Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.
But then we all looked up and everything changed.
They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.
Two months to really live.
Told from multiple points of view, Wallach’s We All Looked Up is set eight weeks before an asteroid is due to hit the world and obliterate it. Our main characters, Peter, Andy, Eliza, and Anita, grapple with their ‘messed up’ lives and what the end means for them.
The front is blurbed that this book is “this generation’s The Stand“. Remove that from your mind. This book is nothing at all like King’s epic. This is more end of the world Breakfast Club if they were allowed to leave the library…and there was an asteroid hurtling towards them.
I really liked Anita as a character. She had the most significant character arc. She was relateable and well imagined. I was always happy to read the Anita chapters. Peter is your typical jock who decides life has to have more meaning. And it (as always) is in the form of a girl and a soup kitchen. Andy is an interesting study. I felt, after reading a bit about the author, that he may have been a bit of a ‘Mary Jane’ character. Eliza, our hipster artist dream boat was, in my opinion, vapid.
I know we are supposed to adore her, love her. I just couldn’t get into her as a character. And it was gone for me the moment she came home to find her house burned down and that her Dad was most likely in there. She cried in one sentence, was fine the next without a moment’s thought. For someone who is supposed to love her Dad, that lack of mourning or caring was a turn off.
So, does the asteroid hit? Do they all die in the end? I’ll let you read it. I will say, I skimmed the last 30 pages to find out. I wish that this book had been about Peter or Anita. Might have worked a little better.