starts fading. The idea that your being can be that linked to an online presence is.. baffling but I guess in some ways also very true for a lot of us. One of the more important aspects of this story, to me, is the presence of both queer and POC rep. This story doesn't really focus on romance, but there is a F/F-slow burn romance presence that I adored.  To Kat, her online personality is her real personality, the place she can be herself. Losing that equals slowly losing her physical presence in the actual world. The way this is done by the author is truly amazing. There's slow progress in her fading away. Her disappearing automatically having an influence over her behavior, her realizations and thought-process. It shows how the thing you think you want, isn't necessarily what you actually want and need. An important lesson to learn these days. Of course, Kat isn't the only character. There are two other characters definitely worth mentioning. Wesley - our second POV - is the one pushing Kat into fading. Although he immediately feels guilty about it and tries his best to help her, it's purely self-centered reasons driving him. This does make him an interesting character to follow and read about. Then we have Safa - a second fading person. The big difference with Kat is that she actually wants to fade and has been trying to fade away for a while now. Since she and Kat are the only ones who can see one another, they stick together. Seeing that relationship / friendship grow was fun for sure. But that doesn't mean it was all fun. First off, I felt like I got thrown into the story too abruptly. I'd love to have seen more of Kat's original, online personality before it got erased. If only to have a better idea what she's like in real life compared to online. We don't see that and it immediately gave me the feeling she could've been more fleshed out if that had happened. I also didn't really see.. the point of the side-plot? If you can even call it that. It's what spurs the story on, but on the other hand it did feel unnecessary at times at well. Like it wasn't really needed. Although it has to be said that, adding it, allowed the author to tackle themes like misogyny and toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, I didn't really feel like it added a whole lot to Kat's story. That could definitely be just me though. There's also this one part where it's pretty much stated Kat's online life wasn't real. To me, that did feel entirely wrong. It isn't because things are online, friendships are online that they aren't real. They are. That one quote rubbed me the wrong way and I can't seem to forget about it.. I had some issues with it and I have to admit I didn't really care about the story as much as I wanted to, which made for a mediocre read. There are definitely pluses to All the Lonely People, but the entirety of the novel simply didn't blow me away like I expected it to. 3.5 / 5

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bee (Heart Full of Books)

