Review for We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach!
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Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: *** (3/5)
Writing Quality: **** (4.5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4/5)
Peter is the typical high school jock: good-looking, the basketball star, a popular girlfriend, and basically school fame.
Eliza is known as the promiscuous girl in school, but in reality she’s an artist: she loves photography and absolutely can’t wait to escape Seattle and her misrepresented reputation.
Anita is your typical genius: straight A’s, admission into Princeton, wealthy parents… But she has a different dream, and wonders whether giving up everything she’s worked so hard for is really worth it.
Finally, Andy, your typical high school rebel: he smokes, drinks regularly, is in a rock band, and doesn’t care at all about school or anything else. The future can wait, right?
Not anymore. It turns out an asteroid is hurtling through space and it’s likely that it will wipe out all life on Earth. So now that the future is no more, what will these teens do to make the most of the little time they have left?
This book was good, but it honestly wasn’t great or quite what I expected (which is usually a good thing, but unfortunately not in this case). Here’s what I expected from this book: four teens who seemingly would never communicate or get along end up in a unique and incredible friendship as the world around them crumbles. Wallach gave me everything except the friendship. Instead, he gave me romance, and I was disappointed to say the least.
One thing this book definitely had going for it was the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing each of them come out of their shells and escape the stereotypes placed upon them. It showed the complexity of their personalities, and I think that Wallach did a tremendous job of making us realize that stereotypes are almost always false, and that people are usually more than what you think they can be. That was the unique aspect of this book that I think would be almost impossible in any other setting: the dire circumstances allowed everyone to forget about the fights, forget about the problems, forget about reputations and insecurities and the social stress, and to make amends with everyone in the community, and Wallach executed this beautifully.
And now we come to the plot. Like I said earlier, I was severely disappointed that the focus of this book was romance and not friendship. Similarly to I Was Here by Gayle Forman, I felt this book should have been focused on a friendly connection between all four teens, not a romantic connection. Add a love triangle to it, and I was just confused most of the time. One of the characters was basically left out until the very end, and the novel basically followed two of the characters more than the others. I’m not going to spoil anything, of course, but an aspect of the ending also really added to my frustration (on the same subject of friendship) and I thought that there was an event near the end that was completely unnecessary.
The writing quality was not extraordinary, but it wasn’t something I noticed throughout the book. Wallach did do an incredible job of developing his characters and making them grow throughout the book.
Overall, this book had incredible characters, character development, and a unique setting and idea. However, the execution of this idea was lacking: this, in my opinion, was not a book for romance, yet that was the main focus.
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!