Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Format / Length: Paperback Proof / 370 pages
Publisher / Date Published: Simon & Schuster / April 1st 2015
Category / Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary (I’m classifying this as a contemporary, but it’s also very pre-apocalyptic, whic is AWESOME)
Source: Review copy from the publisher — thank you!
| We All Looked Up on Goodreads|
Star Rating: Four of five stars (in other words — I really liked this one!)
Description: 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.
“The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.”
When you read a philosophical, thought-provoking novels such as We All Looked Up, it’s hard to come up with words adequate enough to review it — which, as you can imagine, makes my job as a reviewer a touch difficult. To sum it up, We All Looked Up was heartbreaking, lovely, and beautifully written, and I could not get enough of it.
To sum up the story for those who don’t know what this novel was about, it centres around four teenagers characters who develop, grow, and learn as a possibly deadly asteroid threatens earth. I should point out that this isn’t really a science fiction novel which I feel the need to point out as I have seen this commonly shelved on Goodreads. It’s purely contemporary novel, focusing on the plights (which — let’s admit it — are sometimes a touch petty) in a realistic, modern way.
“The end of the world revealed the futility of all commemorative plaques.”
Interestingly, We All Looked Up is told from four point of views. And honestly, I had a very love-hate relationship with this. On the one hand it was SO WELL DONE. It flowed beautifully, seamlessly, into the next persons point-of-view, telling the story from each of their views in a refreshing, different manner. But, in saying that I wasn’t fond that fond of the use of third person. For some — this might work just fine. There were points though where I felt a little disconnected with the characters, or didn’t quite get where they were coming from. Yet at other points where I DID feel close to the characters, and felt their fears and worries, so for me, the points of views worked mostly . . . but at places they didn’t.
(But hey — maybe that’s just me!)
AND THE WRITING. Gosh, I LOVED IT. Case en point (this has to be my favourite quote from the entire novel):
“And as Anita watched Andy skip across the room, she finally felt it, rumbling like a bone-deep hunger she’d been ignoring for weeks. A sensation somehow totally new and totally familiar at once. It was the glistening green blossom of jealousy, and deeper down, beyond the place where the stem met the dirt, the parched and greedy roots: love.”
Overall, I adored this. And I hope you guys do, too.
Tommy Wallach has delivered a hit of a debut novel, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks of it.