    Yes. Just yes to all of this. f/f romance that's friendship turned to more, oddly poignant metaphor for when you're so attached to how you perceive yourself online vs. offline you disconnect from the real world, subverting expectations of main boy and girl getting together, a sweet side-quest mystery! Everything works so well, and I found myself so invested in these characters lives, and honestly moved by the story David Owen told. Seriously, his best yet.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    Well... not what I expected! This book was definitely not intend for me and its okay. By it's rating people seem to like it and I respect that, but I didn't. The premise look interesting but it just, really early, fell into a contemporary teenage love/romance, ishh. It also involve queer/pan sexual love, which I have nothing against, what you do and who you love, as long as both adult are willing, is completely up to you, but I have a problem with putting that up front like you achieve something Well... not what I expected! This book was definitely not intend for me and its okay. By it's rating people seem to like it and I respect that, but I didn't. The premise look interesting but it just, really early, fell into a contemporary teenage love/romance, ishh. It also involve queer/pan sexual love, which I have nothing against, what you do and who you love, as long as both adult are willing, is completely up to you, but I have a problem with putting that up front like you achieve something, and now it have literacy genre just for that, and that is just weird. I don't go out yelling to my neighbors how much I love women and that is my choice and that I demand respect for that! No I just do. And I don't write crappy book, with heterosexual love expecting that all the heteros will support me and yelling that I'm a genius for writing it. Anyway I might have deviate a bit from the subject. Maybe queer teen will relate to it but I didn't and just in term of literature this wasn't a good one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    The notion of ‘the fade’ requires a reader to suspend belief for a moment (it’s fiction, so it’s not hard to do) or alternatively using this plot line as a metaphor for feeling invisible in society; this book discusses an important topic in our digital and social media reliant age. Its contents cover much of our youth’s issues, that have seemingly extended into adulthood as well, that is: bullying - both physical and cyber, peer pressure, hatred and intolerance of those who are different/have di The notion of ‘the fade’ requires a reader to suspend belief for a moment (it’s fiction, so it’s not hard to do) or alternatively using this plot line as a metaphor for feeling invisible in society; this book discusses an important topic in our digital and social media reliant age. Its contents cover much of our youth’s issues, that have seemingly extended into adulthood as well, that is: bullying - both physical and cyber, peer pressure, hatred and intolerance of those who are different/have different views, and anxiety and depression. Social media may not be to blame, but the use of social media, being able to distance oneself with a profile, and a keyboard, courage bolstered by fake or no personal pictures, is the same age-old shitty ‘putting other people down to make yourself feel better’ attitude that is has always been. There’s a message in this book, one of hope, of finding and sticking with those who you can connect with, with whom you can be yourself, accepting yourself as who you are without shame, and ignoring those who seek to bring you down. No one has their stuff together 100% of the time, some people are just better at hiding it. I hope this message reaches a wide audience. Thank you to David Owen, Atom and Little Brown Book Group UK, and NetGalley for an arc of this story in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I appreciate what the author was trying to show about the importance of human connection in this new young adult fantasy novel. When Kat loses her entire online identity after being cyber-bullied, she literally starts to fade and become invisible. She finds out there are other lonely students who are in the process of fading and each looking for another person who is doing better at life to hitch a ride. I remember being an adolescent and desperately trying to be invisible so this concept struck I appreciate what the author was trying to show about the importance of human connection in this new young adult fantasy novel. When Kat loses her entire online identity after being cyber-bullied, she literally starts to fade and become invisible. She finds out there are other lonely students who are in the process of fading and each looking for another person who is doing better at life to hitch a ride. I remember being an adolescent and desperately trying to be invisible so this concept struck a chord with me. However, I felt the concept got a little over-worked as the novel progressed. I like the overall message about finding your people, whether online or in person. I received an advanced review copy of this young adult novel through NetGalley.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie TBGWP

    I am loving the surge happening in the YA/Teens/Children's Fiction genre that is purposely trying to lift young people up. Trying to make them see real life, see themselves, see each other. To be kind, not only to yourself, but to others. To understand that yes, life isn't a bed of roses, but hey you can get through it. To try stay strong even when you don't think you can. And not allow your fears to pierce deep enough to ruin you! It is so fucking amazing! And I am so inspired by the authors gi I am loving the surge happening in the YA/Teens/Children's Fiction genre that is purposely trying to lift young people up. Trying to make them see real life, see themselves, see each other. To be kind, not only to yourself, but to others. To understand that yes, life isn't a bed of roses, but hey you can get through it. To try stay strong even when you don't think you can. And not allow your fears to pierce deep enough to ruin you! It is so fucking amazing! And I am so inspired by the authors giving us books like this to read. Making a bloody difference!! You are all superstars! David Owen is one of those authors I'm praising. All The Lonely People is everything and more I have mentioned above. He has given us a poignant, startling, fascinating and heart wrenching take on self-identity, feminism, online bullying, trolling, right-wing hate groups, anxiety, depression, fear and friendship.... no seriously, the list is on going. It is more than just good. Now you will know what I'm like and that I'm seriously hard to please so of course I have to be honest with you and me here. I defo heard the groans then from you all 😂 so I enjoyed the book immensely. The premise is remarkable. It's original. It's giving out love and hope to the world, it's true and it's living, but and it's a big but mind, I needed more. I know, I know 🤦🏻‍♀️ It’s two small things do nothing excessive or damning. Why? So without going to much into it and spoiling the book here because I really do recommend you read it and I'm not being responsible for spoiling anything. 1) It lacked depth of character. I wanted to know more about Kat and Safa. Their back stories are very important especially Safa's who we don't get told anything about which is frustrating. 2) I also found that dismissing online friendships and just concentrating on the toxic side of the internet was very harsh. There are going to be a lot lot of people who will read this book because of the pull of loneliness. I'm guessing that they may just question themselves, if like Kat, they spend more time online with friends that they do in what I suppose is real life. Real life is the internet too though and friendships are made every single day. They should never be dismissed. This is so hard to explain. I'm not dissing this at all, I think Owen has portrayed the twat side of the internet perfectly, he really has. However, for someone who writes with such care and honesty that could have been incorporated into the read somehow. Now I’ve got that of me chest back to the good! I honestly recommend this book to any age group, gender, sexuality, anyone who has ever felt lost, lonely, insecure or/and afraid. So obviously the whole world then. It has the same message to us all. You are you and you should be proud of that. You should always relate kindly to others, but most importantly to yourself. Be empathetic, be courteous, be love and be loved. You are important no matter what anybody says or does! You have something to offer this world. You are the only one of you and the only one who can offer that uniqueness and light inside you to others. It's a great book. In fact, it is a wonderful book and I honestly with all my heart hope it gets the recognition it deserves. Even though I'm a bad tit who took points from it. Sorry David 👎🏻 A rambling mess of a review for sure but it's 4am I've just finished reading and I'm a tad bit angry at the world right now for the shit inside it and the horrors that take joy into being dismissive, volatile and horrible. Be kind people, you never know what's happening behind closed doors and in people's lives. I am so glad I didn’t grow up in a digital world that’s for sure. Go buy this book! It’s a small light of hope for the forgotten and a whole lot of love for the world. 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  12. 5 out of 5

