We Are the Ants

We Are the Ants

eBook - 2016
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From the "author to watch" ( Kirkus Reviews ) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes an "equal parts sarcastic and profound" ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn't sure he wants to.

After all, life hasn't been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer's. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend's suicide last year.

Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it...or let the world--and his pain--be destroyed forever.
Publisher: New York : Simon Pulse, 2016.
ISBN: 9781481449656
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

Opinion

From Library Staff

Andrew reviewed this twisty science fiction story for the Vlog Squad in February 2016.


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AL_LAURA Feb 07, 2018

In the face of an alien abduction and the possible destruction of the world, one teen must ask "why are we here? and does it matter?" TW: Abuse, Assault, Bullying, Depression, Rape, Suicide, Self-harm

Cynthia_N Jun 07, 2017

Such a hard book to read but such a good one! My heart hurt for Henry.

ElizF May 11, 2017

This is one of the best YA books I've read in a long time!

j
jac523
Apr 25, 2017

This was phenomenal! While there are numerous heartbreaking moments in We Are the Ants, I can't help but feel that it was ultimately uplifting. So, so good.

n
NedSu
Jan 31, 2017

I'm really too old to be reading YA works like this one. I did enjoy the overall timbre of the narration, but it rang a little false at times. Cutters, for example, are generally not considered to be at a high risk of suicide. Other than that, the questions around suicide and the surviving victims seem well worth telling, and it was told well. As the countdown progressed, reading it became more compelling. Kudos to the author for his imagination and execution.

This is a great book for readers who love realistic fiction with a touch of sci-fi. The sci-fi acts more as a framework, with the heart of the story being about a boy struggling to overcome depression and understand his place in a difficult world. If you like this, try Noggin by John Corey Whaley.

v
VigilanteReads
Nov 28, 2016

Henry's mom is working a dead-end job, his nana's Alzheimer's is getting worse, his brother dropped out of college after his girlfriend got pregnant.Plus Henry's blames his self for his boyfriend Jesse's suicide. Henry also gets abducted by aliens pretty frequently and has the choice to save the world or not.

This story was really dark. Trigger warnings galore. Definitely, trigger warnings for suicide, intense bullying, and sexual assault. Even in the near the end once I knew it was a dark book it was able to throw me off with something. Still the book is really good and so interesting.

Henry has to decide if the world is worth saving or not. I feel like the decision for Henry is influenced by all the crap he goes through, but I felt like it often came back to Jesse's suicide. I really liked the way this book talked about depression, mental health, grieving, and guilt. Audrey is one character that definitely has great moments where she talks about these topics.

It honestly took me a while to get into this, but after the half-way point,I was in. At first, I was getting some big manic pixie dream boy vibes from Diego.Is that a thing? I think it's a thing. There was also being bogged down with all the things happening to Henry and his reactions to them.

The characters are brilliant. I felt like they are so layered. Henry's friend Audrey, his family, and Diego were all great characters. Marcus was even a well-done character. He developed. I still have no sympathy for him , but he developed.

This book has some really heartbreaking moments.There are so many beautiful parallels in this story that I won't go into because spoilers. Beautiful and heartbreaking actually. I kept noticing them and just loved it. The ending was interesting. I wasn't expecting it to end that way at all. I think I liked it. It leaves me with questions and that's not a bad thing.

n
nbkli49
Nov 10, 2016

2016's best! Simply amazing.

JCLChrisK Oct 31, 2016

Henry is crippled by grief and guilt about his true love's death. Everyone--including his human nature--tells him life is worth living. Experience tells him it's not. This book chronicles a period of those experiences and Henry's struggle to decide if he, or anyone else, has any reason to struggle on.

Whether we are ants or not

Whether an ant's life matters or not.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook production of the book, I'm sure I would have quite a few quotes to share here had I read the book, as it offers many elegant--and often harsh--commentaries on life. (Here's one I don't have to hunt to find, the book's first paragraph: Life is bulls***.) Henry embodies those deep insights. His story, while his own, is one that everyone knows. And it's one worth experiencing.

AL_CATHERINE Aug 16, 2016

I'll start off by admitting that this is DEFINITELY NOT my kind of book. There were far too many realistic issues for my liking (cutting, suicide, rape, domestic violence, bullying, abusive relationships). That being said, I can easily see why it's been nominated for so many "Best of" lists and had gotten all the buzz. It's really well written and compelling. Even though I didn't enjoy most of it, I wanted to find out what would happen to Henry next and I rooted for him and Diego through the whole thing. It's definitely for older teens, with prolific bad language and sexual content throughout but I think lots of teens will definitely enjoy it.

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