Book: We Are The Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, GLBT
Pub Date: 01/19/16
There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.
Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.
What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.
But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.
The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.
“Because sometimes it’s easier to start over with a clean slate than to drag the baggage of your past with you wherever you go.”
We Are the Ants is not just a book surrounding Henry Denton’s difficulty in school due to bullying and his dilemma on whether or not the world is deemed necessary to save from unforeseen disaster. We Are the Ants is a book about life and the mechanisms to cope with the hurdles and pain people go through to just get by. This book truly resonated with me because as Henry, I was a kid in school who was bullied a lot throughout my high school years- not only for my sexuality, but for other reasons as Henry is in this book. Coping with the suicide of his boyfriend Jesse, Henry struggles to pick up the pieces as his hope for humanity and himself are dying out.
We Are the Ants is a book that recently got on my radar due to the glowing reviews that I’ve read via Goodreads, but I didn’t hear much press about it. I was hesitant to pick this one up as it is not a thriller and my attention span for anything that isn’t tends to diminish. The first chapter throws a lot of in-your-face semi-corny themes in the very beginning, and I considered that a scare tactic. Once you can get passed that first chapter, I promise you this book will change your life.
Every single character in this book is flawed-realistically and apologetically. Whether it’s Henry’s alcoholic mother, his grandmother with Alzheimer’s, his brother Charlie who gets his girlfriend pregnant, his friend Audrey who takes blame for the death of Henry’s boyfriend, Marcus the popular jock who has a secret, or Diego who won’t let the past dictate his future.
Safe to say that I’m giving this book 5 stars. If I could give a representative star for every star in the universe for this book, I would. We Are the Ants is truly a remarkable book. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
“The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.“