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We All Looked Up

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Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we'd been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

370 pages, Hardcover

First published March 24, 2015

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About the author

Tommy Wallach

7 books890 followers
I'm a Brooklyn-based novelist, screenwriter, and musician. I wrote "We All Looked Up" (a New York Times Bestseller) and "Thanks for the Trouble." My newest book is "The Anchor & Sophia," first in a trilogy set in a future North America which, for asteroid-collision-related reasons, has regressed to 19th century technology levels (oil lanterns, covered wagons, whiskey used as anesthetic, etc.).

As a musician I've released an EP with Decca/Universal Records, as well as a companion album for my first novel. I also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. I currently reside in LA, where I am developing my books as TV shows and movies, so I can make enough money to afford kombucha, spin class, and my Scientology membership fees.

Consider buying me dinner.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,629 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
February 12, 2015
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.

I didn't realise I was expecting this book to not be very good until it surprised me. And it surprised me a lot.

The cover is lovely and I think that might have something to do with why I was so drawn to this book, despite the description that seemed to be indirectly promising the equivalent of a bad high school drama meets cheesy action movie, complete with possible Armageddon-style asteroid collision. It does have a lot of high school politics, and it is about the coming apocalypse... and yet this book is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Firstly, the characters are fantastic. Wallach takes the traditional high school cliques and stereotypes and breathes humanity into them. In the author's hands, the jock, the slut, the slacker and the aloof nerd become three-dimensional human beings, each with aspirations, desires and insecurities of their own. As the opening quote suggests, the strength of these characters is that it's easy to find little bits of ourselves in all of them - or so I believe.

All the world was a cage.

I think there's something to be said about an author who can take some of the oldest, cliche ideas and create something new out of them. This book dabbles constantly in philosophical thinking and asks us to consider the meaning of things (or lack of), religion, living for today, and the importance of pursuing what you love. It could have been so preachy, so cheesy, so contrived and yet it contains such a subtle and powerful honesty and rawness to it that these concepts are never overdone or forced down our throats.

This book feels like more of an exploration and character study than the relaying of a message. I liked how the characters were complex, sometimes unlikable and often misunderstood in each other's eyes. We get to experience the coming "end of the world" through the eyes of both the religious and the non-believers, through the eyes of a virgin, and through the eyes of someone who sleeps around (and is proud of it), those with loving parents and those without. I guess the ultimate message - if one could be said to exist - is of existentialism and creating your own meaning, and it works well.

I also thought the writing was beautiful and captured all the pain, want and uncertainty of being a teenager:

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.

Most of all, I love the fluidity of the novel as it moved from one perspective to the next. I'm not a big fan of multiple POVs and especially not more than two, but somehow the four here work really well together. Most books with multiple POVs seem to stop and start as we jump from one person's story to the next, but this feels like one continuous tale with all of these very different people's lives bleeding into one another. They all entwine perfectly.

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Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.1k followers
June 12, 2017
Hey, Tommy Wallach, Urban Dictionary called! They want to know if they can use the entirety of this book as the example of their definition of “mansplaining”!

If you don’t like that one, I also considered this: Tommy, my man, Ayn Rand called! She wants to congratulate you on using fiction as a vehicle for your beliefs even more than she did with f*cking Atlas Shrugged!

Hi, babes. I’m pissed.

When I read the first dozen-or-so pages of this book, I was thrilled. I almost unhauled this book and then figured I might as well give it a shot. From the get-go I loved Wallach’s writing style (and by style I mean word choice, NOT CONTENT, bleh) and I thought there was some promise to the premise. (Lol.) (It's funny because those words are really close to each other.)

Oh my god, I thought. Did I almost donate a book I’ll end up giving 5 stars?

The answer to that?

Many of you know that the second I take out my teeny book-review notebook, I’m about to be one angry reader. This case was far from an exception. Here’s a list of the general categories of what Bugged me with a capital B:
-coverage of social issues (especially race, sexism; also including LGBT+)
-characters (specifically the female ones)
-choice of genre
-and, as always, general stupidity

For examples of each of these, go to https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co.... (Warning: it may be my longest review ever.)
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
695 reviews1,073 followers
August 15, 2018
Ok nope. I’m out. I cannot wade through this shit any longer.

I was getting a lot of warning flags and bad vibes during this book, including:

“recognised the insecurity balanced perfectly between the push-pull of Eliza’s two protective shells: the bitchy attitude and the skimpy clothes. Or maybe only other girls could see it, like those frequencies only dogs could hear.”

“they associated white values with material success, while they seemed to suspect most black kids of being, at worst, drug dealers and, at best, freeloading bohemians.”

“His sense of rhythm was, for lack of a better term, exceptionally not-white.”

“I’m straight but looking forward to my experimental phase.”

The final straw for me was when the trans guy was referred to as “Jess-who-used-to-be-a-girl.”

I am so out of this shit I am in outer space right now. Dnf’ed at page 168. I didn’t like any of the characters and frankly I could not care less what happens to them.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,615 followers
April 22, 2018
I didn't really care about the characters in this one. I loved the idea of the story. Well, it would be messed up as hell in the real world, although at times I have wished this same thing would happen in real life. Yeah, I'm crazy.

But the story puts more things in perspective. Things I have been thinking about that isn't really important since the cancer diagnosis. It doesn't matter whether you live or die. You just need to do what's better for you regardless. We never know how long we have. What's weird, I have been hearing and reading this same thing in books and shows and movies lately. And I need to follow the things my heart is telling me.

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
March 17, 2015
I really enjoyed this one! I also liked that the ending was so.. open. Though some may not be a fan of that kind of ending, I found it to be the perfect choice for this story. Anything more would have made the book just a tad less... meaningful. Like, we're left with the wonder, you know. The "what if". I don't know, this makes sense in my head. *shrug*
Profile Image for Stepheny.
381 reviews541 followers
October 25, 2015
Gather round, gather round. *waits patiently*

Everyone settled? Jeff, put your hand down.

Ok, so now that everyone’s-

What Jeff? FINE. Go to the bathroom, but come RIGHT back.

*10 minutes later*

Finally! Can I tell my story now? Great. Here we go.

So, let me just tell you all this quick little story. I received an email from Goodreads. It was one of those Dear John letters that tells you about this wonderful new book that is going to be the Next Big Thing. You know the type.

