Wednesday, December 23, 2015

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

They learn that an asteroid may or may not crash into Earth in 2 months.  After that, their version of normal changes forever.  

There's the athlete who was contemplating what he really wanted out of life, and now wants to do things that weren't part of his plan.  

The straight-A student who dreams of being a singer, but is stifled by her parents giant expectations, who now decides to live her own dream in the remaining days.  

The girl with the reputation, who wants her photography to mean something to the world.  And the slacker with no backbone, who is just now finding where he belongs.  

All 4 of these people and their friends (and the whole world) are struggling with lives that may be cut short....

We All Looked Up is a book I've been wanting to read because A. I love the cover, and B. I've heard good things about it.

It was an interesting read and for the most part I enjoyed it... but it didn't GO anywhere for me.  There was potential for this book to make me FEEL something, and that potential just wasn't reached.  I liked the multiple POV's and I liked the characters, but when it was all said and done, this book fell a little flat for me.

It's about a world dealing with an impending doom... and the unknown, but for most of the book it wasn't a desperate book.  There wasn't a lot of violence or fear.  Which is why towards the end when things took a turn in that direction, it didn't feel right.  I've read a lot of apocalyptic books, and most of them have had that common desperation and human nature at it's worst element... but this book didn't lead into that until really late.  It didn't feel honest with the rest of the book.

The biggest problems for me were the following things:  First Up- The Science.  I would think that with an asteroid 2 months away, they would be able to track it's trajectory better then 2/3 chance of hitting Earth.  I would think they would know.  They would also know where on the planet it would hit and start to have SOME sort of contingency plan.  In this book, the president is like "maybe you'll die, goodbye".

Other stuff- I hated that Eliza's dad was a major factor in her life in the beginning of the book, and then he just fell away without her even seeming to care.  I hated that the other parents in the book were completely non-existent.  Peter's parents were the only ones that were even present and they were such a non-factor they may as well have been wallpaper.  I can't imagine wanting to spend my final moments on Earth away from my parents/family.  Everyone is not like that, but I'd be willing to bet most high school kids are.  I would have liked to see some people like that.

I hated that the build up to the last days were SO blah.  I thought the countdown to the end would be INTENSE... and it should have been.  It wasn't.  I hated that the couplings and uncouplings were so predictable.  I hated that things that were important to the 4 teens (photography, singing, love, friendship) didn't hold through until the end in the least.  I hated that they wanted to spend their last day at some giant festival.  It's not like the asteroid was projected to hit Seattle... so it would be a WHILE before they died.  They would probably starve to death before anything else.  Panic would set in... you think being at a festival with thousands of people is going to be fun in any way when panic sets in??

What I did like about the book:  I did actually did like this book up until it's halfway mark.  I liked Eliza and how she just owned her sexuality.  I loved Andy.  Actually Andy is probably the only character I really did love the whole way through.  I loved that he didn't know what friendship was until it dropped into his lap.  I loved his positive attitude.  He wasn't perfect, but in a way he felt innocent even when doing bad things.

I never thought about putting this book down through all the things I wasn't wild about.  I still wanted to know what would happen and I still cared about these characters.

I guess for the most part my disappointments lie in the way things turned out to be exactly as they seem.  The good people are the good people... the bad are bad.  There aren't shades of grey or flawed characters that I could relate to.  For a debut, I feel there's something there for this author to go on-- but for a book about life and death, it didn't go deep enough.

The Ending: I don't know what to think about the ending.  I'm not going to give it away, but I definitely didn't love it.  I kind of knew it was coming, but I guess I was hoping I would be wrong.

OVERALL: An okay story about 4 teens at the end of the world.  It had moments that I liked, but for the most part I felt like it didn't live up to it's potential.  I ended up feeling conflicted about whether I would recommend this or not.  I say read, but with low expectations.

Date Published: 3/24/2015
How I got this book: I won an ARC from a giveaway
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Add it to your To-Read List!!

This Book Includes:
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Photography
  • Music- singing, guitars, piano
  • A punk band called Perineum
  • All class levels- middle, upper, poverty
  • A hippy commune
  • Drugs, Alcohol
  • Sex
  • Swearing
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • A karass 

My Rating: 3/5

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  1. I didn't love this one either. There were some positives to it but I had a lot of the same issues as you. The ending killed me! And I didn't like how one particular scene with Eliza and a guy was handled.

    1. I know what scene you mean... and I had problems with that part too!!

  2. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that felt this way about this book. It did have so much potential!

    1. It really did, and that's why it was so disappointing :(

  3. I didn't really like this either. I felt like the characters were blah and I didn't connect to anyone in particular. I also felt like teens weren't really like that- AND that the villain kid is named BoBo? LOL gimme a break. I wanted to like it so much more than I did. Not sure I'll read the author's other stuff =(