    Silvia

    I was provided with a digital ARC of this book by NetGallet and the publishing house, Little, Brown Book Group UK in exchange of an honest review. "All The Lonely People" is a really powerful YA book that is told with a dual point of a view, Kat's and Wesley's. Kat is a quite shy girl, that doesn't really feel like she belongs anywhere, and her entire world is based on the online community and the frienship she made on the web. Wesley, on the other hand, is a guy who seems really confident, he I was provided with a digital ARC of this book by NetGallet and the publishing house, Little, Brown Book Group UK in exchange of an honest review. "All The Lonely People" is a really powerful YA book that is told with a dual point of a view, Kat's and Wesley's. Kat is a quite shy girl, that doesn't really feel like she belongs anywhere, and her entire world is based on the online community and the frienship she made on the web. Wesley, on the other hand, is a guy who seems really confident, he surrounds himself with friends who are bullies for the majority of the time, but deep inside he has a heart of gold and we came to know that his behavior is deeply affected by his family situation and by the burden he has to carry to take care of his mom and his little sister. Kat's and Wesley's lives seem to connect though, when Wesley's friends decide to bully Kat, until she suddenly simply disappears and nobody can see her anymore. I really, really enjoyed this book. I didn't expect it to be so powerful and deep, but also so approachable, not only to a teen audience. I think that the characters really made this book and I was quite in love with Wesley, I have to admit. I love a good redemption ARC, and even though I don't justify his previous actions, I think he cam come to a place where he could be good with himself. Kat was very likable too, even if I wasn't so compelled on her frienship with Safa. I thin that Safa was trying a little bit too much to make Kat think like her and that honestly scared me. I really rooted for Kat, though, and I liked how she stood for herself and did what she had to do in order to find herself again. I totally recommend this book to anyone who struggles to find his/her real identity in this world where chaos and a lack of values rule over us. As a person who value the online community very much, I think it is important to also think that our lives are ours both inside and OUTSIDE the net. And this book has a really nice way to explain it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    I was really hoping to love this. It all sounded very promising and potentially relatable, and it has an f/f romance. But unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy this. That's in part because of how the book made me feel. I've never been someone who needed trigger warnings, but I'm starting to realize some books really do trigger my depression and this was one of those. Sometimes I'll still enjoy the book regardless, like when it's very relatable for me, but this was not one of those instances. Beca I was really hoping to love this. It all sounded very promising and potentially relatable, and it has an f/f romance. But unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy this. That's in part because of how the book made me feel. I've never been someone who needed trigger warnings, but I'm starting to realize some books really do trigger my depression and this was one of those. Sometimes I'll still enjoy the book regardless, like when it's very relatable for me, but this was not one of those instances. Because ultimately, it really wasn't that relatable. It was just fucking depressing. My main issue with this book was that I really didn't think Wesley, one of the boys who attacks Kat on the internet out of misogynistic spite, deserved his own POV. I'm not interested in reading about the reasons behind his actions. I'm not looking to sympathize with them in the slightest. Some things aren't justifiable and bigotry is one of those. Of course, the book wasn't trying to justify Wesley's actions, but was instead focused on showing how he came to his senses. But still, I couldn't bring myself to care. Trigger warnings: depression, loneliness, misogyny, bullying/trolling.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nigethan

