Blog Tour: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach Review & Giveaway (AUS)

April 6, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Blog Tour: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach Review & Giveaway (AUS)We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
Published by Simon and Schuster Australia on March 31, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.

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MyReview

If you were told today that an asteroid was hurtling towards Earth and we only had 7 weeks left to live, what would you do?

We All Looked up explores this situation from the lives of four different teenagers, who need to find meaning in their lives in the short time they have left. They reflect on their dreams and aspirations, what they want to achieve before the asteroid Ardor hits, and they go for it.

  • For Anita, this means pursuing her dream as a singer, despite her parent’s expectations on her joining an Ivy League school.
  • For Peter, this means breaking up with his cheerleader girlfriend, and being with the girl he really wants to be with.
  • For Eliza, this means making a mark on the world and being known, for something other than sleeping around.
  • And for Andy, this means finally getting laid with the girl of his dreams.

What was it that made you keep playing a video game, hour after hour, day after day, no matter how terrible the writing was or how boring the story? You kept going because you had a quest. It didn’t even matter what it was – saving a princess or conquering an alien world or assassinating a king. Andy pictured Eliza as she used to be shy and spectral, quiet as a painting. It was as noble a quest as any.

The Ivy League girl, the popular jock with the cheerleader girlfriend, the school slut and the slacker/stoner – while these characters won’t win any awards for originality, they were relatable and explored in a profound way. When you’re in public, how many people do you categorise into boxes in your head? If you looked beyond the surface, would they be different to your initial thoughts? The characters in We All Looked Up were all living contradictions – there was so much more to them than their reputation.

For example, Eliza has been branded as a slut from kissing a popular cheerleader’s boyfriend. She does have more sex than the average teenager, but why does she do this? She feels it’s the only thing she can control in her life, where her mother has left and her dad has cancer. This girl treats sex like it’s a charity; if she can feel wanted and bring happiness to someone in a short amount of time, she would do it.

Beauty always made a target of its possessor. Every other human quality was hidden easily enough – intelligence, talent, selfishness, even madness – but beauty would not be concealed.

While I’m glad We All Looked Up is a sex positive book which explores slut shaming and unhealthy attitudes about sex, there was a particularly uncomfortable scene which I wasn’t too fond of. A random guy slides into Eliza’s bed, asking for sex, and she gives it, because she was wanted. That was creepy and uncomfortable, and birth control was never mentioned.

The end of the book kind of becomes a bit too intense with the romantic drama, which I wasn’t a fan of. All of these characters gets paired off, and suddenly all that matters is being with someone else. Instead worrying about the end of the world, drama, jealousy and romance came to the forefront.

While a wonderful friendship between four unlikely characters is formed, where’s the time that they spent with their family and other friends? There was hardly any interaction with them after the asteroid was announced, especially with Eliza’s dad, who has cancer, and Anita’s parents which she runs out on. If Peter was so popular, where are his other friends?

Whether the asteroid blazed past them like a bad overhead pass, or landed like a huge fist wrapped in chains of fire, Ardor had already delivered its stale but necessary message: Life was just too goddamn short.

epiloguepink

We All Looked Up is a beautiful, philosophical and thought provoking read that offers a beautiful message on living life to the fullest without regret. No matter what the goal is, if you put your mind to it, you can make it happen. Whether you succeed or not isn’t important, it’s whether you actually tried so you’ll have no regrets, and at least you’ll know the outcome. We often let so many things get in the way of our aspirations, and we spend precious time doing what we don’t want to be doing.

Profound thoughts on life can be found throughout its pages, which I spent time reflecting upon. This is a book that requires quiet reflection to be appreciated.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

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Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia and Aussie YA Bloggers & Readers Group for this blog tour & review opportunity! 

BucketList

As part of this tour, we’re posting our end of world bucket lists. Here’s 5 things I want to achieve if the apocalypse was happening:

1. Kill a zombie
2. Eat all the delicious food
3. Drive a tank
4. Wish upon a shooting star
5. Spend time with loved ones

AboutTheAuthor

Tommy Wallach Author PhotoTommy 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.