In this email it said: Stepheny, you’re going to love this book. It’s YA. It’s “the modern day version of The Stand”. Read it, Stepheny and you will see just how awesome this book is and then go tell your friends about how awesome it is.

Well, I thought about it. But the price tag on Kindle didn't agree with my budget so I sat on it a while longer. I went on a Barnes and Noble run with my best friend Andrea- you have to understand- our nearest bookstore is over an hour away.

Before we went in there I told her- Andrea- don't let me buy more than X amount of books! And of course we laughed because I’m a book-buying junky and no matter what boundary I try to set I always come home with more. *hangs head in shame*

Anyway, we go in and immediately I am lured right in by the incredible smell of books…and coffee. God bless bookstores with cafés built right into them. I went directly to the YA section because I was hoping to snag a copy of All the Bright Places- a book I loved so much when I bought it on Kindle that I knew I needed a hardcover version as well.

There I was amidst rows and rows of YA books when what should catch my eye, but We All Looked Up. I grabbed it the instant my eyes took notice. I loved the cover, the title- but mostly the cover. It was soft. And not just in the literal sense of it being a paperback- but it was almost like a suede-feeling. It was amazing. I literally stood there petting the book. But once again- the price tag made me hesitant. After 2 hours or so of carrying the book around in my arms(while petting it) I eventually put it back and went with The Buried Giant instead-which I still haven't read yet.

Yes, Jeff?

I’m getting there!

For those of you who didn't hear what Jeff asked- he wanted to know how it was that I finally came to read this book. Amazon Kindle Daily Deals. It went on sale for 1.99 or 2.99 and BAM- one click shopping.

Let me just tell you- this book is absolutely 100% NOTHING LIKE THE STAND. I repeat- this book is NOTHING LIKE THE STAND. In all my years of reading I don’t think I have ever seen such a horrible comparison.

We All Looked Up is the story of high school kids in Seattle finding out that an Asteroid is going to hit Earth causing the end of the world. No survivors. Do Not Pass Go. DO NOT COLLECT $200. One big bang to end the world- ohhh the irony! Am I right?

One would think, that with such a great plot line that the book would be filled with deep philosophical thoughts. We would see what really matters at the end of the world. We would watch them make their final stand.

Instead what you have is a half-assed attempt to show how the government would, like try to control you man. *passes doobie to Jeff* It’s like…no one understands us. We’re so tortured and like…fight the system. Parents just don’t get it, dude.

Absolutely the most ridiculous end-of-the-world story I think I have ever read. There seemed to be no point to this book. In fact, the ending wasn't even a fucking ending. I had continued reading in hopes that the ending would salvage it all and give me that GAHHHH moment that I wanted. But no, the ending was as lame and boring as the rest of it.

I really don’t enjoy writing reviews that trash the book. I try to find redeeming qualities but truly- I am completely underwhelmed. It was a huge letdown and I am thankful that I only spent, at most, $3 for it. Don’t be fooled by the fancy cover. Don’t be fooled by that outrageous claim that it is “the modern day Stand”. I will not tell you NOT to read it, but just don’t go into it expecting much and maybe you won’t be so disappointed.

Jeff- get out of the cookie jar. Jesus. Back to the cellar, NOW.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,026 reviews1,044 followers
February 17, 2017
2.75 stars?

A very philosophical YA contemporary story in the eyes of four stereotyped teenagers, the jock, the slut, the slacker and the over-achiever as they face the end of the world head on when they were given only two months to live before the high probability of an asteroid wiping earth from the face of the universe.

Looking back at it, it kind of felt like a crash course on philosophy, particularly on existentialism- what it really means to live although this is so much more well-written than reference books. If you’re looking for an action-packed, fast paced plot, you’ll get none from the book. To be honest, it was at large, uneventful and at times even dull to read and yet, it was thought provoking. I just couldn’t connect much with the characters, with their actions and decisions and it’s probably why I couldn’t fully appreciate the novel although they pretty much answer Andy’s question in the early parts of the book.

“How could you not look at the end of the world in the face and not go crazy?”

I may not be the biggest fan of the novel, but I think We All Looked Up is something both new and familiar at the same time and nowadays, to achieve these two things in a novel is a rarity.
Profile Image for Anastasia.
134 reviews67 followers
March 6, 2016
3/5 stars

Trigger Warning: self harm, suicide, rape,

We All Looked Up is a book about the world coming to terms with the world.

Before, we let ourselves be defined by labels - the athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever. But then we all looked up and everything changed. They said the asteroid would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we'd been, something that would last even after the end. Two months to really live.

I went into this book with pretty high expectations. I’ve seen a lot of great reviews about how this book breaks down barriers in high school. But, really I just thought it but barriers up.

The first couple chapters were the worst. We were introduced to our very diverse cast- the attractive athlete, the skater boy, the sell out artist, and the perfect life, perfect SAT, perfect everything girl. Personally this made me think of the Breakfast Club. Four people that are completely different come together to make something great. The only problem wasn’t with the idea, the idea was intriguing, it was in the execution. The characters weren’t very relatable since they were each very extreme. People shouldn’t be defined as “just” an athlete, or just an overachiever. Everyone is a mix of two or more of these characteristics. Over time we saw different characteristics being expressed by our characters but by then I was already annoyed with them.

Once the asteroid was identified and everyone knew that they only had months to live, things began to pick up. Many families decided to move to cabins or solitary to have more “family time”. Our main characters went about their normal activities such as school and hanging with friends. But, some things did change. They would make rash decisions, do things they wouldn’t normally do, help out the needy, or even trash the city.