    Full review @ The Bookbag! I was a little slow to warm to this one, but I got through the second half in the course of a single sitting. Everything - the characters, the plot, the prose - just comes together in superbly satisfying fashion. At its core, this is a genuinely moving story about loneliness and self-doubt, and the importance of feeling loved and like you belong, but along the way it also deftly touches on a whole host of powerful issues - toxic masculinity and the alt-right, feminism a Full review @ The Bookbag! I was a little slow to warm to this one, but I got through the second half in the course of a single sitting. Everything - the characters, the plot, the prose - just comes together in superbly satisfying fashion. At its core, this is a genuinely moving story about loneliness and self-doubt, and the importance of feeling loved and like you belong, but along the way it also deftly touches on a whole host of powerful issues - toxic masculinity and the alt-right, feminism and activism, poverty. Lots to appreciate! Got real Non Pratt and Alice Oseman vibes from this one, which is definitely not a bad thing! And reminded me of some old favourites like Neal Shusterman's Skinjacker Trilogy and the underrated Flip by Martyn Bedford.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hizatul Akmah

    actual rating: 4.8/5 this one has one of the most cool but relatable premises ever??? i hope more people would read it and learn how being lonely could set some people so far off the edge. better review will come as soon as i get into a better state of mind.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Full review to come shortly ! (04/12/18) ************ Full Review on my blog here!! (06/12/19) A huge thank you to Atom Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my full and honest review. This is one of my most anticipated releases of next year and let me say, David Owen has done it again! I absolutely adored The Fallen Children when I read it, so I was looking forward to this but I was also apprehensive as I was scared it wouldn't live up to the previous novel. Thankfully, All The Lo Full review to come shortly ! (04/12/18) ************ Full Review on my blog here!! (06/12/19) A huge thank you to Atom Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my full and honest review. This is one of my most anticipated releases of next year and let me say, David Owen has done it again! I absolutely adored The Fallen Children when I read it, so I was looking forward to this but I was also apprehensive as I was scared it wouldn't live up to the previous novel. Thankfully, All The Lonely People met every expectation I had and surprised me in lots of ways. The novel centers around Kat, a girl who lives her life on the internet, who then becomes the target of a hate group. As a result, she shuts down all her social media and online presences to avoid the bullying. Slowly Kat begins to change, physically disappearing until no one can see her anymore or remember her! The only person who remembers her is her bully, Wesley. The characters in the novel were so well written. I loved Kat. She was the typical teenage girl who feels slightly isolated by those around her in school and has to find her own online community. I really enjoyed reading from her perspective as she threw in lots of pop culture references, and her "Doctor Backwash" obsession which I assume was Doctor Who- was something I could relate to as I love Doctor Who! I really enjoyed seeing her character progress over the course of the novel as the change allowed her to see what was really important in her life and what she had been missing out on. I also loved Wesley's character. At first he seems very one dimensional, fitting into the antagonist profile. Yet as the novel progresses and we delve deeper behind the surface of his character, we see his more vulnerable side. He has a difficult home life and has never felt a sense of belonging anywhere. I really loved his character and his developing relationships with the Lonely People group and his stepdad Dave. I really loved the Lonely People club members and how they developed. Safa was also an interesting character and I loved her friendship with Kat...would love to read a short story about them set a few years after the close of this book! The plot of the novel was so well paced. At no point did I feel a lull in my interest, I was engaged throughout the novel from the get go. I really enjoyed the themes the novel discussed such as being increasingly lonely in a more connected world, feeling like you belong on the internet, alt right hate groups, the power of influencers and how vulnerable young people are being increasingly targeted by internet groups and exploited. I also loved the theme of family in the novel and the portrayal of different family types and issues. I absolutely loved the character of Dave, Wesley's Stepdad. Overall, such a wonderful engaging, fast paced, thought provoking novel. This novel will leave you with lots of questions about internet culture and its affects on young people but also fill you with warmth too. David Owen has done it again. I think I will need to automatically pick up anything he reads in the future!

