Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cathy Reviews: We All Looked Up

Today I'm so pleased to welcome my wonderful mother-in-law Cathy back to the blog to share her latest review!

WE ALL LOOKED UP
Tommy Wallach
Contemporary/Sci-Fi-ish
370 pages
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Available Now'
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.


CATHY'S THOUGHTS
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.

Rating: 3.5-4/5


Find Tommy:


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.

36 comments:

  1. It sounds interesting but I'm not sure I would be taken by the multiple POV there...

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    1. I understand. I do think the multiple POV adds depth to the story. So it moves the story along

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  2. Great review! I love The Breakfast Club and Armageddon so this one sounds pretty good. :)

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    1. Thanks glad you liked it. Those movies came to mind immediately while I was reading!

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  3. This book has been really hyped so I've been curious about it even though it's not a book that I would normally take on. It seems to explore teenage emotions well so I might give it a try. Glad you liked this one, Cathy. Lovely review! :)

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    1. Thanks Nick! I wouldn't have picked it either but I was intrigued while reading it. Hope you enjoy it.

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  4. Wonderful thoughtful review Cathy! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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  5. Great review Cathy - I love your mashup of The Breakfast Club and Armageddon. I can see how this can be a thoughtful book, one to bring on some interesting conversations - both for adults & teens :)

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    1. As with any disaster, not everyone makes the best choices and this is seen in the book. Always easier to start a conversation when you have a starting point, like this book.

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  6. Sounds like a very introspective and thought provoking book for teens and adults to read. Awesomely written review Cathy!
    Pam

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    1. Thanks Pam, you are so kind. It was an interesting plot that did make you think

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  7. Well I do love the Breakfast Club. Great review Kathy.

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    1. If you do then you will probably like this book. You have all the high school cliques represented.

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  8. I've been curious about this one. I read Lisa Schroeder's newest which is kind of similar (though still different) and focuses on seeing the good in people rather than the bad. I would guess this doesn't quite have the same focus. I'm not sure if I want to read this one or not, I may give it a try one of these days.

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    1. Might be a good one to keep in the stacks. When faced with a hardship, the good doesn't always come out in everyone!

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  9. Great review Kathy! I'm quite torn about this book myself, but it sounds like if nothing else it will provide with food for thought and reflection for anyone!

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    1. Agreed! It is well written and gives you insight into human nature that isn't always pretty!

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  10. Hmm... I like the idea of this one, but I am not jumping as I read another with the same idea this summer: All We Have is Now. I hope that if we faced this type of situation our better sides would shine through.

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  11. Heidi, I hope my better nature would surface as well! I might have to check out the book you mentioned so I can compare. Thanks

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  12. It sounds really interesting! Great review, Kathy!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. The book was different for me so that is always a good thing

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  13. I quite like the Breakfast Club so I think I'd enjoy this one, I'm not quite sure about the multiple POV's though.

    A great review! Sharon – Obsession with Books

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  14. Ooh, I love The Breakfast Club so that comparison definitely has me won over. I feel like books like this where they made over-arching statements about life can either go one way or the other so I'm glad to see this was still overwhelmingly positive. Fantastic review!

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  15. I’ve heard a lot about this book and plan to read it. I’m curious how this high school drama against the backdrop of the end of the world would play. Wonderful review, Cathy!

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  16. I read this one and personally really enjoyed it! I wasn't always too thrilled about the way teenagers were shown (there didn't seem to be a positive light in any one character) but they were all unique and had their own problems. There was a lot of romantic drama but I found it to make me think a lot and to be pretty deep too, so I was satisfied by the end of it!

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