Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Contemporary
They always say that high school is the best time of your life.
Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.
Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.
Why I picked it up:
This book was sent to me from Simon Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
The writing in We All Looked up is beautiful. It flowed really well and was written in a way that described the characters perfectly without describing them at all.
Up until her dad got sick, Eliza had believed the universe to be a fundamentally balanced place. She figured that, excepting the super lucky and the super unlucky, most people ended up with about the same amount of good and bad in their lives, when all was said and done.
I also liked the themes in this novel – insecurity, uncertainty of the future, the toss up between obeying your parents and following your heart, the fragility of life, etc.
Why had he assumed time was some sort of infinite resource? Now the hourglass had busted open, and what he’d always assumed was just a bunch of sand turned out to be a million tiny diamonds.
I didn’t expect this novel to be so… gritty. I thought it would just follow a bunch of kids and their worries at the end of the world – and it did do that, but it was also a serious look at how society can disintegrate into chaos in the face of an emergency – with a state of emergency declared and kids being thrown into prison and police guarding schools.
As a whole, this novel started really strong. In the first few chapters I was thinking wow, I hope this book never ends. But at the end of the day, I seriously disliked the characters. I never fell in love with them or the world they existed in. I couldn’t summon anything more than a vague interest in what was happening to them, and I think that’s because they didn’t have endearing qualities. I found them destructive, selfish, petty and almost depressing. They were really dark and gritty.
It kind of bothered me that they didn’t do anything beautiful before it all ended. And I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to spend time with loved ones. They were off with people who barely gave a shit about them… I didn’t identify with them at all.
My Verdict – 2 stars