  17. 4 out of 5

    zaheerah

    When Kat becomes the target of an alt-right smear campaign, she has no choice but to erase her entire online presence. Suddenly, Kat is fading, and only The Lonely People know what to do. Wesley realises that people are forgetting Kat and he has to help her, even if he was partially responsible for it. I think what was best about this book was the portrayal of the toxic parts of the internet. These people who spew negative, hateful things into the world have solid fan bases, often young kids. Ka When Kat becomes the target of an alt-right smear campaign, she has no choice but to erase her entire online presence. Suddenly, Kat is fading, and only The Lonely People know what to do. Wesley realises that people are forgetting Kat and he has to help her, even if he was partially responsible for it. I think what was best about this book was the portrayal of the toxic parts of the internet. These people who spew negative, hateful things into the world have solid fan bases, often young kids. Kat is one of the newest victims of a right-wing YouTuber who enables his fanbase to act violently, to hack into her website, her safe space, and completely violate her privacy. Kat’s entire arc was the story for me. She’s created this online side of herself where she’s free to speak about anything she wants. She discusses fandom positivity and the beauty of the internet. And then it’s gone, and she had to work with Safa, a fellow faded person, to discover what to do next. Her chapters were more interesting to read. Welsey is a part of the boys who look up to these YouTubers, act on their behalf on these so-called man-hating feminists who want to get rid of them. He’s very much aware that what he’s doing is terrible, and what was irritating was how he never really owns up to what he’s done. He often blames his surroundings, his upbringing which caused him to find friendship in an alt-right fanbase. Kat seems to be the only person with sense and often calls him out, not outright because no one can interact with a faded person. The ending suggests Wesley works towards becoming a better person. But, personally, I found it difficult to forgive. The outright dismissal of online friendships was a downfall as well. Kat essentially fades because once her site is shut down, she has nothing, no other connection to people, therefore begins to fade. It comes across as seeing online relationships as less authentic and not real. And it’s quite dangerous in this book because it does show how real the internet can be, how anyone with a large enough following can have people do their terrible bidding. It’s not as nuanced as the book believes it is. All The Lonely People certainly is unique. The notion of fade to represent feeling invisible while discussing online culture in our current digital age is fascinating. It’s a shame I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me access to a quirky exploration of identity, addressing some of the more toxic elements of social media. Kat has a heavy online presence. There she can be herself. But when she is trolled her life becomes unbearable. Slowly she strips away her online presence until nothing is left. At this point we realise there is, literally, nothing to her. Kat has faded, nobody can see her and she is none the wiser about how this has happened. All she knows is she has to do so Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me access to a quirky exploration of identity, addressing some of the more toxic elements of social media. Kat has a heavy online presence. There she can be herself. But when she is trolled her life becomes unbearable. Slowly she strips away her online presence until nothing is left. At this point we realise there is, literally, nothing to her. Kat has faded, nobody can see her and she is none the wiser about how this has happened. All she knows is she has to do something to salvage a sense of who she is. Alongside Kat’s story we also focus on Wesley, a young boy who has become part of an online group who are vitriolic in their engagement with young women online. There’s a lot of strands to this and sometimes I felt the story would have been better if just a few elements were focused on. It explored some thoughtful issues but the resolution of the story was very fast, and the abstract fantastic element to what was going on made me feel the message was not presented as effectively as it might have been.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katie (Kitkatscanread)

