Post Script: We All Looked Up – Tommy Wallach

“Epicurus tells us that there’s no reason to fear death, because we don’t get to meet it. While we exist there is no death. And when death comes, we’re not there anymore.” p122.

We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up

Tommy Wallach

Simon and Schuster (Australia)

ISBN: 9781471124563



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. Eliza wholeheartedly disagrees; she can’t wait to graduate and get far away from Seattle, if only to escape her reputation. Anita has done everything perfectly in high school, and she has the grades to prove it. But then, she can’t help wondering what is it all worth since she’s never done what she truly loves. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career – the future can wait.

But what if the future was 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.


My View:

What would you do if you were alerted to the fact that the world may not exist in a few weeks’ time? This YA book uses the distinct possibility of the world ending as a device to open up the discussion on so many contemporary youth issues – they are thinly disguised as circumstances in individuals’ lives or as part of the narrative that I felt a little like I was being preached to. I think I am a little too experienced and worldly for this particular book. I didn’t like the main characters, so shallow and selfish and with no redeeming features to speak of. I thought the plot was too busy – a bit like Lord of The Flies – on drugs and with a meteor about to obliterate the world.

I did so want to like this book but it didn’t work for me. I love the cover art, and some of the writing and philosophical quotes/arguments presented are very intelligent but I could not suspend my belief and roll with the flow on this one.


11 thoughts on “Post Script: We All Looked Up – Tommy Wallach

  1. I love your candor, Carol. You make a really good point about reactions to the characters. If there’s nothing that interests you about them, it’s hard to be drawn into the story, even if it does address important human issues.

    • Thanks Margot – the scenario itself present some interesting responses…but some likeable characters are more important I think. I would actually like to hear views from people who have teenage children – to see if this representation of high school is accurate- I seriously hope not.

  2. I know YA books are huge at the moment but the few I’ve read have on the whole left me cold, mainly because the characters seem so shallow and self-obsessed. I seem to remember when I was a YA we were passionate about things like politics and social justice, feminism etc. I don’t believe YAs today only care about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll – and what they look like! We cared about those things, but not to the exclusion of everything else…

    • This is the YA book that is receiving so much hype in Aust but for me it is my least favourite of the YA’s I have read – and I have read some good ones this year largely centred around mental health issues. Oh well we cant like everything 🙂

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