Dual Review w/ A Bookstagrammer: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Pages: 370 pages
Published: March 24th, 2015
Source: Hardcover from Barnes & Noble
Genre: YA
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.

Buy it now!

Today I'm joined by a new friend, Aamina. It was basically friendship at first conversation. We were reading the same book so I decided to ask her if she wanted to join me in a dual review. I've never done one of these before but I love reading other people's opinions, so this could possibly work out in my favor. Go follow her on her beautiful bookstagram account! 
I've ultimately formed a love-hate relationship with this book. It was good but it also wasn't my favorite. There were so many things I loved but then, at the same time, I was picky and had a few quirks with some things. After about a year of sitting on my TBR shelf, I thought it was finally time to pick up the book that would supposedly "change me". 

There's a fine line that needs to be drawn between realistic and unrealistic when talking about the end of the world. It was hard to believe that the kids were still going to school after the asteroid was announced to be upon Earth in 2 months. I mean, cmon people! You have 2 months left alive and you decide to live those precious seconds by going to school? I have to say, that's a pretty unrealistic vision of how our society would react to such announcements of "the end of the world". 

Wallach's message gets across clearly though. His characters spent their last few weeks doing things they've never done, saying goodbyes and mourning their loss of time. To them, the most important thing might not have been family, but the book isn't wrong in saying everyone has different priorities. In fact, I felt there was a larger representation of love, friendship and cheap sex, rather than family. 

I don't think I've ever met such an annoying cast of characters before. Maybe it was their decisions, or maybe it was their personalities. Who knows? I just couldn't stand them! The story gets so jumbled in the end that's it's kind of hard to keep track with what everyone was doing, especially with the changing perspectives. 

The ending was something I really appreciated. It's hard to write a book about the end of the world and actually end it with the destruction of Earth. On one hand, you can't give the characters the easy way out by saying that the asteroid moved from its past and didn't collide with Earth. That's like giving the characters a get out of jail card. Instead, Tommy Wallach stops the story with an open ending. He doesn't tell us as to whether the asteroid destroys earth of not. It's up to us as the readers to decide if these characters get to live or die. We basically get to finish the story. Thank you, Tommy Wallach for letting me write my own ending.
The best books, they don't talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you'd always thought about, but that you didn't think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you're a little bit less alone in the world.

Imagine you're are all going to die soon, that you found out on the news there’s a 66.6% chance an asteroid will hit the planet. Would you carry on living like it’s any other day? Or would you lose hope and spiral into despair?

"Before, 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 the asteroid 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."

I know it sounds like a cliché movie but honestly it’s so much more. It’s about growing out of your labels and becoming what you want to be.

The characters are so versatile at the start and end of the books. It’s like they’ve completely changed their personality. Firstly there’s so much dimension in the characters, their aspirations, dreams, desires..we find a little bit of our self in all of them. They were complex and misunderstood and we get to see them in each others eyes. I appreciated the characters and how believable they are. However the first part of the book is a little hard to get into as I wasn’t interested in all the characters.

This book is written in four POVs for each character and to be honest I’m not a fan because sometimes it can confuse me but they managed to entwine with each other perfectly.

I didn't realise I was expecting this book to not be very good until it surprised me. And it surprised me a lot. 
You don’t wanna go out of this world with regrets. If there’s some-
thing you want to do, you do it. You take this life by the balls and you tell it that you existed.

We All Looked Up is a book about 4 high school stereotypes coming to terms with the world. I gave it a 3.5/5 because it was a little hard to get into at first as the characters at the beginning didn’t appeal to me but as the story went on and THE ENDING it gave me so much wisdom and hope. I recommend EVERYONE to read it if you like thought provoking and compelling books.

Thank you for joining me Aamina!

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  1. I really enjoyed the philosophical side of this book and watching the characters change in response to the news. I also really liked the clear messages he conveyed to readers. I do NOT like Wallach as a person though, especially after his callous comments following the November 13 Paris attack. Great review ladies!!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    1. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I actually hadn't known much about the author before or after reading his book. I've just seen the comments and really don't know how to react. The fact that he's inspiring so many people with his book just doesn't make sense as to why he would have said that...

    2. I didn't know this as well! I don't want know his comments ...

  2. I really liked this book, but I actually got really annoyed by the ending! I think if I was to read it now, I would really appreciate the ending, but at the time, I just thought it was a really easy way out. Like, literally the whole book had been building up to the question "what happens when the world ends?", yet we didn't even find out? I thought it was a bit unrealistic too - I think there would be much more riots (in my city, anyway!) and chaos than was portrayed in this book. I loved reading both of your reviews! ♥

    Denise | The Bibliolater

    1. I quite liked the ending and how the author didn't really tell us what happened because as you said, I would have been annoyed if there was no asteroid but I also would have been mad if they were all killed and the book made us love the characters. I know right! The chaos in NYC would be unimaginable and that's actually why I commend him on doing an okay job with this book. Thank you so much for reading, Denise! I'm sure Aamina is happy as well by this comment :D

    2. Thank you so much! It means so much you saying that I've never done anything like this before :)

  3. Your review is AWESOME! I completely agree with you about how unrealistic it was when they were going to school! I think i would be meeting everyone and hugging them!

    1. Aww thanks Aamina, for joining me as well!! I would be grabbing all the books at Barnes & Noble haha xD. No I'm totally kidding. I would be spending it with my family and doing things that I've never tried before, which will be hard since the world will be in such chaos.


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