Here it goes. Another book review! Most of the time I read books in a series, so I normally will wait to write a review. So here is a book that is a stand alone novel. It’s called “We All Looked Up” by Tommy Wallach. I am pretty excited to start this review because I feel like I need to keep up the posts if I want to make this an epic blog to read. Seriously though. My dream is to be able to show this blog to publishing companies and get noticed. So if you are just joining me on this blog, I hope you like what you read.
I have a huge to be read list. I wasn’t even going to tackle this book until I heard that the author was going to be at a bookstore in SF that day. So I hastily tried to finish the book before I went to the event. I only got through half the book before I had to go, but I had some massive questions. When I got to the event, it turned out that the author was just performing his songs from the book. Wallach produced an album to go along with the book. I actually enjoyed the songs and would recommend you to actually listen to it.
Before I get to the actual signing, I will tell you about this book. It centers on these high school kids from Seattle. They are from different social groups and seem to walk on egg shells around each other. They find out that there is an asteroid coming to Earth that has a 66.6% chance of obliterating the Earth (more on that number later.) These kids experience what it’s like when the world goes haywire. It begs the question of “why is math important?” I mean, if you are going to die in two months, why should you even bother with school?
I don’t normally tab quotes that stick with me while I’m reading, but I felt like I had to. My copy of the book is filled with green tabs on the side of the book. I want to share with you some of the meaningful quotes I found in this book. They won’t be filled with spoilers. They will be an introspective look on what it means to be human and all of that philosophical stuff.
“The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.”
This really struck me as a reader and a lover of books. If you think about the best book you have read, you can see this to be true. These books affirm your feelings that what you are thinking is correct. I’m not saying that they don’t test your thoughts, but they make you feel like you are a valid human being on this planet for having those thoughts. You connect with it in any shape, which is why you love it so much.
“And Edmund Burke, who was kinda like a more boring version of Dylan back in the eighteenth century, said that those who have much to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous. Well, a lot of people in the world have just started thinking that they don’t have anything left to lose, and it’s our job to protect you from them. I don’t want to scare you, but history tells us that whenever there’s panic, there’s death. It’s the way of the world.”
I thought that this was very symbolic of what is going on in the book. If there was a high chance that the world was going to end in two weeks, what would you do? You have nothing to lose, so why not do the thing you’ve always wanted to do? You could bring religion into it, but most people wouldn’t even give it a thought. I am totally sure that some people would lose faith and just murder and steal. It is the way of the world.
I loved this book because it got me wondering about the world and our purpose in this life. The characters were very well written, that I rooted for each one. My favorite character is Anita. She totally changed her destiny. The asteroid gave her the chance to stand up to her parents and show her classmates who she really is. Everyone was so surprised when she would do something different, but she didn’t really care. Sometimes people have a certain view of you and maybe that’s not really how you are. I love the idea of testing that and not being what people want me to be.
My only criticism is that the intertwining of characters’ points of view were kind of irritating. It seemed like the author was trying too hard sometimes. Other than that, this book is a must read. I hope it makes it to the big screen. I think people need to read more books like this in order to help them view their own lives in a different light.
Onto the signing part!
Here is the part that I really wanted to mention. I have been to a bunch of different signings for authors. This was the first signing in which there was literally not that many people. I went there thinking that there would be more people, but I was sorely disappointed. It seemed like I was one of the only people the author didn’t know personally. Everyone who went seemed to know him personally.
The author talked about how this was his first YA novel and how he did a little research on the subject. I would have never guessed it was his first. I went in expecting that the author was some sophisticated writer who was maybe getting paid big money from the publishing company. I was sorely mistaken. I guess he was just like any writer you see on TV. He was pretty cool though. I loved the fact that he made an album to the book.
I asked him about the 66.6% and if he was afraid at first that he was hitting it too on the nose. He said that he didn’t realize the significance until he published it. Seriously, that would’ve been my first thought when writing something like that. He also talked about how he had to write the second half twice, since he “doesn’t write good.” It’s always inspiring to me to know that writers can think their writing sucks. I’m always criticizing my own writing and it always felt like every other writer, especially those in my graduating class at SFSU, were way better at it than I am. I always thought my writing sounded like that of a five year old. Maybe that is only cause I’m reading it in my voice. You never know.
When I got my book signed, I had a ten dollar bill as a bookmark. It was a Macau dollar, which are called “Patacas.” The author wrote “Dez Patacas! (Which means I love you. I think.)” I had to laugh at that. I had to share that with you guys. It’s too funny!
Anyways, I hope you guys decide to read this book. It was amazing and just… ahhh! I did cry a little… just so you know. 4.5/5 stars!