We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

“You didn’t win the game of life by losing the least. That would be one of those—what were they called again?—Pyrrhic victories. Real winning was having the most to lose, even if it meant you might lose it all. Even though it meant you would lose it all, sooner or later.”
― Tommy Wallach, We All Looked Up

In a few short words this novel was The Breakfast Club meets Red Dawn. Except it’s a meteor coming for them instead of The Soviet Union. The book is from the perspective of a hand full of teens who are thrown together under the circumstances of their imminent death. It starts out with the well rounded jock who’s looking for a little something more out of life. He’s constantly trying to figure out the purpose of everything. Then we meet Eliza, the high school whore. You feel bad for Eliza though… life has kicked her down so many times while she’s trying to get back up. She’s the girl who sleeps around to have some control in her life. Next up is Andy, I can’t help but like Andy! He’s the thug who is looking for his place among the high school hierarchy. He’s not a bad guy but he’s not good either because he follows around his loser best friend Bobo. Bobo? What kind of name is that? Last in our Karass, (yes, look it up. It’s a theme in the book.) is Anita who is the goody-goody, over achiever who doesn’t want to die being the goody-goody. She wants to live her last days as the person she feels she is meant to be. A singer! Screw her parents! They suck.

This whole group of unlikely friend bands together, off and on, (Because hey! They’re in high school and with high school comes lots of drama.) to make the end of the world a party to remember because no one wants to quietly wait for their demise without a drink in their hand. Everything eventually falls into place and then… it doesn’t.

I figured this book would be on the sad side, seeing as it’s about the end of the world as we know it and how teenagers are coping with that. It was sad for a completely different reason though! Looking back the beginning I can now see the foreshadowing in it. You just don’t expect young kids to die. Even if there’s a meteor barreling toward them. I keep going back and forth on my rating for this one. I think I’ll have to leave it at a 3 out of 5 stars. Not because I didn’t like it but because it’s just not the genre I’m geared toward. It was pretty alright to me. I will say that it did make me think a lot. And not in that dumb, over dramatic teen way. It was actually pretty thought provoking. I feel like most YA novels go for that but it comes off completely cheesy and you wind up rolling your eyes at it. This novel actually had some good, deep philosophy and inner turmoil within the characters about existing. But I hear that it’s in the auction stage of becoming a movie so if you’re one of those OMG! I have to read this book before the movie hits theaters! then you should probably read it now.


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