Romance is a pretty big aspect in this book. Two guys are going after the same girl, which leads to misunderstandings and stupid decisions. These teenagers only have a month to live and they are pining after a girl! What? Why don’t you just ask them out? Every second is another second closer to your death. It really didn��t make much sense. But, I have to say the conclusion to all of these romances, there were a lot, worked perfectly.
“You don’t wanna go out of this world with regrets. If there’s something you want to do, you do it. You take this life by the balls and you tell it that you existed.”
In many of the cities of the world people are looting, attacking, and destroying everyone and everything. One of our main characters, the artsy Eliza, takes photos of the havok and creates a blog, that blows up. Everyone subscribes and she is a pre-apocalypse celebrity. The idea of a blog that shone a light onto problems in the cities and schools during this time was really interesting. I loved how badass Eliza was when she was threatened at school, walking into protests, etc. just to get the perfect photo.
The format of the book was beautiful. There were pages that were completely black except for the route of the asteroid towards earth. It helped you realize how close to destruction they were. You would be sucked into their lives and then thrown out into the realization that all of this was temporary. The alternate point of views did enhance the storytelling aspect of the book but it was a little choppy. I wasn’t completely in love with the POV change or the third person. I felt detached from the characters because we were reading from so many people's POV’s and we weren’t ever “in their head” since it was third.
“...the fundamental rule of life: Things were never so bad that they couldn’t get worse.”
The ending of the book was really what saved it for me. The last ⅓ of the book was really fast paced and had a lot of character development. If the whole book was as condensed and fast paced as the ending it would have been mind blowing. The characters embraced their differences and came together in the face of death. Everything turned out exactly how it should have. If this book hadn’t concluded the way it did, I would have been thoroughly confused and pretty annoyed.
“Do you think it is better to fail at something worthwhile, or succeed at something meaningless?”
All in all I was a bit disappointed by the book but it wasn’t horrible. The ending saved the story and the characters developed really well. I probably shouldn't have made assumptions about the direction of this book. It had similarities to The Breakfast Club that I have loved for years, and I think that tainted my experience of this book. But, there were lots of scenes that I am completely in love with and really connected too. I will probably re-read this book later in life and see how my opinion changes. This book was very off and on for me, some moments were 2 stars and some were 4-5 stars. After a week I have decided on the rating of 3 stars because it is a solidly written book, it just had a few bumps. I will definitely read more Tommy Wallach books in the future.
Profile Image for Jen.
910 reviews113 followers
March 5, 2015
1.5 stars
To be completely honest, I skimmed the last 30% and I'm so glad I skimmed instead of patiently reading every word. The first half of the story was boring but alright, and the second half just went really downhill. To sum up the book in one sentence: everyone in Seattle goes insane due to the possibility of the world ending and random sh*t goes down because of it. Do not recommend.

No full review to come.
Profile Image for Steysha.
109 reviews212 followers
June 19, 2015
You didn’t win the game of life by losing the least. That would be one of those—what were they called again?—Pyrrhic victories. Real winning was having the most to lose, even if it meant you might lose it all. Even though it meant you would lose it all, sooner or later.
And so they waited, together, for whatever was coming next.

Oh, it's not a book, it's a life hack. Imagine that you all are going to die soon. What would you do? Would you live on, as if nothing unprecedented happened, or would you say fuck off to everything and go after your dream? One thing can be said for sure, our already hectic world would turn into chaos, and Tommy Wallach describes in detail the psychology of people in a similar situation.

The story is told from 4 POVs. Normally, I don`t like when we have so many of them, as it's a bit confusing, but, in this case, it felt very organic. All four characters are completely different people who have little in common:

Star basketball player Peter - he has a good family, the best girl in the school and a secure future. But one incident makes him wonder whether he wants to spend all his life on throwing balls or to retain a trace? Aren`t he capable of something more? Can`t he, just a boy, make a world better? I liked the non-standard description of Peter: he is a jock, and usually they are described as stupid. He also does not possess a brilliant mind, but his goodness and chastity can only be envied. Maybe it's because he is religious. I was impressed by how sincerely he wanted to do something important for the world, and though it's small things, they did a great good. Low bow to you, Peter, and Mr. Wallach for such a versatile character.

Next comes Eliza - a daredevil girl. They say you do not define your reputation, it defines you. After a school incident, Eliza confers a status of a slut, and, being a smart girl, decides not to bury her head in the sand, but to exploit the situation. Instead of ridicule from classmates, she receives the admiration and popularity. I warn you, this book is not for slutshamers. It`s not a novelty for this girl to sleep with the first comer, but why not, if she can afford it? Eliza`s life is hard, her mother fled to another country with her new fancy man, and her father is terminally ill. When the shit goes down, she finds relief in photography.

People have always said that photography is an attempt to capture something fleeting. And suddenly everything is fleeting. It’s like Ardor is this special tone of light we’ve never had before, and it’s shining down and infusing every single object and person on the planet. I just want to document that light, before it’s gone.

She honestly and openly takes the world as it is: the panic and chaos that reigns after the announcement that all mankind will soon die. Eliza becomes somewhat of a celebrity, thanks to her blog, where she shares her photos and news with the readers. For example, the announcement party of the Party at the End of the World.

Next is Anita - she has a rich family, she is a straight A-student, and generally a good girl. But no matter how sweet her life seems – it`s all an illusion. Her family loves her only for her success, they don`t accept failures. Anita lives their dream - she doesn`t want to go to Princeton , her soul craves to sing. But her father won`t hear about it – it`s not prestigious. Of all the characters, I liked her most – she`s sensible, intelligent, responsible. But also funny, sometimes desperate and definitely loyal.

And, finally, Andy – a varmint, a sloven and a bone-lazy fellow. He can be characterized by one quote:

If only everything in life could be like that—effortless… If only you could get up when you wanted and eat some Cinnamon Toast Crunch and play some music and smoke a bowl and drive to school whenever and maybe take a class if you felt like it, if you were actually interested in it, and then just chill with your friends the rest of the time.

Andy doesn`t give a shit. Thoughts about future make him uncomfortable; he prefers to live the moment and do everything he wants. His parents also doesn`t seem to care about him, so he knows very little about limitations. All he thinks about are parties, weed, drinks and music. He has his own band, but it`s not particularly popular. As bad as it sounds, Andy is a good guy – he`s just a bit lost. He lives as best as he can under the influence of his friends-bandits. But deep down, he just wants someone to notice him.

And so would they live, if not for apocalypses. There is an asteroid that flies to the Earth, and 66.6% that all mankind will soon die.

Naturally, after such news you can`t live the way you did before. The only thing that bothers you, it's to to have a full life until it's all over. But people are divided into two types: those who only begin to fulfill their dreams and seek happiness, and those who have lost all common sense and stopped caring. The streets are full of chaos - there are no more boundaries, do what you want, because what's stopping you? We still all going to die soon.