Where to find Tommy: WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Simon and Schuster Australia is giving away 5 copies of We All Looked Up as part of this blog tour. Enter below – Australians only! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour:

April 1 – Diva Book Nerd
April 2 – Loony Literate
April 3 – Readers in Wonderland, Infinity Reads
April 5 – Fangirl World
April 6 – Happy Indulgence Books, Inside My Worlds, Whimsical Nature
April 7 – The Girly Geek
April 8 – Cassie the Weird, Thoughts by J
April 9 – Genie In a Book, Looking for the Panacea
April 10 – Book Nerd Reviews, Daring Damsels

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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42 responses to “Blog Tour: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach Review & Giveaway (AUS)

  1. Actually, I think this is one of the first time I read a review about a book as I am reading the actual book myself as well! I am liking this one so far and yes, I am finding it very thought provoking. And even though I disagree with an awful lot of things that the teenagers are doing, I do get that some teenagers out there do all this stuff.
    My recent post Hollow Blood (Review)

    • Yayy, thanks for reading my review then Olivia! It was definitely thought provoking and yes, the drugs were questionable, although it was the end of the world.

  2. I love how the book makes you think about living life to the fullest. I usually like books that are sex positive, but I think that scene would have bothered me too.
    I love your bucket list! Now I totally want to drive a tank, haha!
    New follower, love your blog!

  3. Faye M.

    I really wanted to read this one because I find the idea of knowing the world will end soon and you only have a few weeks left to take settle things before the inevitable just fascinating. What would the average human do? Would they say goodbye to their families and friends? Or would they do EVERYTHING they wanted without thought for repercussions and such? I can definitely see how this book is a window for a lot of profound thoughts and philosophical discussions, but the drama and romance being in the forefront does worry me a bit >_<
    My recent post ARC Review: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

    • I know, it really made you think about what would happen if you were in that situation! Beautiful comment Faye, it sounds like it\’s already gotten you thinking 😉

  4. Francoise

    Driving a tank would so be on my bucket list too! I was hoping this novel would be more than just romance (Don't get me wrong, I normally love a good romance any day) because I think the plot is a really good one and you could do so much with it. I love apocalyptic reads and I feel like I'll want to read this one but not while there's so much hype around it at the moment. I'm glad it explores important messages such as slut shaming but that scene you mentioned does sound uncomfortable. *shiver*

    Great review! 😉 It was great meeting you the other day
    My recent post Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard {Mini Review}

    • It was awesome meeting you Francoise! I had such a fun time, I want to come back to Sydney hehe! Yeah, there was a lot of philosophy in it but towards the end the romance was a bit too much. I think you might like it actually.

    • Of course I'm assuming that the apocalypse will contain zombies lol! Thanks lovely, i made it up on the spot 😛

  5. danielleisbusyreading

    Lovely review, girl! I'm so glad this book is sex positive and addresses more themes than just "what would you do if you knew you were about to die?" It sounds like a very thought provoking book! Plus I love that cover!

  6. Ahh Jeann your bucket list is so cool! I have one myself but it's super private and I only have a few things ticked off.

    I've had my eye on this one for a while and I've wanted to get my hands on it and devour the philosophical points this one addresses. It's a shame the romance is what sort of took over the story at the end but i'm not all too surprised by that. Great review!

    • It was a completely random list that I came up with on the spot lol. My real bucket list involves a lot of travel 🙂 I think it will be totally up your alley Lily! Thank you lovely.

  7. Following these blog tour posts has been awesome–I can't be any more stoked to read this. Too bad I can't enter the giveaway because I'm not from Aussie. :((

    KILL A ZOMBIE, HA. I've always wanted to experience holding a knife against something, and a zombie would be perfect. 😉 If I tried to drive a tank, I would probably run over all sorts of animals and people… Oops. But definitely, spending time with loved ones is a must!
    My recent post Blog Tour: Push by Claire Wallis / This Book is Crazy! / Review + Giveaway

    • Hehe thanks for supporting our Aussie blog tour Aimee! Hopefully you\’ll get the chance to read it! Hahaha that\’s pretty dark Aimee, but yes zombies are perfect for that purpose 😉 LOL about the tanks, that would probably be the same with me, whoops!

