Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blog Tour: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach {Review+Giveaway}

We All Looked Up
by Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 31st 2015

Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4 STARS 
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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 a thought provoking and genuine book that reflects 4 different yet accurate perspectives on life and the future. I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I started this book but I didn't have much expectations for it so it took me by surprise by how much I enjoyed this story. I figured that this was going to be a story intertwining the lives of 4 different students (which it did) as they do some crazy things that they've wanted to do before they died (which didn't really happen). And I never really considered what would happen socially to the community and this is what We All Looked Up was all about. It gave an insight to how the economy changed and the various reactions to the possible demise of the world. 

Having 4 different point of views was a bit disorienting at times but at the same time helped to see the same situation in different lights. There was already a sense of change when the book began but the official possibility that the asteroid could destroy the world was the catalyst that set the change into motion. Peter goes from being a popular basketball player to a popular and charming person who really does care about making a mark in the world and acts on it. Eliza goes from a girl with a "bad reputation" to a famous photoblogger. Anita goes from being a girl who's stressed by her parents (academically) to a girl who sets out to follow her dreams as a singer. And then there's chill, relaxed Andy who still kind of is chillaxed but finally has a goal in his life. I loved seeing how all the characters connected. They're all so different and didn't really interact much (with the exception of Peter and Anita, who were on student council together). So seeing them all come together was pretty awesome especially since we see everyone's opinions on everyone else. But even though they were the central characters, there were others like Misery and Bobo, who played their own roles in the story. 

We see a lot of student unrest and rebellion on recent federal restrictions. The main focus was on this group of characters dealing with and playing an active role in this. But there's also the drug dealers who take advantage of this situation and when one of the characters is linked to them, not a great lot of good would happen. There was some incredulity on my part on the last 15% of the story but in a sense it also worked with the story. 

Messing with my emotions, We All Looked Up was a lot more than just 4 high school students taking a different path they originally were. It took living to a whole new meaning and brought up ideas and questions I needed to think or reflect on. This is definitely one for contemp readers looking for a though provoking contemporary. If you think this is for you, go forth and try it :D Happy Readings! 
P.S There is romance in the story (it's just kind of complicated that I didn't want to go into it :P)

Author Bio: 
Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His first novel, We All Looked Up, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. His work has appeared in many nice magazines, such as McSweeney's, Tin House, and Wired. He has released an EP with Decca Records, and will be independently putting out an LP in Spring 2014. He also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. You should buy him dinner.

Win (1) of (3) a finished copy of We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (US Only)
Starts: March 20th, 2015
Ends: March 29th, 2015

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