Those who have much to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous. Well, a lot of people in the world have just started thinking that they don’t have anything left to lose, and it’s our job to protect you from them. I don’t want to scare you, but history tells us that whenever there’s panic, there’s death. It’s the way of the world.

This book is not about the apocalypse, but about human psychology. It just served as a factor that opened our true essence. I remember 2012 and the Mayan calendar, when we, too, were supposed to die. The only thing that saved us from the situation described in the book, is that very few of us believed in Armageddon. But even then, the news constantly reported on how people began to go crazy. Tommy Wallach was able to exactly convey the animalistic essence of humans - without embellishment. And that`s what I loved the most in this book.

The ending only confirmed my thoughts - I really hoped it would be just like that. Summing up, I can say that it`s psychologically plausible philosophical novel that has versatile characters you can`t not fall in love with. And yes, I have to mention the cover - I like it very much: it`s simple and at the same time fully shows what this story is about.

I hope to hear soon the news about next Tommy Wallach`s book, he definitely became one of my favorite authors.

You don’t wanna go out of this world with regrets. If there’s some-
thing you want to do, you do it. You take this life by the balls and you tell it that you existed.

Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,001 reviews35.9k followers
November 19, 2016
The news about Ardor--the Asteroid--seems to affirm, "why bother about anything?"

"People die. Everybody dies. Squirrels die. Trees die. Skin cell dies and the person you were yesterday's dead too. So what does it mean to die.?"

This is a YOUNG ADULT BOOK - which takes place during the senior year of High School. THANK YOU, *Trenton* for directing me to this book with your high recommendation.

In my opinion the strengths of this book outweigh the weaknesses.
The strengths are GREAT....
This is a character driven story..... focusing primarily on four key high school students --
.....remember--THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL -- so these kids are going to be dealing with some issues.
This story is not "The Breakfast Club"....however -- there are definitions that stand out between each of the key students.....similar to what we saw defined in "The Breakfast Club".
For example, Peter is an all American white male - good looking - tall - has that "Albercombie & Fitch" look about him- a star athlete --Basketball--and has been accepted to Stanford in the fall.
At the start of the story we learn that Peter has been with the same girlfriend - Stacy for 3 years. Between a 'life question' about choosing your own destiny rather than it choosing you from one of Peter's teachers --and his own unsettling inner thoughts creeping in recently---he is perhaps more off balance with himself than he has ever recognized. It's a new growing irritation. In fact his beautiful girlfriend, Stacy, whom he has always felt blessed to be with - is also becoming a low- grade irritation. His sense of gratitude is fading. There is also a hint that the death of an older brother who died a couple years ago, may have shifted his outlook about life.
Out of character Peter kisses a girl name Eliza in a photo lab. ( while still with his girlfriend, Stacy). The outfall drama for Eliza, a bright - normally quiet - non-flashy girl - becomes ( unfortunately) somewhat of a school celebrity-- due to gossip and lies. However, she has bigger problems at home. Her dad whom she loves deeply has pancreatic cancer.

Those are a 'couple' of examples....
I haven't even gotten to Andy and Anita. --- but I will say.....when you have all A's in School--have been accepted to Princeton--but feel like you are your parents greatest investment, and that your job in life is to follow their decisions and continue to mature, something is wrong with that picture. It doesn't leave any room for personal choice- and happiness.

The kids are facing big questions. Are they wasting their life away? They are asking themselves "is it better to live primarily for myself , or for others?" And if I really thought I was going to die soon, -- if the ARDOR really was going to smash the earth-- and more than half of the the earths planet is going to die --
might it begin to change the way I live?

The characters are great! They are teenagers like teens today ...worried about pleasing their parents, teachers, their future, love, sex, identity, and self worth.

The weakness --- The book was close to 400 pages ( quick fast easy reading), however -this story could have been told a little tighter knocking off 70 to 100 of those pages.

Overall ... enjoyable!!!!! Thanks Trenton!! :)

Profile Image for Gwen.
74 reviews41 followers
August 9, 2015
There's some promising stuff in here, but way too much casual misogyny for me to get past. I think Wallach thinks he's probably super enlightened by calling out the double standard of slut shaming, but in fact his entire book -- in both the male and female character POVs -- reinforces rape culture in really gross ways. So much of the focus of the book is on men being entitled to women, sex/girls being something "winnable", and on women "actually having all the power" because they control their bodies/sex which is all that guys want.

Skip this book. For a much, much better end-of-the-world YA novel, try Vivian Apple at the End of the World.
Profile Image for Sarah DiMento.
187 reviews520 followers
February 18, 2017
You don’t wanna go out of this world with regrets. If there’s something you want to do, you do it. You take this life by the balls and you tell it that you existed.

I've seen this book described as The Breakfast Club meets Armageddon and I have to say it's pretty much spot on. This book follows the lives four "stereotypical" teenagers (the slut, the stoner, the jock, the overachiever) as they discover that an asteroid has a 66% chance of hitting Earth and wiping out humanity. As the world descends into chaos, each character questions their priorities and decides how to at least make their last moments meaningful. As this unlikely group assembles to coordinate an epic Party at the End of the World, they break the molds of their "stereotypes" and find true friendships and love. Even at the end of the world, they can't help but act like teenagers who get into trouble, fall in love, make irresponsible decisions..

There isn't very much I believe in. Not heaven, or hell, or that any part of us will survive if... it happens. But I can say that for me, it was still worth it. I mean it was still worth being alive. I really do believe that.

I loved these characters so much. My favorite chapters were probably Andy's (the stoner) which surprised me because he's not the type of character I would usually relate to. He was just so honest and hilarious. And as it turns out, Andy was the character who had his priorities straight from the first place. He just wanted to chill and hang out with his friends. What good were things like basketball anymore? What did getting into Princeton mean anymore? All of the point of views were great (except maybe Peter, who was kind of boring) and even the minor characters were awesome.

They still hadn't actually spoken to each other, but since the day she took that photograph, she'd felt something brewing between them- a destined collision, or a doomed one. Either way, the symbolism wasn't lost on her; the only question was which of them was the world-destroying asteroid, and which the blue plant peacefully minding its own business.

My only complaints were that the middle draaagged a bit and the romance was a bit cheesy. Everyone just loved Eliza so much and it made me want to roll my eyes.

