Thursday, 17 September 2015

We All Looked Up (Review)

Hi there!

Title: We All Looked Up
Author:  Tommy Wallach
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Published Date: 24th March 2015
Rating: 5 stars
 
*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Is it possible for a book to make you revise your outlook on life? Yes, yes it is. With this one it is. I hope you’re buckled up because you are in store for a long review, simply because I want to talk about this book a lot.

My original thoughts when starting this one is that it is sort of going to be like a dystopian set in the real world. And it sort of was – people did the things that people do at the end of the world. Riot, quit jobs, move back home and all that kind of stuff. But there was a whole lot more to this novel because it was about contemplating the meaning of life, and the meaning of who you are and why we are here as well. I liked reading about that philosophy ingrained in this novel.

There was a lot of drinking and drugs mentioned, as well as some sex although nothing was very explicit. I didn’t approve of a lot of it, but then I think the author was just trying to show us teenagers being teenagers. Well, a certain kind of teenagers.

We have a lot of characters and I am going to run through them all with my thoughts. Peter was my favourite character. He was the popular kid, but really he was a simplistic and thoughtful person. Before the news of the asteroid he was starting to think about the meaning of life already and if everything he was doing in life mattered. He was loyal, steadily so and very loving, even to his sister nicknamed Misery and is quite the troublemaker. But even if he was the goody-two-shoes of the story, so innocent but aware at the same time, he was still human. He could still let the anger get the better of him, get depressed sometimes, and would blindly enter into dangerous situations if it meant he would be helping someone else.
No words to describe how this made me feel...

Eliza is a girl who gets bullied at school. She’s a photography and has a reputation for sleeping around ever since she kissed someone who was dating someone else. The rumors have their own little bits of truth in them. But I felt pity for her. She was having her own family issues, and with her parents being divorced and her father dying of cancer. I didn’t like her, but I didn’t dislike her either.

Anita was the perfect student, set to go to a college with high credits and basically seen as perfect in everyone’s eyes. But she had a wish to be a singer, which is something her parents didn’t agree with. I don’t have much to say about her really. I liked her character, and she seems to be someone who developed a lot in the novel. She refined her ideals, got mixed in with a crowd she could never imagine herself being with, and found out that her judgment on a lot of people was wrong.

Andy was a live and let die type of person. He’s laid back and although he has the ‘I’m too good for this’ demeanor, he is a pretty smart person and has a bit of a cute childlike personality. Although he knows how to get drunk, I do think he is the sort of person who tends to see the best in people.

As for the asteroid heading to the earth or maybe not? In the end I kind of wanted it to (note the kind of). I don’t know why, but after all the characters had been put through everything they had, I felt like they deserved the end as they were expecting it. And that was for it to actually end. I am not going to tell you what happens, but in the end of the story, I was satisfied with what the author had done. Reading this made me think of what I would do if there were only a 33% chance that the world wouldn’t end. It was hard to picture.

I laughed at some points in this novel. I couldn’t stop reading, and I liked how the ending of the world seemed to bring people together who might not have been that way without it. I did think that it was interesting to see all the characters opinions on each other and how that compared to who they really were.

Romance became a pretty big thing by the end of the novel, and that bothered me a little bit. I mean, when you might die I guess you do think of love, but I still was a bit annoyed. I wanted more than all this love drama. There was action towards the end as well, even if it was a small amount. It was impressive because this was a more contemplative and also character driven novel – I wasn’t expecting anything like that in the plot.

The book backtracked a couple of times (with that I mean telling the same part of the story from another characters point of view) but it worked well enough. I always understood when it was happening. By the end of the book, I couldn’t help feel irrevocably sad. And not just because of things that had happened in the novel itself, but just generally. Because if the situation like that was really happening, I am pretty sure events would’ve unfolded the way they did in this novel, which is a sad point.

I never expected to love this novel as much as I did. Tommy Wallach, thank you for writing this.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What would you do if there was a 66% chance that the world would end?


Olivia-Savannah x

36 comments:

  1. What would you do if there was a 66% chance that the world would end? I think I'd drive up immediately to be with my family. They are all about 8 hours away.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. I think I would be doing the same! Trying to be around family as much as possible.

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  2. Sounds like an interesting read for the young adult crowd.

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  3. This was a good exploration of what if the world was ending, I enjoyed too

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    1. I remember your review! Glad you enjoyed this one as well x

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  4. I saw the cover of this novel and since then I wanted to read it, having only a slight idea of what the plot might be. But now after reading your review it's definitely on my to-read list!!

    I don't like thinking about the world ending... just like I don't like thinking about me dying one day, and it's not because of normal reasons like family, love and stuff... I just have so many things to read and watch and listen to and I want to enjoy them all!! Does that sound stupid or selfish? When I was a little kid I wished so hard to become a vampire just so I could read forever! I mean, think about all the awesome books and great tv shows that the humans are going to make after my death!! I want to enjoy those as well! It's not fair!!

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    1. I hope you like it when you do try this one out!
      I can see what you mean about not wanting to run out of time quite yet, and not thinking about it helps to have something more positive to focus on. It ISN'T fair, but I think I have come to accept that it will never be :)

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  5. This is on my wish list as well. So glad that you love this. How does one prepare for something like this? I think that maybe I'd want to sit down with my estranged family members and see if It's even worth it to accept their forgiveness. It is the end after all. As for myself, personally, I'd read like crazy. I'm serious! I'd do nothing but read read read, until that final moment.

