We All Looked Up – book review

We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up is a heart-warming and thought-provoking book, written by Tommy Wallach.

As an asteroid hurtles towards Earth, four high school seniors all put their hopes, hearts and humanity on the line and are forced to decide whether they are really happy with what might be the last days of their lives.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school is worried that “they” might be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape to Seattle – and her reputation. Anita starts to wonder if the admission to Princeton is worth abandoning her true dreams. Andy is unsure of what he really wants with his life and he doesn’t understand all the fuss over college and deciding a career.

As these four teenagers – along with the rest of the planet – all wait to see what damage the 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 was really happily surprised by We All Looked Up. I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book, but I definitely couldn’t have guessed it would be like this. This book was touching and funny and so completely alluring. I was grabbed from the very beginning and found myself become intwined with the lives of the characters, which is rare for me to do when a book is told from multiple points of view. I’m always a little cautious when picking up a book with more than two points of view because sometimes it’s hard to connect with all the characters and tell them apart from each other. This book was definitely one of the rare few that makes me feel as though I could understand all the characters after reading just one of their chapters and then being able to tell their different voices apart so I was always sure of whose point of view I was reading from.

While everything about this book was wonderful, I felt as though the characters were probably the best part. They were simply fantastic. This book consists of the traditional high school cliches, but he gives them so much depth and really seems to breath life into them. I love it when authors take your normal high school cliques and changes them into something that no longer is one dimensional, but deep and complicated. These characters were really enjoyable to spend time with and I loved getting to know them. I formed a picture of each character in the beginning of the book, but as the book progressed, my picture of them changed and formed something entirely different, which was great to experience.

Another thing I really loved about this book was the philosophical side of it. This book really made me question what the meaning of things are and why we do the things we do and live the life we choose. With an asteroid more or less on a collision course for Earth, the characters start to wonder what they really want with what might be the last weeks and days of their life. This book made me pause and question that if I died tomorrow, would I be happy with the life I have lived so far? Would I change anything in my life, including myself? We All Looked Up asked me to consider the importance of living for today and doing the things I love. These themes could have come across as cheesy, but they definitely didn’t and it was very enjoyable to read while also considering what I wanted my life to be.

This book was full of great things, and another of them was how smooth and flowing the story felt. Even with the changes between point of view and the gaps in time, this book moved fluidly and this book just really seemed to work. I expected this book to be mostly about the upcoming end-of-the-world, but it was so much more than that. I was happily surprised to find that it wasn’t all about the end of the world, but it was philosophical and poignant and just so beautiful. The end of this book was definitely different from what I expected, but I loved it nonetheless. As I closed the last page to this book, I realised that I had fallen in love with the characters. I know that this thought-provoking and heart-warming book will stay with me for a long time. I’d give We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach a score of 9 out of 10. If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

4 thoughts on “We All Looked Up – book review

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