Blog Tour| All The Lonely People

All the Lonely People
David Owen
⭐⭐⭐⭐
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UK Publisher: Atom Books

UK Release Date: January 10th, 2018

DISCLAIMER: I received this book from the publisher, for free, in exchange for an honest and truthful review.  My views are all my own.

Synopsis:


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.


Review


I had heard of David Owen for quite a while now, proving why YALC is such a success and that kind of breed of marketing. I had have heard some good things, saw Nicola's (Fantastic Book Dragon) tweets about his last child, The Fallen Children, and had heard him talk on panels (quite funny actually, ten out of ten would recommend his events). 

After reading his latest novel, I have to confirm that I, Lauren of ACityofBooks, will be purchasing David Owen's other two novels and will devour them (not literally, I'll just have to use my eyes). 

Feeling lonely is something I feel like we can all relate to. Everyone at some point in their life will have that experience of what it is to be lonely and how disassociated it can make us feel, especially during our teens as we move schools, lose our rose-tinted specs, have friends drop and change, as well as having to deal with the chemical war-zone development of your body and mind.  David Owen has written about loneliness like I have never seen before in YA, or in any book for that matter. It's the abstract captured onto the page that will entice you to keep turning the pages.


I find the idea of "fading" a horrifying one. Absolutely terrifying. In that way that I find horror films with the most mundane threats to be why I won't sleep at night. I really liked the way the portrayal of the fade was put across and having that experience in All the Lonely People. It was an intriguing way to explore the central themes within a liminal space. 

This and the way Owen writes teens is something my brain can barely comprehend. They're flawed, and making stupid decisions - like we all have - but ultimately, they're relatable as we see these two protagonists, Wesley and Kat, scramble to find somewhere to fit in and be accepted. 

I just want to make a little footnote and say: there's a small f/f romance involved that I didn't know was a thing until my heart was soaring. Its not a spoiler and I just wanted to briefly mention it. Another reason why this book was great - a small dose of LGBT+ rep.

How has the internet made your life better and how has it made it worse?


If you have been following the All the Lonely People blog tour (which by the way, you should have been) then you may have come across this question before. It's a very straight forward question, there's no doubt about it, however, you might be surprised to hear how challenging it was for me to answer. 

Like Kat, in the novel, I used to use the internet as a safe space. Fandom forums, fandom Twitter, Tumblr, even Facebook (where I get my best memes) were where you could find me. I've met so many wonderful and interesting people to talk to over the years, that I would never have come across unless I had that time online. Again, like Kat, online (and now with Uni friends) is where I could be my most authentic self. 

However, like most things, the internet hasn't been all too kind either. I have mentioned this before, just in passing on Twitter, that I don't participate in bookish chats or fandoms as much as I used to. They no longer feel like a safe place for me to express my opinion, or make a joke, or chat to someone, without it ending up with five people trying to tell me my point isn't valid, a whole load of blocking and me feeling worse for it. 

Like guys, stop coming after authors with your pitchforks because an adaption of their books got canceled (which they have no creative control over, by the way) or didn't end the way YOU had wanted it to or "canceling" each other because that doesn't teach a person to grow. I'm all for the Tea, but just... stop.

About the Author


David resents the fact that he was not raised by wolves and was therefore robbed of a good story to tell at parties. He turned to fiction to compensate for his unremarkable existence.

You can find out more on his website, or alternatively give him a follow on his Twitter, @davidowenauthor

Most Anticipated Books of 2019

I'm pretty sure I began this post a Top 5 Wednesday post in 2018, but it just never went up. I'm still going to keep this to five books, seeing as these are one and truely at the top of my most anticipated list for this year.


1. The Priory of the Orange Tree
Samantha Shannon

Goodreads

I remember when Samantha first tweeted about the seed that would then become this monster of a book. I was intrigued, excited and had just finished The Mime Order - I was hooked to her writing.
Now, its less than two months away from release and I am CRAVING this book, so bad. 


2. The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #3)
Jen Williams

Goodreads

I feel like I am always going to tie my University experience to this series. The first book coming out when I was in first year, book two in my second and now the third and final book will be out as I conclude my final year. It's going to be a little bittersweet.
3. Darkdawn (Nevernight #3)
Jay Kristoff

Goodreads

We all know how Godsgrave killed me, right? I cried... in my Nan's front room because I was underprepared for the ending. So if my dissertation isn't what kills me off, maybe this will be it?



4. Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3)
Susan Dennard

Goodreads

Another one where I feel like I've been waiting forever, but also not for very long. I'm just excited to be getting back to the world of the Witchlands.



5. Other Words of Smoke
Sarah Maria Griffin

Goodreads

I read the sample for this very soon after getting back from YALC. I was instantly obsessed with the prose and what feels like a really promising story. Besides, isn't the UK cover just utterly LUSH?!

Top 10 Books of 2018

It's been a while, hasn't it? The end of 2018 saw me without internet as I returned home to London; spent most of that time in the library trying to draft the first four-thousand words of my dissertation and then returned back to Uni with only 3 days to complete my first assignment and four days for the second.

2018 was a great reading year for me. I read 70 out of 70 books, completing my Goodreads goal. I received the most books from publishers (please don't take this as bragging) that I have ever received on this little journey of mine, took part in some of my favourite blogging tours to date... and made some of the most amazing friends, both online and at University.

This post was meant to up for my final leg of Blogmas, however, I ended up going home earlier than expected and was left without internet for the majority of my time there. And when I was online, I had to prioritize Uni emails, deadlines and catching up with friends.