The writing was wonderful- beautiful, funny. I love the cover! (That always gets extra points from me, I admit) I'll definitely be looking into Tommy Wallach's other books.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews420 followers
January 6, 2016
I really loved how well written and honest this book was. I didn't really fall in love with the characters but I appreciated them and I loved how believable they were.
I'm still blown away by how well written this book is. And for being a debut novel, I'm even more blown away.
A lot of this book reminded me of The Breakfast Club and I thought it was really interesting to see the similarities between the movie and this book.
Even though a lot of this book was slow for me, I still couldn't stop reading it and ended up finishing it in just a couple of sittings.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,333 followers
April 15, 2015
“When you expect the world to end at any moment, you know there is no need to hurry. You take your time, you do your work well.”

----Thomas Merton, one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century

Tommy Wallach, a Brooklyn-based writer and musician, pens his debut coming-of-age novel, called We All Looked Up that revolves around the lives of four high school teenagers when faced the apocalypse.


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.

This is an extremely ardent and thought-provoking novel that forces you to realize the whole situation, that the author fictionally created in his story, in a real way and not only that these four teenagers will simply make you to keep turning the pages of the book until the very last page.

Four teenagers, Andy, Eliza, Anita and Peter, from Seattle are thrown together when the world is nearing it's end and they have hardly few weeks to live till the asteroid, Ardor hits the Earth. The whole world turns into a circus of chaos, riots, lawlessness, violence, murders, fights with drug lords, and general "screw-it" attitude in almost every human alive on this planet.

But in this post-apocalyptic situation, these four teenagers don't want to be who they are anymore. Like Andy, the slacker, doesn't want to grow up and live his whole life without any responsibilities, Anita, the over-achiever, doesn't want to the perfect girl for her daddy, Eliza, the slut, doesn't want to be a slut anymore and Peter, the athlete, is bored of being a teenager and fears that he won't be able to experience anything further. So what happens next and how they evolve from their own personalities is something that you can't really miss.

For the record, this book is not about a bunch of high school stereotypes, instead the author have focused on the theme of humanity, and the behavioral aspect of the humans in a crisis period, in a greater way. The growing tension on the wake of an asteroid-hitting-the-earth is very evident with the progress of the story and the author have portrayed that side of the human nature either in a general way or through these four perfect-to-unperfect-teenagers POV very strikingly and that's what made me feel the rising heat, tension and violence in a post-apocalyptic world.

The writing is very articulate and the author have layered his plot with a myriad of intricate descriptions. Moreover, the visual imagery of all those violence and religious indifference and confusion is quite strongly depicted in the book. The prose is really very fast, as the possibility of the asteroid hitting the earth came closer and closer, I felt more engaged to the book. The narrative style is more like dark, proverbial yet catchy.

The characters play a huge role in this book. With each day getting closer to the apocalypse, the characters evolve from peer-labelled-teenagers into something really wonderful. I mean there's a big difference in these teenagers' demeanor at the beginning of the book and at the end of the book. Moreover, the author gives us enough space to connect with these teenagers through their issues with being labelled and their desires to live life in a better way.

The author vividly drew the realism in these teenager's issues and in their lives, moreover it's very easy for some of us to relate and contemplate with these characters. From sexuality to ethnicity to relationship drama to torn-up background to drug usage, the author have etched them with every possible flaw, thus making them very realistic.

The author leaves us with a vague and unpredictable climax, I mean he wants us to use our own imagination to think the inevitable or the possibility of an end of the world. So that might not be a favorite thing with some readers, even me too, and as a result, I believe it would have been better if the author ended in a concrete way, instead leaving us hanging with our own minds and imaginative skills.

Verdict: A must read heart-wrenching, dark and witty YA novel that is set in a post-apocalyptic world.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Tommy Wallach's, publicist, for providing me with a copy of the book, in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Figgy.
678 reviews219 followers
May 29, 2016
Tommy Wallach and I discussed favourite birds, debated zombies, and perhaps discussed some of that book and music stuff over at 100% Rock Magazine!

“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.”
This is The Breakfast Club for a new generation… but where detention is replaced by an impending end of the world, and everyone is possibly going to die…

Okay, maybe not The Breakfast Club, but we do have four very different teens, thrown together by forces beyond their control. And their time together will stay with them for the rest of their lives… however long or short those lives might be.

There’s Peter: the sporty guy with jock friends and shallow girlfriend, who’s just been challenged by his teacher to make more of his life.
“Yeah, sorry. I’m having a weird day. Something a teacher said.”
“You in trouble?”
“Not like that. It’s hard to explain.”
“Here’s my trick with teachers, right? Don’t ever listen to them in the first place.”
“It’s got me this far,” he said, then popped a whole chicken finger into his mouth.
Eliza: the artsy loner type who likes taking pictures, and has been branded a slut at school. Her mother’s gone and her father is dying.
She believed photography to be the greatest of all art forms because it was simultaneously junk food and gourmet cuisine, because you could snap off dozens of pictures in a couple of hours, then spend dozens of hours perfecting just a couple of them. She loved how what began as an act of the imagination turned into a systematic series of operations, organized and ordered and clear: mixing up the processing bath, developing the negatives, choosing the best shots and expanding them, watching as the images appeared on the blank white paper as if in some kind of backward laundromat – a billowing line of clean sheets slowly developing stains, then hung up until those stains were fixed forever.

The chemo did end up slowing the growth of her dad’s tumors, but good news was a weird thing when you were dealing with a fatal illness. Instead of a few months, the doctors gave him a year. This was how you could be lucky without being lucky. This was how you could be a winner and still lose.
Andy: skater, stoner, no-hoper musician who’s been pushed out of his mother’s life by her new man.
So what if Bobo was still pissed off at him? So what if Suzie O thought he was a dick? So what if Eliza was giving it up to some loser with an Afro when Andy probably wouldn’t get laid until he was thirty? None of it really mattered. Today was just another shit day in a life that sometimes felt like a factory specializing in the construction of shit days.
And Anita: conscientious student constantly driven by her father towards a career path she doesn’t want, closet singer.
Afterward, her uncle Bobby had told her she ought to think about studying voice in college.
Anita had laughed. “I don’t think my parents would like that very much.”
“But you’d like it, wouldn’t you?”
“I guess.”
“So do it. You can make your own decisions.”
But that was easy enough for him to say. He wasn’t Benjamin Graves’s greatest investment. And investments weren’t supposed to make their own decisions; they were just supposed to mature.

