Maybe love doesn’t require falling after all. Maybe it only requires that you choose to be in it.
title: We Are the Ants
author: Shaun David Hutchinson
genre: young adult/ contemporary/ a tiny bit of sci-fi/ LGBTQ+/ one of the best books on earth
ma feelings in a nutshell:
A CATASTROPHIC OPTIMIST. THIS BOOK IS BEAUTIFUL. THIS BOOK HAS ME SHOOK.
Rating: 4.2🌟 /5
If you could stop the world from ending by pressing one button, would you? All you have to do is press that button. Go ahead… A reason? No, there doesn’t have to be a reason i’m making you choose. Are you going to press the button? Are you saving the world? Is it worth saving?
The premise of We Are the Ants is a wee bit absurd:
Henry starts getting abducted by aliens called “sluggers”, who give Henry the choice of preventing the world from ending by pressing a button. Simple. Only that Henry might not want to save the world.
His boyfriend Jesse just committed suicide, and he can’t escape the notion that Jesse’s death is his fault. Things at school aren’t looking great,, and his family is falling apart, as well.
So the beginning of the book is not the happiest thing. Reading it at first even made me a bit angsty. I’ll give you the first sentence of the book:
Life is bullshit.
Basically, the main idea is that the world is screwed up and deserves to end. But then Diego Vega comes into Henry’s life. He is a free spirit, an artist with a mysterious past, and he makes Henry rethink everything.
The execution of the book is amazing. I was literally sitting on the kitchen counter and squeaking when I read the last chapter.
Shaun David Hutchinson’s writing style flows with elegance and realness. Somehow it makes the main character’s thoughts not emo but relatable. 450 pages was so easy to get through.
The greatest thing about the book is its use of sci-fi elements as a way to frame the story (how? hmmm i’m not telling). The chapters alternate between the main plot development and Henry’s journal pieces about ways the world could end. Scientific facts about the universe are seamlessly weaved into the narration, and it’s just so beautiful and full of texture.
I would say that during some parts the story kind of dragged on, but over all it was great. There were always new things happening either in Henry’s family or amongst his peers.
I guess I was only impatient because I wanted to see Henry and Diego realize already that they are soooo in love.💖💖💖💖💖
This book has relatable characters that make you root for them and hate them at the same time. For example, Henry’s older brother Charlie is a bit of a jerk. He dropped out of college and bullies Henry. But he strives to become better when his girlfriend becomes pregnant.
I also love how this book features gay characters and a pansexual (not clearly pinpointed in the book but I would assume?) character. Seeing the LGBTQ community represented in literature just makes me really happy and proud.
🌠 In conclusion…🌠
We Are the Ants feels like a book I would write (man, if only I had the skills). It reflects a certain way of looking at the world- the catastrophic optimistic. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for an easy, daring, touching and thought-provoking read.