This introduction has got a little wordy? So, without further ado, here are my top 10 books of 2018.

(These are not going to be in any order, except for maybe the last one... you'll know why when you get there.)

Doctor Who: The Forever Trap
Written by Dan Abnett; Read by Catherine Tate

REVIEW

Goodreads

This one isn't quite a book. Written to be a Doctor Who original audio, no transcript has been published to my knowledge.  However, if I'm able to mark it as read on Goodreads... it counts.
This was probably my favourite Doctor Who story I read this year. I loved the characterization of The Doctor and Donna and the plot. One that I really wished would have been adapted to the screen.
City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1)
Victoria Schwab

REVIEW

Goodreads

It is no surprise to anyone that Victoria Schwab is on this list. I'll let you into a little secret - she's on here twice! I wasn't very excited about this one coming out, due to not being my demographic, but found myself pleasantly surprised and completely in love with.
The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2)
Jen Williams

REVIEW

Goodreads

I read this quite early one in 2018, but that doesn't mean that I have quite forgotten the impression this book left on me. A complimentary blend of SFF, with fantastic and engaging characters... and maybe some giant bats.

I Was Born This
Alice Oseman

REVIEW

Goodreads

This still remains one of my all-time favourite UKYA contemporaries that looks at platonic relationships and fandoms. It's so honest in what its like to be apart of fandom and online friendships. Its effortless diverse representation is wonderful!
Friendship Fails of Emma Nash (Emma Nash Series #2)
Chloe Seager

REVIEW

Goodreads

I feel like 2018 was the year of UKYA contemporaries that warmed my heart with its look at teen friendships. This one was just laugh-out-loud funny, and I am really hoping that we're going to be seeing Emma once again.

Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2)
Robin Hobb

Goodreads

I finally finished the trilogy in 2018. I know right, I actually met a goal. For me, this was the best and my favourite book in the series. The things Hobb puts Fitz through, oh my darling!
*hugs and protects at all cost*
Hobb's writing just draws me in and gives me the highs and lows that satisfy an itch that I've never been able to identify;


Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before he Stole Me Ma
Kerry Hudson

Goodreads

This one is a little funny and unexpected. I had to read this for my Working Class Fictions module, and ended falling head-over-heels at this debut. Hudon manages a coming-of-age tales that is visceral and grounded. This has become the closest representation of what it's like to grow up in a matriarchal family and dealing with homelessness, growing up and being on the poverty line.

Good Omens
Terry Pratchett; Neil Gaiman

Goodreads

I feel like I'm cheating by putting this on here, because this is already a book I read back at the age of 14. But rereading it this year has cemented its place in my top 5 books. I don't know how to pinpoint the reasons I love this book other describing it as the most Pratchett, but also most Gaiman book I have ever read. It's just fantastic, and funny, and bizarre, and entertaining, and Crowley is my precious demon child, and the unlikely friendship between Crowley and Aziraphale, and Aziraphale's bookshop. Do you get me?

Muse of Nightmare (Strange the Dreamer #2)
Laini Taylor

Goodreads

These next two... I mean are they really a surprise? Really?
This was the not the ending I was expecting from Laini Taylor, but somehow know that this was the correct one. The one that a book like Strange the Dreamer needed. I might have to reread it for maximum feels, cause hot DAMN SON.
Vengeful (Villians #2)
V.E. Schwab

Goodreads

The rest of the books on this list were in no particular order, however at this point and with this book, I should clarify: this book was my favourite book I read in the entirety of 2018. It gave me my found family trope, and Victor being all broody and sociopathic, it made me - somehow? like wtf V, how dare you - feel empathy for Eli, and phenomenal female characters that I fell deeply in love with and their stories.
It just had to be top of the list.

Top 5 Wednesday| Can I Still Get a Refund?

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly blog group that comes together to discuss that week's topic. The idea was first curated by the wonderful Lainey at GingerReadLainey and is now run by Samantha over on ThoughtsonTomes. 

If you wish to participate, either on your Blog or Booktube channel then, please, join the group on Goodreads for all the relevant topics.

I read some fantastic books in 2018, but there was a few that were okay... just a little bit of a letdown. 

Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1)
Nicholas Eames

REVIEW

Goodreads

This book got a lot of hype within the SFF circles, and because of this, I was disappointed by the praise it got. I really didn't like how the women were written, when there were women, and they become nothing but motivation and plot devices for the central characters. However, I did enjoy the humour - so there's the positive.
A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1)
Sarah J. Maas

REVIEW

Goodreads

Is this a surprise that this is on my list? I was greatly let down by the final book in the trilogy, and this was just even worse. I understand that this is a novella, however, there was no real plot except for the ridiculous sex scene.

The Price Guide to the Occult
Leslye Walton

REVIEW

Goodreads

I have heard so much praise for Leslye Walton's debut book, so when I saw this new release for a £5 at YALC, I jumped at the chance to pick up a copy. A contrite love-triangle, and loss of interest after the prologue left a lot to be desired.
Runemarks (Runemarks #1)
Joanne Harris

REVIEW

Goodreads

My flatmate has been hyping this book up since I first met her in my second year. Sad to say, I had some issues with the blank canvas that the main character appears to be.

The Fandom (The Fandom #1)
Anna Day

Goodreads

I remember it took me ages to actually get through this one. Every time I put it down, I wasn't compelled to pick it back up again and so what could've been a few hours of reading... took at least the entire month.
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