We All Looked Up - Tommy Wallach

Synopsis: Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.




I’m going to do something I almost never do: review a book without having finished it. I don’t like writing negative reviews. I also don’t like writing reviews on books I don’t finish. Today I’m going to do both of those things. Also, today’s review is going to be a brief one.


In a nutshell: We All Looked Up is mind-numbingly boring. I made it 215 pages in, and only had 120 or so to go, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. The writing had no edge, no style, no originality. It was young adult fiction dreck, filled to the brim with a cast of stereotypical high schoolers (a jock, a stoner, a yuppie, and an artist), all locked in never-ending, cringe-inducing, superficial melodrama. I could relate to none of these characters, nor did I want to. I would rather take a kick to the balls than read anymore about these Breakfast Club wannabes.


The premise — a large meteor is almost certainly headed toward Earth and will almost certainly wipe out all of humanity in two months or so — is an interesting one, and I wanted it to succeed. I thought this book had potential to be an interesting and clever character study, but it’s not. It’s just not. None of it felt authentic or ‘true’ to me, and I doubt that would have changed in the book’s final chapters. It all felt rushed and plastic, and it never engaged me.


I regret spending money on this book, and I regret wasting time reading it. It’s run-of-the-mill, try hard teen lit in all the worst ways. I’m giving it a star for the meteor, and the possibility that it really fell to Earth and wiped out the bozos in this story. Not that I would know.

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