Book Review: We All Looked Up
ashley | Before even getting to the first page of We All Looked Up, author Tommy Wallach had already won me over. In my advance copy, there was a letter to the Pre-Reader, from Tommy, describing his classical music stage, his singer-songwriter phase and the many other books and screenplays and short stories he wrote before this book came into existence. It was an honest and heartfelt introduction and it set the tone for this honest and heartfelt story about a bunch of kids shedding their breakfast club cliché lives and trying to enjoy their last two months on earth before an asteroid wipes it out.
What would you do if we were told we had two months left on earth? What would be your priorities, your goals, who would you spend your last days with? We All Looked Up explores the various end-of-the-world reactions through a misfit group of high school students. We see high strung students let loose, slacker students rise up, long term lovers break up and unlikely pairs come together. It’s a pretty interesting demonstration of human nature in its last moments. People loot. People hide. People finally come into their own almost as it’s too late.
The thing about a breakfast club group of characters is you’re bound to find at least one you relate to. But chances are you will see yourself in more than one character, making this a very relateable book. Each character was strong on their own, replicating someone you know or recognize in your own youth. I was pretty fascinated with this group of people and their reactions. They were all interesting characters, with their own unique priorities, yet all kind of seeking the same thing for the end of the world.
Things ended much like I expected them to, which I’m surprisingly pleased with. The entire book inspires self reflection, so the ended was a perfect fit with that. I really enjoyed the overall tone and the slim pieces of hope and inspiration scattered throughout. Towards the end, my initial excitement started to dull a bit as there were parts that I felt were a little too focused on the love and sex aspect, but I suppose that too is realistic as everyone wants to spend their last moments with those important people or at least figure out who those important people are. Or, you know, not die a virgin.
As far as the apocalypse goes, this was a heartfelt and realistic glimpse at the end of the world as seen through the eyes of the athlete, the slut, the slacker and the overachiever who all looked up.
March 24, 2015