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.
Author: Gretchen Anthony
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 336
Date of Publication: July 28, 2020
My Rating: 4 Stars
Thomas and Savannah have experienced great loss in their lives. They lost their mother when they were thirteen and are being raised by their grandmother for the past few years. What is more is that they never knew their father - or anything about him. The siblings, twins actually, decide to launch a search for him, and they utilize what proves to be a very successful podcast in order to find him with hopes of their father becoming a part of their lives.
Their grandmother Maggie is a truly wonderful person. She is someone who never met a stranger and could not be a better role model for Thomas and Savannah. When their podcast takes on wings higher than they ever could have imagined, they begin to gather clues about their mother's past and why their father's identity was never made known. Of course, the podcast and their youthful energy and devotion doesn't mean that things are going to go easy for them. In fact, a maelstrom of events begin to occur.
I found The Kids Are Gonna Ask to be humorous with moments of deep emotion woven in. I kept hoping for an idyllic solution to what was at hand while reading this book. Their dad would be unaware of their existence and be this great guy ready to step into their lives and make their family as whole as possible.
Of course, that was me. Instead, there were secondary stories that ran right smack into their search, thus affecting the existing relationships. This led to some deeply emotional moments in the story. This was very well done. Of course, in real life this is an all-too familiar scenario, with children being raised alone by their mothers for most of their lives. This remarkable story - driven by two teenagers - in search of a missing father was one that was done with excellence.
Gretchen Anthony did a fine job with this book, creating fine characters while delivering a really good story. I loved the fact that the teens were decent kids - with real issues, but able to be enjoyed within the context of this story. I loved this book from start to finish and hope to read more by Ms. Anthony again.
Many thanks to Park Row and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Excerpted from The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony © 2020 by Gretchen Anthony, used with permission by Park Row Books.JULYThe house had become an aquarium—one side tank, the other, fingerprint-smeared glass—with Thomas McClair on the inside looking out. There had been a dozen protests outside their home in less than a week, all for the McClairs to—what, enjoy? Critique? Reject? There was no making sense of it.Tonight, Thomas pulled his desk chair up to the window and kicked his feet onto the sill. He’d been too anxious to eat dinner, but his mind apparently hadn’t notified his stomach, which now growled and cramped. He was seventeen. He could swallow a whole pizza and wash it down with a half-gallon of milk, then go back for more, especially being an athlete. But that was before.Before the podcast, before the secrets, before the wave of national attention. Now he was just a screwup with a group of strangers swarming the parkway across the street from his house because he’d practically invited them to come.He deserved to feel awful.The McClairs had been locked in the house for a week, leaving Thomas short of both entertainment and sanity. He had no choice but to watch the show unfolding outside. Stuck in his beige bedroom, with the Foo Fighters at Wembley poster and the Pinewood Derby blue ribbons, overlooking the front lawn and the driveway and the hand-me-down Volvo neither he nor Savannah had driven since last week. There they stood—a crowd of milling strangers, all vying for the McClairs’ attention. All these people with their causes. Some who came to help or ogle. More who came to hate.Thomas brought his face almost to the glass and tried to figure out the newly assembling crowd. Earlier that day, out of all the attention seekers, one guy in particular had stood out. He wore black jeans, black boots, a black beanie—a massive amount of clothing for the kind of day where you could see the summer heat curling up from the pavement—and a black T-shirt that screamed WHO’S PAYING YOU? in pink neon. He also held a leash attached to a life-size German shepherd plushy toy.Some of the demonstrators had gone home for the night, only to be replaced by a candlelight vigil. And a capella singing. There were only about a dozen people in the group, all women, except for two tall guys in the back lending their baritones to a standard rotation of hymns. “Amazing Grace” first, followed by “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Now they were into a song Thomas didn’t know, but the longer he listened, he figured hundred-to-one odds that the lyrics consisted of no more than three words, repeated over and over. They hit the last note and raised their candles high above their heads. By daaaaaaaaaaaayyyy.“No more,” he begged into the glass. “I can’t take any more.”A week. Of this.Of protests, rallies and news crews with their vans and satellites and.Of his sister, Savannah, locked in her room, refusing to speak to him.Of his grandmother Maggie in hers, sick with worry.Of finding—then losing—his biodad, the missing piece of his mother’s story. And his own.Thomas was left to deal with it all. Because he’d started it. And because he was a finisher. And most of all, because it wasn’t over yet.
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.
Author website: https://www.gretchenanthony.com/
Author website: https://www.gretchenanthony.com/