Summary and book reviews of We Are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson

We Are the Ants

by Shaun Hutchinson

We Are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson X
We Are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2017, 480 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From the "author to watch" (Kirkus Reviews) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new 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.

TWO POSSIBILITIES EXIST: EITHER WE ARE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE OR WE ARE NOT. BOTH ARE EQUALLY TERRIFYING.
—Arthur C. Clarke

Chemistry: Extra Credit Project

Life is bullshit.

Consider your life for a moment. Think about all those little rituals that sustain you throughout your day—from the moment you wake up until that last, lonely midnight hour when you guzzle a gallon of NyQuil to drown out the persistent voice in your head. Th e one that whispers you should give up, give in, that tomorrow won't be better than today. Th ink about the absurdity of brushing your teeth, of arguing with your mother over the appropriateness of what you're wearing to school, of homework, of grade-point averages and boyfriends and hot school lunches.

And life.

Think about the absurdity of life.

When you break down the things we do every day to their component pieces, you begin to understand how ridiculous they are. Like kissing, for instance. You wouldn't let a stranger off...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Despite the fact that I am not, as a rule, a fan of magical realism, I totally loved this book about a gay, nerdy, teenager who – while struggling to define himself - is serially abducted by aliens.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (814 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Hutchinson has crafted an unflinching portrait of the pain and confusion of young love and loss, thoughtfully exploring topics like dementia, abuse, sexuality, and suicide as they entwine with the messy work of growing up.

Booklist
Starred Review. Hutchinson's excellent novel of ideas invites readers to wonder about their place in a world that often seems uncaring and meaningless. The novel is never didactic; on the contrary, it is unfailingly dramatic and crackling with characters who become real upon the page. Will Henry press the button? We all await his decision.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. Angst-loving teens will devour this lengthy tome, yearning to see if Henry can consummate a new romance. Highly recommended.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Bitterly funny, with a ray of hope amid bleakness. Ages 14-18

Reader Reviews

tates.c

My favorite!
Ever since I saw this book I knew I would like it. The writing is very well done and reading it is pleasing. It hits you in the heart while being equally funny

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Multigenerational Homes

Multigenerational FamiliesIn We Are the Ants, Henry Denton's maternal grandmother, Nana, lives with him. Early on, it's clear that Nana has Alzheimer's and lives with his family because she can no longer live on her own. Henry is very fond of her and although she has moments of clarity, she is becoming a challenge:

Nana's forgetfulness was cute at first – she'd call us by the wrong names, mix up our birthdays, send us Christmas cards in the middle of summer – but it isn't cute anymore. Sometimes she looks at me, and I see nothing but a deepening abyss where my grandmother used to be.

Even so, it's not all bad. She cooks for the family and offers love and counsel to her grandchildren. With two other generations ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked We Are the Ants, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: That Time I Loved You
    That Time I Loved You
    by Carianne Leung
    Carrianne Leung was a Toronto Book Award finalist for That Time I Loved You as well as for her debut...
  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Year of the War
    by Susan Meissner

    A little-known story of WWII with great resonance for our times.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.