Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On The Beach for a New Generation

Author:  Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (3/24/15)

The plot of We All Looked Up may seem familiar.  An asteroid is headed towards Earth.  While it's possible that it won't hit, the probability is that it will hit and the world will end in about two month's time. 

Now, I loved this book, but for some reason, publishers keep comparing this to The Stand.  Wipe any thought of The Stand out of your mind. That's an awful comparison because it's got nothing in common with it. The one book that did keep running through my head was On the Beach by Nevil Shute . It's not a story about the apocalypse so much as it is about the philosophy of life. What would you do if you knew with almost absolute certainty that you would die within two months?

The teens in this book are vibrantly, brilliantly alive. They love and hate. They smoke out, they play music, they have sex, they adore each other and betray each other, and they do every day ordinary teen things. They are young and feel immortal. They've got their entire lives ahead of them.

Until they don't.

While the story focuses on one school and one group of kids, the story feels more global than that. You get to witness both the good and the bad of the way society deals with impending destruction.

At its heart, though, the book is about dreams, about learning what's most important, and about living life to the fullest. It manages to be both hopeful and heartbreaking all at once.

The writing is beautiful, the characters more authentic than you would expect, and the story keeps your attention to the last page.

Have you seen it before? Sure, but it's a new generation and it works.

*ARC Provided via Amazon Vine Program

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