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    1. I hope you get the opportunity to read it soon! I like the sound of trying to make amends though. Perhaps we don't even need the world to end for that to be a good idea. I think I might be doing some cram reading as well. All those books I wanted to try!

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  6. I'm currently reading a book about characters facing a life altering global event. It seems to be a giant metaphor for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and people's reaction to that. Thanks for this great review!

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    1. Oh wow, that sounds like an interesting book and I look forward to seeing your thoughts on it in a review. I can see the similarities between that book and this one.

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  7. I actually didn't mind this one :) I think I rated it 3 stars.

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    1. Ah, you didn't love it as much as I did, but I am glad you could like it.

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  8. A book in which you read about the people coming together as the world is going to end and they all are going to die. Hmmmm the concept seems very engaging.

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  9. This sounds really good! :D But wow I feel bad for Eliza, she's got a lot going on!!

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. Yeah, she really did get the brunt of it! I hope you give it a chance at some point :)

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  10. I've seen this around but although it sounds good and you loved it more than you thought you would, I don't think I will pick it up but hey, I'm glad you loved it ^^ and if there was a 66% chance of the world ending, I have no clue what would I do.... maybe just stay with my family as long as I can :)

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    1. Not every book is for everyone, so I can understand that. I think that would be a good idea ^^

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  11. I'm usually not a big fan of contemporary, but I do like dystopian/apocalyptic books and because of the slight cross-over it sounds like something I might enjoy! Also I find the cover really intriguing somehow.

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    1. I love it when genres cross over because it just makes everything more interesting! I wasn't a fan of the cover, but I can see how it would appeal to some others.

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  12. I've been wanting to read this book for awhile. And 5 stars from you? More the reason to pick it up! Lovely review!
    & if there was a 66% chance of the world ending, I would probably get all my friends and family in one place and stay with them. :)

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    1. I hope you do get a chance to read this one at some point! And friends and family would be my idea as well.

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  13. It sounds like you really liked this one. I saw this one and thought about reviewing it, but I didn't like the partying environment. I'll have to think about trying it.

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    1. I know what you mean. I didn't like that side of it either, but generally just accepted it as what came with the book.

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  14. I listened to this as an audiobook and also really liked it! All the romance drama was a bit annoying, but in the end it was more about imagining people more complexly than their stereotypes and finding meaning in life. I have to say I didn't really like any of the characters more than the others, because they all had their flaws and good parts, but I really liked Andy and Anita's music projects!

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    1. I am glad you liked the audio book! There was quite a bit of romantic drama but I didn't mind it too much. I really got immersed in these realistic characters.

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  15. This seems like such an amazing book! I like it when books are more characters driven and you can actually relate to the characters. I have to admit I'm a bit scared to read this book though. End of days stories really, really scares me. I start wondering what I would do if something like that could happen in reality and what I would do, lol. I tend to get worried very easily.

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    1. Yeah, end of day stories can be really hard because it is a bit scary if you actually think about it. But like you, I'm a character driven reader!

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  16. I've read a couple of reviews for this, although none really gave me the feeling of the book- the depth on the characters and who they are beneath what everyone else thinks- like yours did. I enjoyed the fact you made it long to get into all the details and all that! It was a really good review, too.
    This is one of those books that everyone seems to adore/really enjoy but I've never been particularly drawn to. Contemporary isn't my favourite genre at all (probably, overall, my least- I get a lot of disappointments in contemporary) and the topic hasn't grasped me, despite all the love for it.
    What would I do if there was a 33% chance the world would still be here tomorrow? I don't even like to think! I guess... I'd walk, with my dog and my mother. I'd speak to those who weren't near and I would cook. Walking and cooking are really important and enjoyable to me, and it feels like I share conversation more intricately, I suppose, when I do those things.
    xx

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    1. I am glad you liked the review ^^ I think whether you do or don't like this one is largely based on you though - and if you don't like contemporaries then this is probably not for you because the romance drama is heavy tipped in this one. I like that you know which hobbies are good for you and open you as you talk :)

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  17. I also liked this book. And I do think the purpose of this book was to make us reflect.
    I practically agree with everything you wrote, especially about the romance becoming bigger.
    I don't write book reviews anywhere but after reading this I had to write something down. Here it goes (and yes, you can laugh): Guess who didn't look up. F*cking Peter! (this was actually my first thought hahaha) Tommy, you showed me your intentions regarding Peter and I decline it. I don't accept it. In my mind, he's well alive. And that ending? Couldn't you just tell what happened? I believe it was a happy ending because I need that. After all the stuff the characters went trough, they deserve it. And honestly I'm tired of sad endings so for this one, happy ending it is. But damn!, there's a part pf me that believes the sad ending would be a great one" Yeah, I was feeling a little angry hahah But I kind of believe they actually died
    awholelotofmess.blogspot.com

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    1. Ah, Catia, watch with spoilers even in the comments because some people do read the comments as well and wouldn't want to know what is going to happen! It is impossible to know how things completely ended, but I can appreciate that too.

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  18. I really loved your review! And I also loved this novel too, I read a little while after it released, but it was such a good take on the world ending. I really liked all of the characters and Andy really grew on me as the story went on. Anyway great review as for your question - who knows what I'd do. I'd definitely be with my family but until that situation actually arrised I couldn't predict how I would react, you know :)

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    1. I thought it was such a great representation like you did! Andy's character is the kind that really develops like that. I know what you mean. Let's hope we never have to find out how we would really react!

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