*sigh* I was pretty excited to read this book! The premise was vague enough and I really thought I’d like it! But 27% and 100 pages later… here we are
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. -goodreads.com summary
This novel sounded right up my alley! A contemporary about high school stereotypes facing an impending doom causing them to look beyond their stereotypes and actually LIVE for once… SIGN ME UP! It’s not necessarily “coming of age” but stories about people finding themselves are one of my favorite things! ALSO MULTIPLE POVS?! What’s not to like!? Well apparently, a lot…
The Dialogue: SO! I love novels with realistic teenage dialogue, don’t be afraid to curse or talk about drugs and sex— REAL TEENAGERS DO THAT! But We All Looked Up felt like the dialogue written by someone who only knew stereotypes of teenagers, not how actual teens talk. I feel like the author watched a lot of high school dramas and thought “I got this! I understand teens!” But with every chapter the dialogue just felt more and more unrealistic.
The Asteroid: This could’ve been a good plot point, if it was done better. It’s when we are faced with death that our real selves begin to shine through, so using it as a plot point to bring out a different side of characters is really smart. It’s when we are faced with death that we start questioning out lives and everything we have done, suddenly our trivial issues seem less important and we question why we waste our short life doing things we don’t enjoy. THESE ARE ALL THOUGHT PROVOKING IDEAS THAT COULD’VE BEN A PART OF A GREAT NOVEL, BUT they aren’t well done here. The asteroid idea feels very forced and out of place. It popped up in scenes randomly, as if to just remind the reader that it was part of the story. Maybe there could’ve been some other plot point (one that blended better with the story) to inspire these changes in the characters.
All of the sudden one of the characters was all LET’S SAVE THE WORLD! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! K so I’m 100% cool with a character realizing how he wants to make a change in the world before, but it should be a NATURAL transition. This just felt really forced and out of the blue. Maybe it was because we didn’t really have time to know the characters before… It could’ve worked… maybe… but it needed to be much better handled.
AND FOR THE MAIN REASON I DECIDED TO STOP! We All Looked Up handled sensitive topics as gentle as hitting someone with a car. I only read 27% through so maybe thinks get better later but AS OF 27%, things were not well handles and it made me a little uncomfortable. SO I’m about to talk about suicide so trigger warning!
It’s pointed out rather nonchalantly how Andy and one of his friends once attempted suicide after his friend broke up with his girlfriend. It’s mentioned mostly in passing and we hardly learn much about why him and his friend were depressed or much of why Andy didn’t go through with it. Andy says he “pussed out” when he opted to not kill himself and call the cops to save his friend’s life. EXCUSE ME?! You’re acting like Andy was some coward for not killing himself! Maybe I could live with this if his friend called him a wimp for not going through with it but that idea was condemned by Andy. BUT NO! Andy AGREES with him. That just makes me really uncomfortable.
THEN, when Andy finds out that he will probably die in a few months, what is his thought process? OH NO! I can’t die a virgin! That’s just… NO. Again, if a character had this thought process, but it was condemned by another character, that’d be one thing. But no, (maybe) the only virgin character is condemned for NOT having sex, and everyone acts like being a virgin is the worst thing in the world. ON TOP OF THAT another character who does sleep around is called a slut… soooo there’s no winning. THEN Andy makes a deal that he can sleep with a girl before the world ends. It’s hard to say why, but once again, that just makes me uncomfortable.
SO! My thoughts on We All Looked Up? SOOOO DISAPPOINTED! I really wanted to like this once but, if you can’t tell from the comments above, I just wasn’t a fan. If you’ve read it, please tell me your thoughts below. Am I overreacting? What did you think? If you haven’t read it, I don’t recommend. Maybe it gets better, but I won’t be reading on to find out.