Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 31, 2015
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.
The best books, they don’t talk about the 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 book came to me the day its cover released. Another author posted about it, piqued my interest, and started my mad obsession with wanting to read the book. I didn’t even need a synopsis to know I was going to read this book.
The thing I loved about this book is that there were four characters, and yet Wallach still got me to care. Sometimes a book with more than two POVs loses my attention, but it worked for this book. I felt like I was reading a modern-day Breakfast Club. You know, if the world was coming to an end.
The science of the book is this: an asteroid is coming near Earth, and could pass us by or knock us out. But rather than focus on the science fiction element, this book looked at the things were human — the tangled webs that are messy and flowing and a constant part of life.
I loved that I didn’t like all the characters — I know that might annoy some people, but it worked for me. I’m not going to like everyone and I just felt like it was okay to not connect with all four.
Peter and Eliza’s stories, of course, captured most of my attention. It was hard not to get ensnared in the two.
Most of all, this is a book with gorgeous words. The prose is so beautiful, I just kept highlighting so many words, phrases, and passages. Wallach has a gift of making the ordinary feel slightly magical.
The book’s end was the best way to end this, even though it wasn’t neat and tidy. The thing about this book is it left me feeling hopeful about life, wanting to go out and do everything, experience so much more.
Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His first novel, We All Looked Up, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015.
His work has appeared in many nice magazines, such as McSweeney’s, Tin House, and Wired. He has released an EP with Decca Records, and will be independently putting out an LP in Spring 2014.
He also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. You should buy him dinner.