Title: The Kids Are Gonna Ask
Author: Gretchen Anthony
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: Park Row
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 28, 2020
A whip-smart, entertaining novel about twin siblings who become a national phenomenon after launching a podcast to find the biological father they never knew.
The death of Thomas and Savannah McClair’s mother turns their world upside down. Raised to be fiercely curious by their grandmother Maggie, the twins become determined to learn the identity of their biological father. And when their mission goes viral, an eccentric producer offers them a dream platform: a fully sponsored podcast called The Kids Are Gonna Ask. To discover the truth, Thomas and Savannah begin interviewing people from their mother’s past and are shocked when the podcast ignites in popularity. As the attention mounts, they get caught in a national debate they never asked for—but nothing compares to the mayhem that ensues when they find him.
Cleverly constructed, emotionally perceptive and sharply funny, The Kids Are Gonna Ask is a rollicking coming-of-age story and a moving exploration of all the ways we can go from lost to found.
Thomas and Savannah have a podcast where they interview the eclectic people their grandmother brings home for dinner. One evening, they get the idea to create a new podcast to document the search for their biological father. Their mother died when they were thirteen years old, and they have lived with their grandmother since then. They work with a media company to develop their podcast to find their father, which is called The Kids Are Gonna Ask. However, it brings them a lot of attention that they weren’t expecting and they don’t know how to cope with it.
Though this story has two seventeen-year-old main characters, it’s an adult novel rather than a young adult novel. Some of the chapters were writing from the perspective of adults, which I don’t think young adult readers would be interested in. Since this story has both teenage and elderly characters, it could appeal to a wide variety of age groups.
I liked the mystery of this story that slowly unfolded as Thomas and Savannah learned more about their mom and their biological dad. The identity of their bio dad was revealed fairly early on in the story, which cut out the suspense of wondering who he could be. The pacing slowed down after they found each other, though there were still some surprising events to come.
This story shows the dangers of doing a public search for someone. Thomas and Savannah had to make some serious decisions about how much privacy they were willing to give up in the search for their father. They were also criticized for possibly revealing the identity of their father and affecting him and his family. It’s important to recognize that others can be affected when embarking on a public search for someone through a podcast.
I really enjoyed this story.
Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
Sadie by Courtney Summers
About the author:
GRETCHEN ANTHONY is the author of Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners, which was a Midwestern Connections Pick and a best books pick by Amazon, BookBub, PopSugar, and the New York Post. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Medium, and The Write Life, among others. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.
Have you read The Kids Are Gonna Ask? What did you think of it?