We Are The Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: January 19 2016
Review Source: Simon Pules
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.
Henry has been abducted by aliens, but rather than the usual tests that take place during his most recent abduction he is given a choice. To either let the world end or to save it: all he has to do is press a button and the world will be saved. But can he bring himself to press the button - and if not why can't he?
I want so badly to write such a profound review for this book because of how it impacted me. But I know that, while I review books often, I'm not one to have a way with words. But I will do my best.
We Are The Ants is a soul-shattering book, but in a good way. It breaks you apart to bring you back together as a - hopefully - stronger and better person. Hutchinson has a way with words. He hooks you right from the start; he makes you comfortable in the hilarity of his character Henry. You see a broken boy who is stumbling through life, but you feel as though he has a good grip on things because of the humor that Henry puts into his thoughts. As the story progresses you can see where our story will end, but you have hopes that Henry can hilariously pull us through unscathed. It's not until about 80 pages till the end when you realize that no one is making it out as the same person they were before they picked up this book. I non-stop cried once I got to about page 390; whether it was because I was a part of Henry or because mentally I know how he feels - I'm unsure.
We've all been at the lowest of our lows - if we haven't there will come a time where we have to face the lowest of our lows. And at that point we tend to ask ourselves what we think we mean to the universe. Hutchinson describes us as the ants of the universe. While some might see this as a depressing idea, Hutchinson is able to paint such a beautiful picture that you rejoice in the fact that We Are The Ants.
When starting this book you prepare yourself for a good story, you can tell it's going to be good because honestly the VERY FIRST LINE draws you in RIGHT AWAY. But as you progress you realize this book brings with it a life lesson. It makes you think. I found myself often wondering: would I press the red button? Why wouldn't Henry?
There was such beauty within this story. You experienced moments of heartbreak but they were littered in between the moments of joy. And that only heightens the one thing I want other readers to take from this book. No matter how hard life is, no matter how bad you feel life is, there is ALWAYS something that can make it beautiful. Whether it's a small triumph or just the fact that you're breathing today, that in itself is something. And We Are The Ants makes you realize that; it makes you experience that within the story.
Seriously...if I had to grade this book...I would give it an A+.