Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
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 start 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.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was curious about Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up when I first heard about it. Mostly because I didn’t know what to make of it. But then more and more people were talking about it and I knew I had to read it. And I am more than happy that I did.
Thought everyone always says high school is the best time of your life, most can’t help but think about what life will hold for them once high school is finished. There’s a whole world to explore after graduation. Whether that’s going to college or just trying to figure out who you are, there all these possibilities. But what if those possibilities suddenly disappear. For four high school seniors, that’s exactly what happens. As they get ready for their final semester of high school, an asteroid is flying to space, straight for Earth. There’s no way to know if they will survive or if the asteroid will wipe away everyone. In those final weeks, Peter, Anita, Eliza and Andy figure out how they’re going to be spending their last days on Earth.
Here’s the thing about We All Looked Up. It wasn’t what I expected at all. Not in the least. But I pretty much loved it because of that. The synopsis does give a sort of idea of what this story is going to be about. But at the same time, it doesn’t. And that’s really for the best. If I had known everything I needed to about this story before I started reading, then I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. And it definitely wouldn’t have packed the same punch. This story sort of creeped up on me. For a while, I didn’t know how it was going to all fit together. But then everything clicked and I couldn’t stop reading. I was afraid of what would happen to these characters, to what happened to the planet, but I couldn’t look away. It was just so interesting to see the way the world was reacting in the face of the impending end of the world. Not only that, but it also got me thinking, about what I would do if I were ever put in the situation all those people were put in. What would I do if I knew that there was a pretty strong chance that I would be dying along with the rest of the world in just a few weeks? I don’t know what I would do. And to be completely honest, I’m hoping I never have to find out. I’ve said already that We All Looked Up wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. And the ending has a lot to do with that. The ending was not the one I thought it was going to be, not even close. This ending, and what comes before it, will punch you in the gut and leave you a little raw. Or at least that’s what it did for me.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about having this story told from four different perspectives. I just wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to work. Having now read the book, I couldn’t imagine the story told any other way. It just worked to have this story told from Peter, Eliza, Andy and Anita’s perspectives. These were four people who never would have really spent any time together if it weren’t for the impending end of the world. I really enjoyed seeing how the four of them were brought together because of their circumstances, and I couldn’t help but wonder if these people would have found each other without an asteroid coming for them. Regardless of that, I just loved seeing the friendships grow, and the romance develop between some of them. And much like with the story as a whole, none of these characters were who I thought they were going to be. When I was first introduced to each of them, I inevitably went to typical stereotypes and I was later happy to be proven wrong about each of them. Anita was so much more than just a Type A overachiever. Andy was more than just a skater and he deserved so much more credit than people gave him credit for. There was a lot more to Peter than a basketball-playing jock. And to say that people had Eliza pegged completely wrong would be a gross understatement. At the end of the day, these four teens were just trying to figure out their lives, hoping to be able to do so before the world ending. No pressure.
Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up was different from what I expected in the best way possible. This story got me thinking, got me questioning what I would do if I were faced with the world ending. And this book punched me right in the gut. Again, in the best way imaginable.
As part of the tour, I was asked to share some of my favorite quotes from We All Looked Up. This is the kind of book that has so many amazing words and passages and it made it hard to pick just a few. So here are three of my favorites.
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