Author: Tommy Wallach
Publication: March 26th 2015, Simon and Schuster UK
Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thanks again, Dianne of Oops I Read A Book Again)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnesand Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | Kobo | National Bookstore / Fully Booked (PH)
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.
Many times, I find contemporaries tiring and repetitive in formula, while some just go beyond my expectations. We All Looked Up proved that it will definitely go beyond my expectations indeed, but it did bring up some casualties.
So the plot goes around as an apocalyptic few months left for the world because an asteroid called Ardor is going to fall from the sky and presents distress among people, especially the focus of the story, the teens in Seattle, who try to make the coming of the end worthwhile by throwing a party and making sure that they didn’t leave the world with any regrets.
We are plummeted into their world through four perspectives: Eliza, Peter, Andy and Anita. I’ve always liked the idea of hearing character voices, what they think of certain situations and what they wish would happen. It seems kind of voyeur if you ask me, but it just makes me fall in love with them. In all the point of views, Andy and Anita’s were my favourites. While Eliza- the one being pinned over and talked about mostly in the novel- and Peter are indeed interesting and great, Andy and Anita were more raw and unusual. Both Andy and Anita brought desperation in the novel, but in different degrees. Andy is desperate to get the girl while Anita just wants to get a break from her pressurized life. Both wish for acceptance and both a kind of messed up in their own ways, and it brought them together eventually. Again, I would definitely read a novella if it featured Andy and Anita any day.
What’s also interesting about this novel is the mixture of really amazing supporting characters, which to me is both great and kind of bad for the most part. Bobo and his friends, Misery and Chad, they seem far more relevant at times than Eliza or Peter were which sort of brought a conflict in me. Nonetheless, it was still so freaking amazing to read such diverse and honest characters, kind of broken, but still worth reading.
The novel is also not very reassuring of what’s gonna happen in the end. You’d think that because Eliza and Peter will hook up, doesn’t mean it’ll secure their future together and whatnot. It’s rather scary and horrible to think about because of all the what ifs. THAT ENDING THOUGH!!!!! Help me, Tommy. Help me. How do I move on!? I hate you!
What I really want to do now is to listen to Tommy Wallach’s companion album for the novel. I have seen some of my friends talk about it and I wish to listen to it and maybe cry about it. Some of the lyrics in the novel, those made by Andy and Anita for the party, were breathtaking and if they are in the companion, I have no more chill! Not only is Tommy Wallach a great musician, he is also a really good author, and for a debut, that’s freaking amazing. He definitely killed it in the humor department and making the characters bond and counter each other was very moving and definitely enticing. It’s not as perfect as I hoped it was, and there were moments where I feel like I should skip a page, but it was still riveting and beautifully written.
We All Looked Up presents a reality that as humans, not just teenagers or the like, we wish to make a difference by being an image of a change, whether good or bad, whether it leaves an impact or not. We wish, at a time of turmoil, that we become relevant until the end, and it couldn’t be helped if we are merely like that.
About The Author:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His fiction and non-fiction works have appeared in MacSweeney's Tin House, Wired, Salon and other magazines, and he is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. As a musician, he has put out an EP with Deccca Records and performed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. We All Looked Up is his debut novel.