Parents' Guide to

We All Looked Up

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Strong writing lifts angsty apocalypse scenario.

We All Looked Up Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 17+

Intense but outstanding

I throughly enjoyed this book and it definitely kept me on my toes. While I believe this is an excellent book if you enjoy apocalyptic, life or death scenarios, and the pondering thoughts on the existence of life, I was very surprised at the low age rating for this book so I thought I would give my two cents! The overall theme and topic of the book is about the world ending. Several characters are involved in violent situations such as gangs, drug dealings, beating until near death, sexual assault attempt, arson, murder, police brutality, suicide attempts and much more. It’s very apocalyptic. Through out the book several of the characters get drunk and often black out. While it brushes by over intimate moments keeping them PG visually, it has several sexual jokes, lewd talk and other descriptions when it comes to sex definitely pushing it. I myself couldn’t see 15 year old me sitting down and enjoying this book to its fullest due to just not understating the humor. The violence in this book is what I believe makes it 17+, while reading books you get reeled in and feel like your there. I think having violence like that at a young age can disturb the reader, especially in a book that can leave an impression. I also put in mind on the idea of if this were a movie. Yes if course they could imply that someone was being beat then pan the camera away, but would it have the same effect as the book or showing it? No not at all. I wouldn’t want a 14 year old seeing someone beat to death, much less read about it. Again, despite my intense review, I very much enjoyed this book. It is full of lots of questions about life that leave you pondering your existence. Is human kind learning a lesson? Is there a greater motive? Or is it all by chance? Each chapter takes you from a different point of view, alternating between the four main characters. You get too see each ones side of the same event and realize that not everything is black and white and not everything happens the same in everyone’s eyes. The four characters didn’t know each other in the beginning, but could they really say they know each other in the end? Do you ever really know someone? Outstanding. I can’t wait for it to be made into a movie! It’s been in the green light stage for years! They need to push it! Thank you for reading if you happened to get this far!

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 16+

Overall, Good Book

I read this book and was planning to use it to complete a summer assignment of mine. That was before I read it. While reading, I noticed how much sex , drug use, and language there was. The age rating is definitely too low. I wouldn't want a student to use this for a reading assignment. For pleasure reading, however, it's a very good book and well written. The main theme of the world ending makes you feel horrified and sad for the characters. After all, there was a 66% chance they would die because of Ardor. It made me think just how much time we spend online and not interacting with others instead of living our lives. I'd read more books by this author.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (5 ):

WE ALL LOOKED UP is a strong debut novel from Tommy Wallach. The solid writing, utterly believable characters, and deft handling of multiple points of view elevate what could have been a hackneyed or clichéd doomsday scenario to something fresh and compelling. Mature teens who can handle matter-of-fact attitudes toward drinking, drugs, and sex will find themselves rooting for the large cast of characters as they struggle with what's really important in life. The plot builds at a steady pace that'll keep the pages turning. Some may find the ending unsatisfying, but it should further spark the imagination and lead to a lot of reflection about life and what we make of it.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate