04 April 2015

Review: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

Published: 24 March 2015 by Simon & Schuster

Pages: 384 pages

Genre/s: YA, Apocalypse

Source: Own

Find It: Goodreads ~ Amazon


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.

My Thoughts

It was the simplicity of the cover that initially drew me to We All Looked Up, quickly turning into I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK when I read the blurb.  I mean, there is a huge asteroid heading for earth and chances are no one is going to make it through alive – this kind of book is just my thing (yes, I am a fan of impending doom).

When I first started reading, I was hooked – told through the perspective of four very different teens, there was so much possibility for drama and characterisation and relationships, as the world falls apart in the face of impending doom.  I liked that the characters were so diverse, and that their relationships to each other developed and changed as the story progressed.  I particularly liked Eliza, whose don’t-give-a-fuck attitude with a passion for photography made her really stand out, and Anita, who finds the potential end of the world far more freeing than restrictive.

However, I did repeatedly mix the two male characters, Peter and Andy up as the story progressed, and even by the end of the book I was still confusing them for each other.  It’s not that their stories were similar, apart from being connected to each other, their stories and personalities were very different, but I just wasn’t invested in them enough to see them as completely separate.

I did find the timeline a little confusing – it’s linear, but big chunks seemed to have been cut out, and I found it difficult to work out how much time had passed between one event and the next, which by the middle of the book meant that every time I put the book down, I wasn’t always looking forward to picking it up again.  Well that was until the last 10% or so, when the plot picked up major pace and that addictive feeling came flooding back.

It’s definitely a book to make you think though, which comes through quite strongly in the characters as the asteroid gets closer to earth and things that mattered beforehand are no longer important – and it was interesting to see how each of them interpreted and put those thoughts into action, or not.

Overall, I liked We All Looked Up quite a lot – Wallach’s writing style made it stand out from the crowd and the idea was pretty well executed, it was only the jumpy timelines and lack of connection with a couple of characters that disappointed me. 

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