But no one could stop her from singing in the closet. In the closet, there was no distinction between dreams and reality, no need to choose one path or another. There was just the heavenly lift of the strings, the sharp shriek of the horns, the twinkle of the guitar.
They each have things going on in their lives. High-school things, real world things, things that could seriously affect the direction of their future… but then Ardor is discovered.
“Wicked, right?” Andy asked.
Eliza knew what he meant by the word; it was one of a million different synonyms for “cool”: sweet, ill, rad, dope, sick. But for some reason, she felt he had it wrong. The star seemed wicked in the original sense. Wicked like the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked like something that wanted to hurt you.
The comet is eight miles wide at its thickest point, and if it collides with the planet it will unleash a force more powerful than one billion nuclear bombs. It’s headed right for Earth, is expected to arrive within 8 weeks, and the odds aren’t great…
“What are they saying?” Misery asked again, and there was a desperate edge to her voice that sent a shiver down Andy’s spine. “Kevin, what the fuck are they saying?”
“I was hoping to find something different,” he said, looking up from the screen. “They’re saying two-thirds.”
“Two-thirds? Like sixty-six percent?”
“So two-thirds we all live, and one-third we all die?”
Kevin hesitated, checked the screen again, then slowly shook his head. “The other way,” he said.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!
Profile Image for Stacey (prettybooks).
515 reviews1,548 followers
June 10, 2015
We All Looked Up was the May pick for my informal we-actually-just-want-an-excuse-to-meet-up-and-chat book club and I was really looking forward to reading it. I've read a lot of young adult sci-fi but We All Looked Up is different – a mix of science fiction and contemporary, one of my favourite genres. I tweeted about We All Looked Up when I started reading it, saying it was The Breakfast Club meets the apocalypse, and I still think that's true. But our four teenage protagonists are confined to one town rather than one building!

Before the asteroid, four teenagers lived their lives defined by four neat labels: athlete (Peter), the outcast (Eliza), the slacker (Andy), the overachiever (Anita), but now that the world's changed, they have the opportunity to think about themselves, others and the world around them a little bit more. I love how We All Looked Up is told, in alternating chapters narrated by our protagonists, going back and forth between the present and the immediate past. I used to think of myself as someone who would pick 'plot' over 'characters' but while others are perhaps a little disappointed in the lack of wider world-building – what's happening in the rest of the world as Arden is approaching and what governments are doing to stop it – I didn't feel that that was the point of We All Looked Up. All of the teenagers are flawed and the asteroid is just a device through which we get a modern coming-of-age story.

As with any young adult contemporary novel, we still get our love stories, family arguments, difficult choices and complicated friendships. Peter's dealing with breaking up with his girlfriend and dreaming about his brief romantic encounter with Eliza – who went from shy to 'slut' as a result – and is in competition with Andy, who is amongst the wrong crowd, while Anita is struggling to live up to her parents' crushing expectations. She takes the opportunity, as it is likely the end of the world after all, to pursue her desire to be a singer. We All Looked Up gets complicated and messy – adolescence often is – as the characters become closer, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in their journey.

We All Looked Up is a wonderful, poignant look at what it means to grow up. It makes you wonder whether you have the determination to change the course your life is on, whether you'll ever have the opportunity to look up.

I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.
Profile Image for Simona Stoica.
Author 16 books710 followers
October 2, 2016
Recenzia completă: http://palarisme.ro/chef/carti/recenz...

„- [...] Nu vreau să vă sperii, însă istoria ne spune că ori de câte ori există panică, există şi moarte. Aşa funcţionează lumea.”

Timpul este una dintre cele mai preţioase resurse ale omenirii. Mereu spunem că avem nevoie de mai mult şi că nu ne ajunge, însă vina este parţial a noastră. De ce? Pentru că avem un talent înnăscut de a-l pierde pe lucruri lipsite de importanță, „pasiuni” de moment, în loc să-l tratăm drept ceea ce este: o investiţie limitată, care s-ar putea sfârşi în orice secundă, pentru că nu îl putem controla sau modela. Pentru ca nedreptatea să fie şi mai mare, timpul a evoluat până la stadiul de „contradicţie”, el fiind şi cel mai mare duşman al nostru. Preţios, dar primejdios.

Dacă ai afla că mai ai doar câteva săptămâni de trăit, cum ai reacţiona? Ai alege să-ţi răscumperi greşelile şi să le îndrepţi, sperând că vei obţine iertarea mult dorită? Ţi-ai lua inima în dinţi şi ai încerca să bifezi cât mai multe lucruri de pe „bucket list”? Ai căpăta curajul de a-ţi aşterne sufletul în faţa celor pe care îi iubeşti? Sau ai recurge la violenţă şi la instinctele primare, parţial adormite, oferindu-le astfel o libertate nedreaptă, pe care nu o merită?

Nu sunt întrebări uşoare. Sunt întrebări de care ai vrea să fugi, pe care simţi că trebuie să le ignori, speriat de răspunsurile pe care ai putea să le dai. Moartea este un eveniment sau o clipă? O eroare sau un „mic ocol” al destinului? O soluţie la toate problemele tale sau o călătorie nouă, neprevăzută, incitantă, care ar putea să te salveze de persoana care erai pe cale să devii? Aici, în ajutorul tău, intervin personajele lui Tommy Wallach: imperfecte, de o instabilitate aproape dureroasă. Pe parcurs, te vei regăsi în ele, le vei aproba sau respinge deciziile, însă, la final, sentimentul învingător nu o să fie cel la care te aştepţi. Eu m-am simţit abandonată şi sfâşiată. Poate că tu vei simţi altceva. Poate că tu te vei simţi altfel.
Profile Image for Tiff.
572 reviews538 followers
March 23, 2015
Review originally posted at Mostly YA Lit

We All Looked Up is about four teens who are dealing with the impending death of not just themselves, but their planet and their species, by way of the asteroid Ardor. Peter is a jock and student council leader who is already questioning himself before hearing about Ardor. Peter has a history with Eliza, a photographer who has been labelled the school slut, and who is dealing with her father’s imminent death from cancer. Meanwhile, school slacker and joker Andy has been in love with Eliza for years, and sees Ardor as a way to finally have sex with her. And Anita, who serves on the student council with Peter, is trying to break away from her Miss Perfect life to follow her dreams of becoming a jazz singer.