    So at first I was hooked into this book. Then I reached a point where I got lost, then I found myself again. I liked this twisted take on social media. Definitely one to give a try

  20. 4 out of 5

    Salieri

    I have mixed feelings about All The Lonely People. There are some great things in it, as well as important takes on our online presence and how gender stereotypes are harmful to boys as well as girls but the way the plot moved forward left me hanging. We follow both Kat, a victim of cyber bullying who starts physically disappearing, and Wesley, one of the guys responsible for it. While I was glas we had both sides of the story, I felt Wesley had a lot more impact. He has a very interesting journe I have mixed feelings about All The Lonely People. There are some great things in it, as well as important takes on our online presence and how gender stereotypes are harmful to boys as well as girls but the way the plot moved forward left me hanging. We follow both Kat, a victim of cyber bullying who starts physically disappearing, and Wesley, one of the guys responsible for it. While I was glas we had both sides of the story, I felt Wesley had a lot more impact. He has a very interesting journey and Owen does a great job at explaining why a random guy who's not particularly mean ends up launching a whole cyber bullying campaign and gets recruited by an alt-right group. How he got there, and why he wanted to. I would like to point out that the author explains that but never uses anything as an excuse for Wesley. Toxic masculinity gets a huge kick in the metaphorical nuts, though, and I'm so here for it. Real life consequences of cyber bullying are mentioned, and not just with Kat disappearing. Two other female characters experience it and we know about it: Selena was targeted when she dumped a horrible boyfriend and Kat's favourite Youtuber Tinker experiences it. It's terrifying because we're always told to "not feed the trolls" but sometimes, trolls aren't just trolls and real life consequences aren't just fiction. We see it in the news all the time, from a woman assaulted for rejecting a man to outspoken feminists who "need to be reminded of their real place" in the eyes of "alpha males". And while we encourage people to be kind on the internet because there's a real human being who'll read what we post and might get hurt, the contrary is just as true: behind every heinous post, there's an actual person who means it and might act on it. It is dangerous to think what happens online is not real, as Wesley gets to find out when Kat starts fading. The fade is an interesting concept. It kinda reminds me of that Buffy episode, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, with the girl who turns invisible because everybody ignores her. To Kat, whose life is almost entirely online, it's merely a physical manifestation of her erasing her online presence. However, I do have some issues with it: I didn't get why some people seemed to be able to see and remember the fading kids while others couldn't. I tried to make sense of it but I couldn't find a satisfying explanation and that bugged me. I also think the leaking box was an intriguing idea that deserved a bit more attention, especially in a book about how our online personality/life is so different than our real life one. Isn't that the problem with social networks? I'm not sold on the romance (by the way, yes, it's queer), to be honest. I thought Safa was always killing Kat's vibe, so I couldn't see why Kat was so attracted to her. The occasion that really did it for me was the Women's March, when Safa told Kat it was useless to be here since no one would know she was there. I get that she didn't care about the world anymore but Kat did and she was there to support Kat, so why be so negative about it? I also think the ending was a bit of a stretch when it comes to Safa, so I wasn't convinced. (view spoiler)[She was so set on becoming that other woman but a vibrant speech from Kat is all it takes to change her mind? Had she started to have doubt, OK, I would have bought it, but she hadn't. (hide spoiler)] Basically, great concept, not so great execution IMO. I'd still recommend it for Wesley's journey, but I felt Kat's parts weren't as solid. Will read more from David Owen, though, he has interesting ideas. Thank you so much to Atom and NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rhona Mitchell Tennant

