Review: Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

9711714Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Bullying, Contemporary, Family

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Lucky Linderman didn’t ask for his life. He didn’t ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn’t ask for a father who never got over it. He didn’t ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn’t ask to be the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret–one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos–the prison his grandfather couldn’t escape–where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It’s dangerous and wild, and it’s a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King’s smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it.


‘‘Everybody Sees the Ants’’ deals with the subject of bullying in quite a thorough way.

Ever since he was a little boy, Lucky Linderman has been terrorised by Nader McMillan, who seems to have made it his life-goal to bring Lucky down, down, down to the ground.

After the school faculty expresses concerns about Lucky, since he asked his classmates how they would commit suicide, if they wanted to commit suicide, for a school project, everybody thinks Lucky is at risk of hurting himself.

But don’t they know someone else is already constantly hurting him?

As thought-provoking and emotional as it was, I cannot bring myself to give it a full 4-star-rating. My impressions are that there were a couple of loose ends at the end of the story, especially regarding Ginny. What happens to her, to her parents, to her future? And there was a lack of conversation about Lucky’s uncle’s deeds after work.

But it is a captivating story in its ‘‘ugliness’’. It’s a lot about gathering the strength within yourself to face your fears AKA, in this case, bullies. It’s also about acceptance. Lucky desperately wants to save his granddad who is a soldier presumed dead. So he has these dreams in the jungle where he tries to save him, because that’s what his grandma asked him to do. But it’s ruining his sleep.

I liked how every character or so in this story had their own problem—something to deal with. Because it’s true. It’s true that, even if one is not bullied, there can be a million other problems one may have. Actually, it makes Lucky feel much better to know that he is not the only breathing person to suffer on this planet.

A.S. King is a great, inspirational author. I can feel that she is a very understanding and compassionate person through her works. I will be picking up more novels written by her in the near future.

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