  8. Ehhhh. I wasn't so keen on this book because it sounds so stereotypical in the way of its characters, and to be honest this review has made me realise that I was right in staying away from it.

    That sex scene sounds totally creepy and almost seems as if it gives off a 'guys are entitled to sex' vibe which is just so wrong on so many levels.

    And the fact that romance drama takes over? Mmmm. Not so keen.

    Thanks for the review, lovely!
    My recent post If I Could Turn Back Time

    • Yeah, the characters were stereotypes but they were still explored deeply you know? Oh gosh, that sex scene just felt totally out of place! Definitely wrong. Thanks Chiara!

  9. Zoe

    I completely agree with everything you've said here Jeann – it's like you took the words out of my mouth. I really liked this one too, but, like you, I felt it was just a tad bit too romance-centered for my liking. I did, however, enjoy the way Wallach really gave some life to his characters and explored the stereotypes that box us all in. Why should anyone be confined tot hose labels and stereotypes anyway? Thanks for sharing and, as always, beautiful review! <3
    My recent post Extraction

    • There definitely was a lot of deep exploration into the characters and life in general! I loved the beautiful message. Thank you so much!

  10. I am making a weird wrinkly face right now because I feel let down by this book. I know another book similar to this one came out last year and a lot of people weren't impressed which was why I was hoping this would end up being awesome.

    I am really really disappointed to hear about the romantic drama mess. I hate hate hate it when all characters are paired of. Why does everyone need to be romantically involved with someone? Why cannot we just have people interact with their family and friends?

    Blegh.

    I am glad that you managed to like this, Jeann. Even if you had a couple issues with this! 🙂

    Fantastic review, hon! <3

    Also, I adore your bucket list.

    I WANT TO DRIVE A TANK AS WELL.
    My recent post Review + Game: Harrison Squared by Darryl Gregory

    • OH GOOD it's just not me with the tank haha! I mean how freaking awesome would that be? Yeah, although there was drama and stuff at the end it was still a great reflective read you know? I just wish there was more time with family and friends, instead of thinking of their next crush, etc.

    • Ahah I thought about bungee jumping but nope, I wouldn't do that even if it was the end of the world! So scary

  11. This book sounds interesting and I guess it's understandable how they focus on romance on the end, I think it's realistic that if you were to live for only a few more hours you would want to spend it with someone you love. The characters sounds interesting and the whole plot idea of doing what you really want and living without regrets is interesting. It does sound like a book that get's you thinking. Great review!
    My recent post Blog Tour: Raising the Stakes by Karen Rock

    • Yeah, that's totally true although I wish they spent more time with their family instead of thinking about their next romance. Definitely a reflective one! Thanks Lola.

  12. Umm, you made a couple of points that cooled off my enthusiasm about this book some. Romance drama taking the foreground, with everything else apparently forgotten – and the random guy in Eliza's bed (for the reasons that you stated). On the other hand, I'm still curious about it. Thank you for your honest review!
    My recent post How to Develop a Taste for the Weird

    • Yeah, just a shame that it gets focused on the drama at the end, but it's still worth a read. Glad you're still keen Roberta!

  13. Obviously Cynthia there hasn't been to my blog, I absolutely loved this one! I'm a big fan of the 80's flicks and this reminded me of an apocalyptic breakfast club. I couldn't agree more, the character labels weren't anything we hadn't seen before, but when put into a volatile situation of a society either too blase or on the verge of panic, I love how they each came into their own. Labels shifting and changing.

    Brilliant review Jeann and bucket list. I do worry about you killing a Zombie though, if you strap on the crossbow, what use will we have for Daryl? Just play dumb and we can watch him save the world instead *le sigh* 😀
    My recent post Paradise City… Restoring My Faith in New Adult

    • Apocalyptic breakfast club is a good way to put in it hehe. I did like how the labels didn't really mean much at the end as well. LOL I'll be killing them next to Daryl 😉 can't leave it all up to him.