Title: We are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: May 16, 2017
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.
I don’t even know how to begin my review for this book. If I could highlight the whole book, I would. That’s how much I loved it!
Henry is being called “space boy” by the bullies at school. Every now and then, sluggers (aliens) abduct him and treat him as an experiment. His main role is to choose whether to push the button that can save humans from the end of the world.
Although I loved Henry, I loved the side characters Audrey and Diego more. You can really feel the love and care that they have for Henry and would even do things that can get them in trouble just to protect him.
This may be a sci-fi novel but this also tackled a lot of important issues such as bullying, suicide, homophobia, sexual assault, grief, and dysfunctional family. A lot of the things that were discussed in this book hit too close to home and I believe that this was the perfect time for me to read this. A beautiful, emotional, heart-wrenching book.
“That’s the problem with memories: you can visit them, but you can’t live in them.”
“Life rarely works out the way we plan it.”
“Dreams are hopeful because they exist as pure possibility. Unlike memories, which are fossils, long dead and buried deep.”
“They were the picture of a perfect family. I suppose even perfect pictures fade.”
“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’re not words, Henry, we’re people. Words are how others define us, but we can define ourselves any way we choose.”
“People wait for the countdown to tell them that it’s okay to believe in themselves again. They end each year with failure, but hope that when the clock strikes twelve, theycan begin the new year with a clean slate. They tell themselves that this is the year things will happen, never realizing that things are always happening; they’re just happening without them.”
“That’s how life is; it just goes on.”
“Maybe love doesn’t require falling after all. Maybe it only requires that you choose to be in it.”
“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”
Soundtrack: 1,000 Times by Sara Bareilles
Buy Links: Goodreads || Amazon || Kobo || Book Depository || Fully Booked (Philippines only)
About the Author:
I’m Shaun David Hutchinson, you can call me Shaun. Or Hutch. I’ll respond to anything.
I was born in West Palm Beach, FL, and grew up in Jupiter, FL where I’ve lived most of my life save for a couple of adventures in Atlanta and Rhode Island. I always knew I wanted to be a writer but it took me a long time to figure out I could be one. I’ve been a database developer, managed a wine company, slung coffee at Starbucks, and once spent a creepy month working in a statuary. Luckily, that was before I’d seen the Weeping Angels on Doctor Who. I studied literature in college where I fell in love with Beowulf and Chaucer and gothic literature. I also studied emergency medicine at one time and insurance at another. Currently, I work in IT and fill my remaining hours with freelance web design, database design, and editing.