“They’d been learning about the phrase “Pyrrhic victory,” which came from Roman times and meant that you’d won something, like a battle, but in order to win, you had to lose so much that you really hadn’t won at all.”

One of the biggest themes in this book is the Pyrrhic victory. It’s a brilliant way to tie together the many philosophies of the book because the four teens - and the rest of the world, are all battling a Pyrrhic victory in these last few weeks of their lives. The question is, is it worth it to win small battles even if you know it’s a Pyrrhic victory? Do love, art, music matter in the face of imminent death?

It’s questions like these that characterize and make We All Looked Up a special read. It’s reflective, it’s alarming, but it’s also deeply rooted in philosophy - and not just one philosophy, but many. One of the brilliant things about Wallach’s book is that it embraces many ideas from religion, philosophy, from the minds of great writers to the minds of his characters, both despicable and flourishing. And Wallach never judges. Instead, he presents these ideas in a way that is equal parts weird, heartfelt, and insightful.

“Question: How could you look the end of the world in the face and not go crazy? Answer: You couldn’t. The only sane thing to do was to seek out enough distraction to numb the terror.”

For me, this book was both thought-provoking and comforting. I confess to a bit of an obsession over what happens to us when we die, and most days, I’m scared of that idea. But the characters’ thoughts are my thoughts, from Eliza’s counting down of the number of times she’ll hear a song, to Andy’s joy at arson because why not.

There were a few parts of this book that weren’t quite to my taste. While I mostly enjoyed the descriptive writing, there were a few moments that it veered into purple prose territory, and took me out of the book. Examples:

“The nearly full moon was shining down like the bright, pupilless eye of some phlegmatic god when the first stone was thrown.”

“They’d recently been pollarded, which made their upper halves look grotesque--the arboreal equivalent of the Venus de Milo, with dozens of severed limbs instead of just two.”

There were also several moments with Andy’s friends Bobo and Golden that seemed almost too surreal to be authentic (I don't want to give anything away so I'm not giving examples) - and again, those moments took me out of the novel.

Although I have some qualms about the book, I have to applaud Tommy Wallach for addressing extinction so head-on, and with such care, emotion, and yes, philosophy. I highlighted so many passages, and I’ll be reading those gems again and again.

The best books, they don't talk about the 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.

I feel a bit less alone and a bit more comforted because I read this book, and I’m grateful for that.


Source: UIC.edu

Sex Positivity: I loved how much sex was on everyone’s minds because that just felt so authentic to how people would be with imminent extinction. In particular, I loved that Eliza owned her sexuality and that Andy made it such a big deal, and how thoughts about sex were not censored but honestly thought out by the characters.

Book Theme Song: 

The author has his own album that he's written for the book, and it's pretty awesome. That said, I think this might be the perfect non-author related song to characterize the book:

The Last Day on Earth by Kate Miller-Heidke

Look down
The ground below is crumbling
Look up
The stars are all exploding
Between the dust and the debris
There's a light surrounding you and me
It's the last day on earth
In my dreams
It's the end of the world
And you've come back to me

The Final Word:

If I had to describe WE ALL LOOKED UP in one word, it would be “wise.” Because that’s what I got from this novel: a lot of wisdom, and a lot of reflection. While it’s not a perfect novel, I needed to read it to confront my own fears of death, and I think a lot of teens will find it comforting and illuminating as well.

Recommended for: teens dealing with depression or anxiety, people who need perspective on the world, philosophy junkies
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews989 followers
February 8, 2015
I loved this story – I’m a big fan of the post apocalyptic as long as there is heart to the drama, here we are “Pre possible apocalypse but no-one really knows” – its a genre all on its own. I’m sure that someone more creative than I can come up with a better word for it.

Anyway, here we have a fairly typical bunch of High School kids about to head out into the world, and as we meet them they all have plans even if some are a little disjointed. In perhaps one of the best opening scenes I have seen in a book for a while we meet them, one by one, “handing the baton” style – they are living life involved in various things, some at home, some out and about but all under the same sky, and at different moments watching the same shooting star. As a hook into the characters and story it was done with elegant perfection…by the end of the first little bit you have a feel for all of them. When that same shooting star they were all half wishing upon turns into something more sinister, everything changes.

It is a clever story and an emotional one in a lot of ways – how do you plan for a future that may not even exist. Do you wait and see? Carry on regardless? An interesting question to ask anyway for those of us who like to ponder these things – what Tommy Wallach has done is give that notion a voice and a reality all of its own. How our main four react, to themselves, to each other, to the imminent disaster is beautifully drawn and really terribly addictive.

The tale has a musical heart – the fact that the author is also a musician shines through, there is a lyrical quality to the storytelling, a lilt and a flow to it that keeps you involved. As the world goes mad around them, each must decide what is important, there is “before ” and there is “after” and both are explored within the thoughts and actions of the kids trying to make sense of it all. I found it absolutely fascinating, a tale of human resolve and action seen through the eyes of a group who still have a lot of growing up to do should they be given the chance.

Overall a really really good read – the ending was pitch perfect, the novel overall has a simple beauty to it and I can’t wait to see what this author brings us next. In a genius turn he has created the music found within the novel – there is an album I shall be buying for sure.

Highly Recommended.

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews906 followers
April 7, 2016
The end of the world.. An asteroid that will hit earth causing the end of the world. With 66.6% percent chance of hitting earth, four teenagers are trying to find out what to do with the six weeks of life they have left.