    This wasn't at all what I expected. Such a disappointment. I loved the blurb of this book and was really excited for a new contemporary YA dealing with issues of identity, acceptance and living online. But then I started reading and I was really disappointed really fast. (view spoiler)[I realised that Kat being doxxed or attacked would be the inciting incident it was a surprise that it happened in the first few pages – without any kind of worldbuilding or character development as a prelude. Sudde This wasn't at all what I expected. Such a disappointment. I loved the blurb of this book and was really excited for a new contemporary YA dealing with issues of identity, acceptance and living online. But then I started reading and I was really disappointed really fast. (view spoiler)[I realised that Kat being doxxed or attacked would be the inciting incident it was a surprise that it happened in the first few pages – without any kind of worldbuilding or character development as a prelude. Suddenly the MC was attacked before I could even learn to care about her, or even learn much other than her name to be honest. This feeling continued throughout the book – I just couldn’t care about any of the characters. I didn’t feel any jeopardy at the climax, we were supposed to care whether Kat faded or not, and I just didn’t. I was also really surprised that Owens didn’t discuss or use metaphorical fading but instead Kat and Sara were literally disappearing from the world so what I expected to be a contemporary real life YA dealing with some pretty timely heavy issues turned into a fantasy (ok still set in a contemporary world) that really didn’t know how to handle the heavy issues he chose. Instead of the character development and nice pace of plot and story we got uneven pacing (see inciting incident above) and occasional info-dumps of the alt-right and toxic masculinity is bad and hurts people I mean, I already knew that going in, but it could’ve been a hell of a lot subtler and effective. There wasn’t the gradual understanding of the issues by Wesley or the gradual acceptance off her fate by Kat. The climactic scenes with Sara felt over-sentimental and sickly. Even down to the why of the characters – understanding why The Lonely People wanted to fade; why Kat felt so much more at home online or why Wesley hated his life enough to join with Luke and John (apart from being poor). Kat’s anxiety was very briefly described off and on but not mentioned in any great detail. Sara’s need to fade was never properly explored (or what set her off like Kat). What drew Wesley to TruPixel in the first place or how he dealt with the storm Kat found inside him wasn’t really explored enough for me either. They had a meeting at the end where we’re told that Wesley now understood how horrible everything was for Kat but we’re never really given enough of how their lives change as a result of the events of the book. (hide spoiler)] I thought I’d really enjoy this book, and it was, overall, a quick read (I managed it in two days even without an all-nighter) but I just found it so disappointing. Not bad, just underwhelming.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I don't think I have enough words to describe how much this book means to me and how much I absolutely loved reading it but I'll try. All the Lonely People is about loneliness and not feeling enough and online communities and all the hatred people can spread through it. Our first protagonist is Kat, who only feels really like herself and good enough online until she gets attacked by trolls on all her social media — and safe place — and delete every single one of her accounts. Her presence online I don't think I have enough words to describe how much this book means to me and how much I absolutely loved reading it but I'll try. All the Lonely People is about loneliness and not feeling enough and online communities and all the hatred people can spread through it. Our first protagonist is Kat, who only feels really like herself and good enough online until she gets attacked by trolls on all her social media — and safe place — and delete every single one of her accounts. Her presence online erased, her only real presence for Kat, she begins to physically fade from the world, with everybody not seeing or remembering her. Then she meets Safa, a girl from her school, who is also fading. Our second protagonist is Wesley, the one who was responsible for all of Kat's online attacks. For him, he's doing a good thing, he thinks Kat deserves it, and that will make him appreciated by other people, until he notices her fading and everyone forgetting her. Though he remembers her. He decides to try to find out what happened. Once I started reading this book, I just couldn't stop, I was too much invested and feeling so much for Kat, I could see myself in her and wanted her to be happy, to be herself. This story in all is really beautiful (the writing, the characters development, the relationships, the message) and I may have cried a few times watching them grow and becoming more themselves.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joelie

