*This review includes spoilers. There are warning signs before and after the spoiler*
Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: 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.
“That was what life was supposed to do, right? Just keep getting better and better?”
We have 4 main characters: the athlete, the slut, the slacker and the overachiever. Peter is the athlete, he’s your typical golden boy with good grades and a college dream and also has the ‘perfect’ girlfriend. Eliza is the slut, you learn the story behind this label, how she got it and what she did to maintain this label. She was also probably my favorite character for some reason. Anita is an African American girl, she has the perfect grades and an admirable attitude towards her teachers and she also wants to get in Princeton, she’s basically “the overachiever” but then we learn that she actually has her own dreams, dreams that her parents don’t approve of. And finally we have Andy, the slacker. He’s in a band and friends with the wrong people—not particularly the wrong people, but rather people who aren’t quite good influences on him and he eventually gets the label “the slacker“.
The characters are your everyday high school stereotypes at first sight. Then you see that they all have different dreams and insecurities and worries, they are not actually their labels. I liked how there wasn’t only one point of view. Reading from different perspectives made it easier to see how the meteor affected different people.
The book was incredibly realistic though, and I don’t mean this in an “I’m-fangirling-so-hard-I-can’t-even” way, I mean really, really realistic. I felt as if a meteor was going to end the world in two months.
However, I wasn’t quite attached to the characters. They didn’t influence me as much as I thought they would. Eliza was my favorite one, and I don’t even know why. Maybe out of pity.
“‘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.'”
Also I didn’t like how everyone paired off, like, do we seriously need love to make the best of the rest of our lives?
It was kind of obvious that Peter and Eliza were going to be together, and even though I was expecting Andy and Anita to be a couple as well, I still found it ridiculous. I even thought “Oh my God what if the four of them actually pair off hahaha” before reading the book. Woopsie.
And I was rooting for Peter and Eliza but now that I think of it, besides their history, there was no chemistry between them. It was like they got together for the sake of their history.
Also another thing I didn’t like about the book was how little Eliza’s father’s role was. A father is one of the most important figures in a child’s life and I think Eliza’s father deserved to have a more important place in the book. I was seriously worried about him more than Eliza was. ?!
“‘Gatsby had a goal, and everything he did was about reaching it. That’s admirable, even if it turns out your goal was a stupid one.'”
The ending. Oh God, the ending. I’ve never been a fan of open endings, because I believe that a world that was created by an author to begin with should only be shut/destroyed/closed by the same author. I don’t like having questions left in my mind after reading the very last page because all the possibilities fill my brain and it eventually becomes too much to handle. The ending got a “no” from me.
“‘Intimidation is a threat of violence. Good intimidation is like torture; it can go on for years. But violence is different. Violence is like lightning. It’s over as soon as it starts.'”
Overall, I gave this book 4 stars. It may seem generous, but the things I said above weren’t really major things that bugged me, or at least bugged me so much that it became hard to read the rest of the books. Besides, the cover is l o v e l y. Seriously, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and I spent almost 5 minutes fangirling over the cover with my friend at school.
You can read it, but I can’t guarantee that you’ll love it.