Told in four viewpoints: we have the overachiever Anita, the slacker Andy, the all around golden boy Peter and the promiscuous Eliza. Having all four did provide an overall dimension to the entire story which I liked. But ultimately, I didn't really care much for Andy. He just seemed like he was making so many excuses for all the wrong and his best friend Bobo who is ultimately in need of help didn't add to that annoyance. He pretty much annoyed me to no end with his verses of "Yo!" Ugh. Then there's Anita and her parents, I felt like her story could have opened up a lot better what with it being the end of the world, why isn't she trying to forgive them? They don't know any better. Being Christian means the righteous will be okay, while the damned will not. Yep that's terribly un-Christian like behaviour. No one gets to judge another person that way. Then there's Peter who I felt was completely boring. Even though he finally gets the guys to stand up to to his girlfriend, he didn't have much of a story. He is the ultimate good boy and I did like that. I was just sad at what happened at the end. *sighs* Out of all the characters, I liked Eliza best. She was easily the most complex one and having a blog that goes viral made her seem like such a celebrity. With that amount of followers she had the power to speak her mind and I liked that she used photography to express herself. Her reasoning behind her ways is pretty straight forward, but once you get a reputation like that, it's hard to leave. The one fact that I hate about this is that it's other girls who shame each other. It's a terrible thing to see even if it's fictional.

Other than their daily thoughts and woes for the future, I was bored through most of it. They did have minor romantic plots but ultimately the writing is decent, the characters formed enough to make it sad enough too. I liked this one, but I'm not highly recommending it because I felt like I wouldn't even remember if afterwards.



The best books, they don't talk about the 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. (11)

This is the twenty-first century. The oceans are rising. Mad dictators have access to nuclear weapons. Corporatism and the dumbing down of media have destroyed the very foundations of democracy. Anyone who isn't afraid is a moron. (51)

There's still time for you to do things that matter. Even if it's just being there for someone who's freaking out. (117)

But now I'm thinking, who's dumber? The guy who does his own thing, or the girl who does someone else's thing? (141)

That was the problem with understanding someone too well—you couldn't help but forgive them, no matter what they did. (190)

You want a big statement? I've been in love with you for a year. (273)

You don't wanna go out of this world with regrets. If there's something you want to do, you for it. (289)

Why did boys always have to destroy things to feel alive? (309)

Beauty always made a target of its possessor. Every other human quality was hidden easily enough—intelligence, talent, selfishness, even madness—but beauty could not be concealed. (333)

Was it better to live primarily for the good of yourself, or for the good of others? (357)
Profile Image for Anna.
177 reviews
April 23, 2017
This is probably the worst book I've ever read
Profile Image for Sibel Gandy.
948 reviews55 followers
April 7, 2021
Spoiler uyarısız bir yorumdan spoiler yedim 😒 Oldukça akıcı bir anlatım ve güzel bir kurgu olduğu halde spoiler yüzünden konsantrasyonum büyük ölçüde dağıldı okurken. Yorumların başına uyarı koymak ne kadar zor olabilir ki 🤔🙄
Profile Image for Alana.
130 reviews63 followers
April 15, 2015
I really bought into the hype around 'We All Looked Up". It sounded like everything I'd always wanted. Contemporary YA with a Dystopian twist, characters straight out of a John Hughes movie, questions that make you think about the world, the way you live you life and the relationships you have and keep. Sadly, I was majorly disappointed. I do have some spoilery thoughts but I'll post those at the end of the review, be warned - I rant but for those who may still be considering reading this and don't want to be spoiled, this is for you. The writing I thought was generally good. It was smart, sharp and the dialogue was realistic and natural. I think the pacing was a little bit off. It didn't really get going and there wasn't enough driving the plot forward towards the big showdown with the asteroid. I think the book suffered from multiple POV syndrome. Sure, we got to know each character (for the most part) but their worlds and loved ones were blurry and underdeveloped. If the author had focused on one or two main characters and had the other two or three as important characters in his/her life, I think it would have been a stronger book. I also struggled with how grim the book was - it all just felt so pointless. I don't know what there was to gain or learn from reading this book or knowing these characters. What was it all about? I couldn't even begin to tell you the point of it all. It just felt desolate and now for the spoilers...

I know this is the author's first book and there are a lot of people out there that felt differently to me. It just really was not a book that appealed to me at all and I found myself getting more irate as the book continued. I'd love to hear any thoughts if anyone had a different take or felt the same!

Profile Image for Heather Petty.
Author 5 books194 followers
November 13, 2014
I kind of feel like even if I use all the glowing words I know and make up a few along the way, I still won't be able to fully express how much I loved this book. But I'll try for fun...

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Like, so, so, so much. (I'm so great at this book review thing.) (Total pro right here.)

The short version: This book is touching and brilliant and profound. You should read it as soon as you are able to purchase it, with no excuses.

The longer fangirly version:

With four perspective characters, I was pretty sure I'd have a favorite and least favorite. And it started out that way, because Eliza is perfection. But by the end of the book, I was in love with them all, which is super rare for me. The book was perfectly paced, with just enough peril and just enough philosophy to make me race to finish and see what happens, but totally bummed when I was actually done. And then I couldn't think about anything else for about a week, while I just processed.

I think my favorite part, though, was how many different world views were presented throughout the pages, but all in an incredibly respectful and insightful way. It would have been so easy for the author to use the premise of the book as a soap box for his own belief system, and maybe his ideals are somewhere in the pages, but not in any kind of overt way. The characters talk through and live out their ideals, but there isn't any one truth that's held up as The Answer. And I looooove that about this book. (I also love the ending, which is perfection, but I won't even hint at what happens. I will only say that it's perfect.)

We All Looked Up basically has everything that's amazing in it. It makes you think and feel. It's completely accessible and relatable and fun to read. I really want everyone I know to read this book so we can sit up talking about it into the night. An amazing debut. I really can't wait to see what Tommy Wallach comes up with next.
Profile Image for Roberto.
Author 2 books97 followers
April 11, 2015
I remember this one time the world was about to end and everyone was pretty worried and we were all partying hard and acting slutty and there was this one wise old lady that was fighting to keep it all together, then this girl shows up out of nowhere and she saves the day with her knowledge of Air Rights...oh wait, that was Burlesque.
Profile Image for Kendra.
456 reviews27 followers
March 30, 2015
Started with potential, but . . . shallow and infuriating!

Why, why, why do some adult writers try so hard to sound cool?

The book's constant barrage of stereotypes made me want to scream - and if you think the teenaged characters were bad, wait until you get a load of the adult ones.

What kind of regressive view of women and girls is this?

I ended up finishing the book only because I cared about the stupid asteroid. So look how well that worked out for me!
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