Review: We All Looked Up – Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

The story in 50 words or less:

There is an asteroid that might or might not be heading for earth. We get to see what this does to the lives of a group of teenagers, dealing with what might be an imminent end of the world.

My take on the book:

This is just a great concept of a book, watching how society disintegrates in the face of the apocalypse. Just ask yourself the question of what you would do if you only had 2 months left to live and then ask your friends; I bet everyone has a different answer to the question. It’s the same for the characters in this book, the impending doom is forcing them to re-evaluate the life they have been living thus far and make decisions based on that. Does that mean they make perfect decisions? Of course not and I think that’s only right. With such a huge event on the horizon, who would still be able to make well-thought out decisions all the time?

Besides the concept of the book there is also the execution. Let me start of by saying that I liked the writing a whole lot. There are some beautiful quotes in here, mostly based on philosophical questions that this asteroid brings with it. And I love that, how it’s not just about what they do from day to day, but what they think and feel. The characters were okay, there was definitely depth to them, they weren’t one dimensional people who just had that one goal in their mind. They were still teenagers finding out who they were and what they wanted from life, which has now been under severe stress because of a possible time limit. I like that they weren’t always out to find the big happiness, they were also trying to find happiness in smaller things which is nice.

On the other hand there is also the fact that some things go down, as there is bound to be in a book with this premise, that are depicting the downfall of society as we know it in the face of what is to come. And while I found most of it pretty realistic, even though I have no idea how things would actually go down if we all knew we’d probably be dead in two months time, I did have some problems with how people reacted to certain events at different points in this book. I’m not going to go into detail about this (spoilers!) but let me just say that sometimes things happen and it’s never talked about again even though I would imagine that this is a very heavy matter to deal with, even if you are close to (maybe) dying. I found this very weird and distracting.

And now a tiny bit of spoiler talk, it’s nothing super major, but if you’re really senstive about spoilers, skip this prt until you get to the rating.

The author choose not to disclose wether or not the asteroid hits earth (which I totally saw coming and it sort of still pisses me off). I get why but I would have liked to know, especially because I can’t stop thinking about what would happen if the asteroid didn’t hit earth. (Because if it does hit everyone dies and that’s the end of humanity as we know it). But here we are, having lived two months like they were our last and then suddenly they turned out to be two months after which we have to continue living.

Imagine that you were facing the apocalypse and you decided to really tell people how you feel about things. You tell people left right and centerto shove it, you take up drugs because what else will keep you from thinking about that asteroid, you have sex with a lot of people because you feel like that’s the best way to spend the last months on earth, you shoot someone just because you feel like it and knwo you won’t get punished for it, etc. There are so many people making rash decisions, the society collapses. And then, boom, the asteroid doesn’t hit. You’re left with all thee things that happened and now you have to deal with it, you have to fight your way out of the mess humanity has created. How would that look? I think it’s so interesting to think about this!

My rating:

3 stars ~This book was okay but seeing as it failed to really dig into some events that went down in this book I feel like it could have been better. Also, some things were slightly cliché in my opinion. 

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it?
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