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.*
WE ALL LOOKED UP is so much more poignant than I was expecting and I was already expecting a lot out of it!
The first thing I noticed and fell in love with about the book is that it is told from multiple perspectives, but never first person. Each chapter is a limited third person view into one of four character’s thoughts, feelings, hopes, and desires, which lends an interesting layer of dramatic irony to the story. There were times I wished I could insert myself into the story to say, “Wait! No, stop that! You wouldn’t be doing that if you knew xxx!” It really made me wonder about my own life and the people in it. How many fights or awkward encounters or failed relationships could have turned out differently–better–if we could see into each other’s thoughts like this, if we could be more open about our own thoughts.
That’s what the entire book does: It makes you reevaluate your entire life. If the world were going to end tomorrow, would anything I’ve done in the last 22 years I’ve been alive have been worth anything? Did my life have any meaning? Did I spend the majority of my time with the right people or have I been wasting it away because I think that it’s infinite, that I have all the time in the world to make the right decisions?
The story raises all these questions and more, all while telling the tale of a whole slew of characters that you can’t help but get attached to and hope their stories turn out alright in the end. I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike!
Oh, and be sure to check out the album Tommy Wallach created to go along with it–it’s incredible!!
*Synopsis and cover photo from Amazon.com.