Tommy Wallach’s contemporary fiction novel We All Looked Up follows four teenagers who have spent all of high school being defined by labels – athlete, outcast, slacker, overachiever. Then, Earth is threatened to with the 66.6% chance of being destroyed by Ardor, an asteroid hurtling towards the Earth. That gives Peter, Eliza, Andy, Anita, and the rest of the planet two months. Two months to rid themselves of their labels. Two months to do things that would actually make a lasting effect. Two months to really live.
We All Looked Up was a book on my list that I was really looking forward to read. The idea was a teensy bit cliche, I’ll admit, but it genuinely intrigued me. Unfortunately, the book didn’t entirely live up to my expectations. The writing was mediocre and simplistic, and with an excessive amount of cursing in scenes where it really neither appropriate nor realistic. The point of the novel is for the four main characters to defy their labels. However, only one of the characters really changes in the end. The other three maintain their labels throughout the entire novel. And speaking of labels, they were way too extreme. Realistically, no one is simply “athlete” or “overachiever”. And on top of all that, there was a love triangle. I think other avid readers will relate when I say there really is nothing worse in a novel than a love triangle.
In other words, I found many faults in this novel. However, I would recommend it to high schoolers and above who enjoy mainstream YA novels.