Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 26th, 2016
Source: Irish Banana Tours + Edelweiss
Date Read: 1/25/16 to 1/27/16
Henry Denton doesn’t know 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.
Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. 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.
Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of The Deathday Letter, fml, and the forthcoming The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He currently lives in South Florida with his partner and dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.
What did I just read? Wow. All I can say, is that this is incredibly underrated. I know initially I thought that this would be strictly science fiction, but man was I wrong. Instead, I was hit with the harshness of reality.
Henry Denton has been nicknamed Space boy. Ridiculed for claiming that he was abducted by aliens, he faces bullying in school almost every day. And along with that, he also needs to learn to deal with the loss of his boyfriend, who committed suicide without any warning whatsoever. For Henry, there really isn't anything stopping him from not pressing the button, the button that determines whether the Earth is saved or not.
Although I wasn't expecting a huge focus on contemporary, surprisingly, I didn't mind it. Every character had their place in their novel, from Henry to his science teacher, Ms. Faraci. I grew to love Henry's family, which although a little dysfunctional, still managed to come together in times of need. Like his Nana has Alzheimer's, and it was heartbreaking watching her forget names or people. Then there was also the brother, Charlie, who was such an asshole to Henry, yet still worried about him when he went missing due to the abductions.
And speaking of these alien abductions, it made me wonder whether this was something that really happened to Henry, or if it was a huge metaphor in regards to Henry's view on life. This is something the reader has to decide for themselves, and in this way, We Are The Ants reminded me a little of We All Looked Up. Is the world really going to end? Or is it all just Henry's imagination? And also, was he going to press the button or not?
We Are The Ants is a story of all the up's and down's of life, but mainly the more negative parts of it. Henry blames himself for Jesse's death. He can't seem to move on, especially when Diego comes into the picture. He can't even find a way to reform his friendship with his best friend Audrey. And yet even when everything seems to be alright, life finds a way to fuck it up again. This is life, and you just have to accept and acknowledge it.
Overall, there were a lot of things in We Are The Ants that really touched me in some way, and there is no way I'll be able to put it all into my own words. All I can say is that THIS IS REALLY GOOD, and YOU SHOULD READ THIS.