WE ALL LOOKED UP
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
Tommy Wallach's teen debut novel, We All Looked Up, reminded me of a combination of The Breakfast Club meets Armageddon! All the teenage angst of high school is combined with the impending disaster of being annihilated by an asteroid. The story is told from multiple viewpoints and each voice belongs to a teen from a different high school clique. Mr. Wallach does a good job of giving us insight into each of the main characters lives. Teen readers are sure to identify with one or more of the characters as well as how the dynamics of high school are stressful and demanding.
Then Mr. Wallach drops the bombshell–or more accurately an asteroid–on the world. The world learns that an asteroid may hit the earth in two short months. We begin to see what our characters made of as the world is ending. The teens are already struggling with their identities and now they are further challenged. Do they become better versions of themselves or give in to the chaos? Mr. Wallach continues to develop the story and the characters without becoming maudlin but does darken the plot as impending doom nears. The intensity deepens quickly because we are not given much time and are not sure what the ultimate outcome will be.
It is a teen tale that will allow the reader to question their own identity, fears, morality and mortality. It is a story not about endings but finding meaning in life. I am giving this book a split rating based on whether the reader is a young adult or an adult. This book could be a good conversation starter between parents and their teens.
This book was sent to me by the author free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my, or in this case Cathy's, honest opinion.