Review: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up
Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

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.

We All Looked Up used a great, well used concept, but its a concept that never gets old - I will never get tired of reading disaster books and especially those that deal with the way people come to terms with mortality. There have been some fantastic books that do this in such a thought provoking ways and have left me shaking.

This was not one of those books.

That being said, I did come away from this book and I couldn't stop thinking about it, solely because the ending kept me guessing. I just think that the build up to that ending could have been better.

I like to think that should there be a 66% chance of the world ending in two weeks, everyone would go about their lives in a much more mature way. Prioritise would change - I honestly don't think that everyone's life would be about getting high and getting laid, but that's what this book was about. The characters were just flat teenage caricatures of what could have been great, dynamic characters. The whole book just ends up being about love triangles and all this crap instead of the aspects of humanity and survival and coming to terms with our limitations the way it should have been. That was a let don to me.

In fact, the fantastic aspects of the book - Eliza's blog, the way the kids are rebelling, the oppression of adults when the news is revealed - they all seem to be completely blown over by Wallach's attempts at making this book more than it needed to be and the result was a fragmented storyline which was at times near impossible for me to follow.

I think what I took away from We All Looked Up was that Tommy Wallach is a good writer, but he tried so hard to make this book stand out and instead it ended up harming the book's message. It could have been so much more affecting with a little subtlety, but instead it ended up falling very, very flat for me.

Book released 26th March 2015 by Simon and Schuster UK
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

1 comment

  1. I've heard so many different opinions of this book! I was nervous to pick it up and read it. Maybe one day when I have abs. nothing to read! Great review!


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