Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 31st 2015
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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.
For my stop on the blog tour, Tommy Wallach has stopped by to do a guest post (my full review will post next week). I was very interested in the idea of how an impending apocalypse affects teenagers at the beginning of their transitions to adulthood, so I couldn’t just stick to one topic for Tommy to post on! For this post, I asked him three questions related to the novel, and he answered each:
Guest Post from Tommy Wallach
At it’s heart We All Looked Up is a novel about the uncertainty of the transition from high school to the bigger world. If you could write a letter to yourself in high school, what advice would give to help ease your own transition at the time?
Oh my. That’s a deep one. I think the biggest thing I would tell myself is that nothing that happens here (aside from arson, maybe) matters on any level in terms of your future, so don’t even worry about it. Also, adults say this all the time, but I would tell young me that being young is the worst, and everything just gets better and better the older you get, so it’s just a question of holding out for the good stuff. Finally, I’d tell myself to be nicer, because the only actual regrets I have from that time period are when I acted like a jerk because I thought it would make me seem cooler.
The characters in We All Looked Up learn that the world may be in danger. If you learned that the end might be near, what are ten things you would want to make sure you did in your final days (aka, your End-of-the-World Bucket List)?
- Get a bunch of puppies and just roll around in the grass with them for a few hours.
- Eat a $1000 dinner somewhere. I don’t know what’s in a $1000 dinner, but I know I want it.
- Convince Natalie Portman to fall in love with me.
- Go to a bungee jumping place, but chicken out.
- Watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy again, because it’s that good.
- Read The Remains of the Day again, because it’s that good.
- Listen to a lot of Belle and Sebastian, because they make me happy.
- Go back to the bungee jumping place. Chicken out again.
- Eat some Domino’s Pizza, and for the first time, not worry if this is the one that will kill me.
- Convince Chloe Grace Moretz to fall in love with me. Make sure she gets along with Natalie Portman.
Hope is a major theme in We All Looked Up. Even though our modern world is not caught in the midst of the threat of apocalypse, the world is not always a perfect place and hope can be a powerful force in confronting that. Where do you find hope/what gives you hope for the future?
Honestly, not very much gives me hope these days. I am a very bubbly person in general, but I’m also a pessimist and a misanthrope with very little hope for the future. In a novel, I can put a feeling I don’t have into the minds and mouths of characters, and I’m happy to do that, because books can give us things that reality doesn’t. I think that anyone who is really paying attention to what is going on in the world—be it climate change, the situation in the Middle East and now Russia/Ukraine, our political system, or the widening of the income gap—should be feeling pretty epic despair at this stage. We’re lucky in this country to (mostly) not feel the burn as badly as they do and will elsewhere, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Sorry. That was dark. Hope, you said? The only legitimate hope at this stage is that technology will solve climate change issues, as it’s clear that there’s no political will, either in Washington or in the homes of the average person. Keep your fingers crossed. Man that was dark. Sorry. Here’s a puppy to cheer you up:
Win (1) of (3) a finished copy of We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (US Only)
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