Published by Park Row Books ISBN 9780778308744
Trade paperback, $17.99, 416 pages
Podcasts are a recent popular form of entertainment, so it's not a surprise that novels featuring podcasts would not be far behind. Gretchen Anthony's The Kids Are Gonna Ask features twin teenagers, Thomas and Savannah, who host a podcast that takes place at their dinner table. Their grandmother Maggie likes to invite all kinds of interesting and odd people to dinner, and Thomas and Savannah created a podcast around that.
Thomas and Savannah live with Maggie; their mom Bess died in a car accident years before, and they don't know who their father is. They decide to create a podcast about searching for their father's identity, with Maggie's reluctant blessing. (Maggie doesn't know the father's identity.)
Thomas and Savannah hope that the podcast might go viral, helping increase their chances of finding their father. Their wish comes true when a national podcast producer hears their story and wants to bring them to a wider audience.
It all sounds too good to be true, and as we all know with social media, things can go wrong. (The news is filled with stories about people who have said something on social media that ends their careers.) Thomas and Savannah's story blows up, with people choosing sides and voicing their opinion/threats on social media.
I found that part of the story so spot on. I follow lots of social media, and it always astonishes me how people get so angry that they write horrible things online that they would never say in person. I do not understand how people can get so worked up about things that do not personally affect them. Everyone has an opinion about what the kids are doing and feels free to share it.
Thomas and Savannah are typical teenagers- Thomas runs track, and Savannah has set her sights on becoming a producer. She is symbolic of young women today who speak their minds and will not settle for being treated less than because she is female. Their twin sibling relationship is well done too.
There is some good foodie parts to this novel- Maggie has a personal chef, Bart, who makes delicious food that had me salivating. (Who wouldn't love a personal chef? Never having to decide what to make for dinner each night is such a luxury.)
At it's heart though, this is about Thomas and Maggie looking for their father, and also hoping to find out more about their mother, who was taken too soon. It's a beautiful family story, with warmth and humor, appealing to all ages, from teenagers to middle-aged adults (I loved the character of Maggie). I recommend The Kids Are Gonna Ask.
Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Summer Reads Blog Tour.