By Tommy Wallach
3 out of 5 stars
This one has been on the To-read list for a long time, and it finally came into the library and I was the first to check it out. I wanted to love it. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It could be that I am just so OVER end of the world stuff, but read this anyway. I have this classification system in my mind for dystopian books: before the event, during the event, immediately after the event (up to two generations), and way after the event (three generations and more removed). Sometime a book straddles the line, like The Stand. We All Looked Up is in the "before the event" category.
The first half of the book had me really interested. I was invested in the characters, I was on board with the coming event (although I would have liked to have seen more about how the government was handling it), and I liked the set time frame. Peter and Eliza, especially, were well drawn characters. I really enjoyed the theme of being a good person-even when there is little time left for all of mankind, it is still important to be a good person. But what makes a good person? Interesting.
Then, something happens and things kind of fall apart both in the book and with the story. A whole bunch of nothing happens to the main characters after a protest, while characters we are not witnessing are out becoming more- more in the way that it will become super important to the plot more. We, the reader, are left in limbo. This happens AGAIN. The last two weeks before impact fly by in a paragraph.
I'm going to avoid spoilers here. I was not phased by the ending,it was fine. What bothered me happened just before the ending- I found it unclear and had to go back and read it again and again and still don't like the way it was handled. I also removed a star because with three (3!) author photos on the cover and in the back pages, I started to feel like this book was less about a story that a writer needed to tell and more about a vehicle for promoting a talented guy who happens to sing, but who also wrote this book. Meh. I'd rather more attention had gone into telling this story-because it was a good one, for awhile.