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?

The Graphic Novel Reviews (Saga, Glass swords & Largo Winch)

So recently I’ve read some graphic novels and I thought I’d share my thoughts. If you want to find out more about the book, click the cover which will take you to its Goodreads page. Seeing as these books are for the most part not originally English, I’ve had some trouble finding the English pages on Goodreads/ covers in English. I tried, I swear, but some things can’t be helped.

Saga vol. 1

So I’ve seen a lot of very positive reviews on this graphic novel so I thought it was about time I looked into it. And when I came across the book in my local library, the time had finally come. But if I’m completely honest I really wasn’t blown away by this graphic novel. The artwork was amazing, the basic storyline was also good. But it just felt a bit all over the place to me. Maybe this is because I’m not really used to reading graphic novels that it felt a bit haphazard with all that jumping around from one seemingly random scene to the next. I also found that it lacked a bit of depth, and I think this ties in with the way the story jumped around. Some things were just very blatantly put down in writing and I lacked a little of the subtle art of storytelling. There were just a lot of things that were so vulgarly said that I felt drawn out of the story, because in my experience people seldomly communicate like this.  I might check out the second volume if I come across it in the library but I won’t go looking for it. But you never know, maybe if I read more of the book it will redeem itself a little on those sore points.

 Saga, Vol. 1

The glass swords (book 1, 2 and 3)

In my same library-run that brought me Saga, I also came across this series of graphic novels and it looked interested so I took them home. These three books did end up sitting better with me than Saga because it just felt like the storyline felt more structured. It was going places that my mind could follow. The dialogue was sometimes a bit over the top which took away from authentic feeling dialogues. Sometimes things were being said that I felt could be shown instead. But I liked the story, and the characters. The fact that the main protagonist is a strong female just makes the whole thing cooler also. I will definitely be looking for the next books in the series to see how the story continues.

 The Swords of Glass Ilango (Die Gläserenen Schwerter, 2) Tigran (Die gläsernen Schwerter # 3)

Largo Winch series (books 1-19) *

This was actually a re-read for the most part, because I read a good part of these when I was younger. But I was hoping that by re-reading them I would understand the economic issues better this time around. And I have to say that I really did understand the economy better and it really did help to make the story more interesting (if you’ve read these books you will definitely understand why this is the case). Because understanding the big lines is ok, but there’s definitely enough explanation to really understand the magnitude of the events that take place. This does mean that at times there is a lot of dialogue going on in these books, but I don’t really mind (though this might be because I’m just so used to reading novels that I am used to an abundance of text). I liked how these books are actually all paired up (you can even tell by the cover because the titles will be in the same font if they are part of the same story arc) though I will say that I’m very happy to be reading them a while after they came out (so I don’t have to wait forever with a giant cliffhanger in my mind).

De Erfgenaam (Largo Winch, #1) Groep W (Largo Winch, #2) O.P.A. (Largo Winch, #3) Business Blues (Largo Winch, #4) H (Largo Winch, #5) Dutch Connection (Largo Winch, #6)  La forteresse de Makiling (Largo Winch, #7) Het Uur van de Tijger (Largo Winch, #8)  See Venice... (Largo Winch #9) ... And Die Golden Gate (Largo Winch, #11) Shadow (Largo Winch, #12) The Price of Money: Largo Winch Vol. 9 The Law of the Dollar The Three Eyes of the Guardians of the Tao  The Way and the Virtue Cold Black Sea: Largo Winch Red-Hot Wrath: Largo Winch Crossfire (Largo Winch, #19)

*So far I’ve technically only read the first 16 books in this series, but I will soon be reading the other three and I’m fairly certain the quality of the graphic novels won’t disintegrate at too steep a pace ;)

Rambling Reads

Rambling Reads is where I talk about what I’m reading at the moment. Currently I am actively reading 4 different books. While for some people this might seem confusing, to me it really isn’t confusing at all. This is mostly due to the fact that these books aren’t in the same genre which makes it very easy for me to keep the stories and characters apart.

The first book I’m reading is the Luminaries

I am really enjoying this book a whole lot though I don’t seem to be making a lot of headway somehow. For me this is definitely the kind of book that I have to read for at least half an hour at the time, preferably even longer than that. The reason for this being that it isn’t the most fast-paced of books. And while there is nothing wrong with this, if you only manage to read for about 15 minutes it will feel pretty unsatisfying. So I’m actually setting this one aside for those reading days.

The second book is 1Q84

I have only just started this book and I really wanto to get into it more. I’m really enjoying the writing but it’s actually not very wll matched with my mood at the moment (hence the other three books that I’m also reading). Plus this is also a little bit in the same boat as the luminaries, at least for now. The story hasn’t picked up speed (if it ever will) and while there is nothing inherently wrong with that I will refer you to my previous paragraph as to why this is not a casual reading book for me.

The third book I’m reading is the Wise Man’s Fear

I have just recently finished the name of the wind (review coming up soon) and i was so in love with it. So i had to pick up the second book right away. I love this world and I love the characters and I’m really really loving the format actually. I can see how it’s not for everyone but it’s definitly for me. Though I’m not very far into this book I have no doubt that this will change shortly because I’m just itching to read this (right after I finish book number 4!).

The fourth book on my currently reading list is Mr. Kiss and Tell

This is the second Veronica Mars book, I’ve just speedread the first one (review will also be appearing sometime soon) and I just had to read the second one right away. I loved the series with a fiery passion and the books are not any different. I love how I can visualize the characters and I just really love that this series is contuining, even if it’s in bookformat instead of a tv series. But this one is almost finished and then I’ll go back to binge-reading the other three books on this list.