    I really enjoyed "All the lonely people" it had a modern day "pictures of Dorian Grey" vibe which is a story I absolutely love. I enjoyed our two main protagonists as they come to terms with the reality around them, I found the chapter headings very clever and the image of Kat slowly disappearing to be a unique touch. All around a very entertaining book. Why I only gave it 4 stars is because I hate with heated passion books that swap perspectives back and forth mid chapter with only a chapter br I really enjoyed "All the lonely people" it had a modern day "pictures of Dorian Grey" vibe which is a story I absolutely love. I enjoyed our two main protagonists as they come to terms with the reality around them, I found the chapter headings very clever and the image of Kat slowly disappearing to be a unique touch. All around a very entertaining book. Why I only gave it 4 stars is because I hate with heated passion books that swap perspectives back and forth mid chapter with only a chapter break. It ruins the run of the story, you are in the middle of reading about one character and before you know it your 5-6 sentences in without realizing the perspective changed. I also found that chapters themselves were also ending and picking up in weird places outside of these POV swaps. It made the book work to read which isn't enjoyable. Apart from that though I really loved this story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Very well done.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Virginie (chouettblog)

    This was a great read! Definitely one to add to your 2019 TBR. Full review up soon!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    So much hatred for some of the males in this story. But so much love for Wes, Jordan, Evie and Kat. I think books like this, ones which deliver a message about being lovely in a world which is always on, are so needed. There’s some HORRIBLE shit that goes down in this story that is so true to online culture today. I just wanna hug Kat and be her friend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    I wasn't expecting this to take the fantastical twist it did, but that's my own fault for not reading the whole blurb; I was too excited at seeing a new David Owen title. I've been a fan since Fallen Children last year. This one, despite its fantasy overtones, is just as gritty and real as Children, and, like it, manages to shine a light on problems that have become so common place in the last few years that we rarely think of them as problems anymore. The characters were real and relatable, inc I wasn't expecting this to take the fantastical twist it did, but that's my own fault for not reading the whole blurb; I was too excited at seeing a new David Owen title. I've been a fan since Fallen Children last year. This one, despite its fantasy overtones, is just as gritty and real as Children, and, like it, manages to shine a light on problems that have become so common place in the last few years that we rarely think of them as problems anymore. The characters were real and relatable, including the side characters, which isn't easy. This is a brilliant read and I'll be eagerly awaiting the next novel Mr Owen graces us with. Receiving an ARC did not affect my review in any way.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen Whittard

    A refreshing and timely young adult book that tackled many sensitive subjects that affect the lives of teens today. It has strong messages about social media and how important it is to stay safe on line. It shows the importance of real friendship and stoking close to the ones that are there for you through the hard times. An extremely talented author to tackle these subjects in such an understanding way and this book will be talked about for a very long time I’m sure.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Cameron

    Brilliant! A really original, nuanced and timely story about a girl forced offline by trolls and a boy trying to detangle himself from the alt-right group that have made her life miserable. It touches on so many relevant topics, and explores the darker side of the internet whilst also celebrating its potential for building real connections and communities.

  30. 5 out of 5

    María

    2.5 This book has an interesting premise: a girl gets bullied and thrown away from her safe space, her online communities, and starts to fade. The only person who fully remembers her is one of her bullies, who now wants to help her come back. But you know, an interesting premise can only do so much. This book was pretty average most of the time and I would have rounded it up to 3 stars if it had stayed that way but the ending was very disappointing. This book leaves very clear that online friendsh 2.5 This book has an interesting premise: a girl gets bullied and thrown away from her safe space, her online communities, and starts to fade. The only person who fully remembers her is one of her bullies, who now wants to help her come back. But you know, an interesting premise can only do so much. This book was pretty average most of the time and I would have rounded it up to 3 stars if it had stayed that way but the ending was very disappointing. This book leaves very clear that online friendships shouldn’t be seen as “real”, which is a very dangerous and very sad thing to believe. Also, the way the romance is used here was pretty bad. That’s what ultimately what made me round it down to 2 stars. There really isn’t much more left to say. It was an okay book, I think, with a few bad choices. It could’ve definitely been done better.

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