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Review: We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up
By Tommy Wallach
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781481418775, March 2015, 384pp.)

The Short of It:

The end of the world is upon you. What do you do?

The Rest of It:

An asteroid with a 66.6% chance of destroying the Earth is due to hit in just a couple of months.  This story focuses on a Seattle neighborhood, specifically a group of high school seniors and how they react to the news.

Imagine if you will, The Breakfast Club, without the cuteness and humor and there just happens to be an asteroid about to wipe out life as we know it. This story is kind of like that. There are stereotypes which include the slutty girl, the athlete, the smarty pants and the slacker. They all have turns at telling their story but I didn’t find them all that interesting.

I am conflicted over this one. On the one hand, I feel that Wallach captured the age of these teens perfectly, but at the same time, the characters were too stereotypical. Since these teens were in fact, truly scared for their futures, I expected a little more depth. Maybe a tad more growth? I don’t know.  Instead, these teens plan an “end of the world” party.

Yep.

This is geared towards young adults but keep in mind that there is some language, not really an issue but there is also some sex. I didn’t care for how the one female character slept around with everyone. Truthfully, she was the most interesting character so I wanted to see her do something more than just sleep around but that is my opinion.

If you pick this up for the “end of the year” aspect of the story, you won’t find too much of that within the story itself. It’s a threat that looms in the background constantly but it’s not front and center like other novels dealing with the same subject.

I think there was an opportunity here to tell a good story but the shallowness of the some of the characters was too obvious to ignore.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Strays

Strays

Strays
By Jennifer Caloyeras
(Ashland Creek Press,  ISBN: 978-1-61822-037-0, May 15, 2015,  232pp.)

The Short of It:

A sweet story with a lot of heart.

The Rest of It:

Iris Moody is sixteen-years-old and angry. Angry over her mother’s death, the fact that her dad doesn’t have time for her and to top it off she’s failing English. It doesn’t seem like things could get much worse, But when an entry in her journal is mistaken for a threat against a teacher, she lands herself a summer of community service. Community service which involves dogs. Of which, she’s been afraid of for as long as she can remember.

Iris is a complicated character. She’s got a lot going on between her pent-up anger over her mother’s death and the fears she’s forced to confront in the dog training program she’s been assigned to. She can’t be around dogs without getting nervous so it baffles her when she’s assigned to an abused, three-legged pit bull named Roman. Of all the dogs to get, why this one?

This is a sweet story about a girl and a dog and how hard it is to let go of the past in order to get on with the future. It’s a story about trust, redemption and acceptance. I really enjoyed it. Readers young and old will appreciate this one.

To read more about Jennifer Caloyeras, check out her website.

Jennifer Caloyeras
The author with her pups.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher.