We All Looked Up

We all looked up

press release photo

We all looked up

What would happen if humanity was informed that the world as we knew it was going to be terminated? Would everyone seek violent revenge or closure with those who wronged them? This deranged theory is successfully tested in Tommy Wallach’s first novel, We All Looked Up.

Based in gloomy Seattle, Washington, the story starts off as normal as any other young adult novel. A young teenage boy, Peter, and his popular girlfriend are chatting apprehensively about the future. Little did the couple know, the future they were so concerned about might not materialize because of an asteroid. Ardor, meaning enthusiasm or passion, is the name given to the asteroid that was heading straight for Earth, with an estimated 66.6% chance of collision. This startling news gave the schoolmates Peter, Eliza, Anita, and Andy two months to sculpt their lives into the masterpieces they wished them to be.

These four diverse seniors, who attend Hamilton High School, have contrasting personalities. There is Peter (the jock of the group), Eliza (the artistic outcast), Anita (the intelligent and strongly determined one), and Andy (the skateboarder who slacks in school). Tommy Wallach wrote these character’s personalities admirably well; every detail of each narrator is comparable to the various characteristics teens portray today. It was interesting to interpret the unique journeys each of the four lives everyday, and the relationships that are eventually developed throughout the story. All of the characters behave differently, which is something I enjoyed about this novel. Every individual has their own way of coping with the fact that they have a likely chance of dying, yet none of their reactions can be declared right nor wrong in the intimidating face of an apocalypse.

We All Looked Up has multiple factors that make it an honorable book. The vocabulary is challenging and there are some phenomenal metaphors as well, adding to the story in so many marvelous ways. Wallach produces wonderful imagery not only with metaphors, but also with the use of irony and humor. With that being said, there are times when people gush “I love you” to each other when they barely know the other person. Then, they kiss romantically the first time they meet, which, in my opinion, is not what happens in real life. Although a couple of the lines are cheesy and some events are impractical, that doesn’t take away from the emotional impact this novel has on a reader.

After reading We All Looked Up, I started to question the behaviors I display in my existance, asking myself, ‘If I were aware I only had two months to carry out my life, would I continue to live the same way?’ This book opened my eyes to the constant possibility of death that is not always present in the oblivious minds of humanity. With the making of his novel, Tommy Wallach did a remarkable job of creating a message to live each day as if it were your last. If you are interested in a book that will persistently inspire a spontaneous, outgoing lifestyle, I highly recommend reading the praiseworthy We All Looked Up.