Book Review / Books

Book Review: We All Looked Up

I consider myself really lucky to have been able to read this before its publication. I would like to thank Simon and Schuster UK for providing me with the an ARC of this book to review.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present

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I could use all the positive, complimenting words in the dictionary and I still don’t think I could fully express just how much this book left me speechless. And just how much I loved it. To sum it up, it was beautiful and profound. It’s not your typical Apocalypse book, nor is it your typical teen book. It was real, gritty and so brilliantly written. It’s basically Skins meets the end of the world.

I adored how We All Looked Up is told from four different viewpoints. I knew from the get-go that I’d end up picking and choosing favourites, but ultimately love them all by the end. Yes, even the slacker, Andy, who always seemed to be making excuses for his idiot, no good friend Bobo (who I hated with a passion).

The novel doesn’t try to be over the top and that’s one of the best things about it. It’s marketed as YA, but I think it could easily be for adults too. It’s insightful, witty and actually rather funny. We All Looked Up definitely makes you ponder about what you would do if you knew the end of the world was almost at your doorstep and you only had a few days to live. Would you confess your undying love to the person you’ve been crushing on? Would you finally have the courage to chase your dreams?

I found myself so immersed in these characters and the plot that I didn’t want it to end. The romance in this novel is perfect. It’s present, but it’s not insta-love, nor does it at any point feel forced. I have to commend Wallach as it would have been so easy to make this book a soap opera resemblant of an EastEnders episode, but he kept it complex and real. Never straying too far from the point of the book.

One of the couples that I absolutely adored and, excuse my inner fangirl, will ship to the death was Peter and Eliza. I was fond of the two of them since the start of the novel and I knew that they would grow to be two of my favourite characters. The end was a truly heartbreaking twist that I did not see coming. In fact, I had to spend a couple minutes re-reading the pages to make sure what I had read was correct or if my mind was playing tricks on me. (I mostly read this book quite late at night).

I’m rather sad that it’s over and I’ve finished. I’d grown such an emotional attachment to the characters of We All Looked Up that I’m left wanting to know about Ardor and the fate of my fictional friends.

Alas, the ending was tragic yet perfect. Tommy Wallach is one to watch.

I desperately urge all of you to pre-order a copy of this book and add it to the very top of your must-read list. You will not regret it.


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