Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King

the antsLucky Linderman has a lot to deal with. His father cares more about food than family, his grandfather never came home from the Vietnam war, and his violent bully Nader cannot be stopped. Lucky finds solace in his dreams, where he’s on a rescue mission to bring his MIA grandfather back from the jungle. But will his second reality be enough?

What I Thought of Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King

Never would it have occurred to me that this book would make me laugh so hard. Once again, I have been proved wrong. Everybody Sees The Ants was a perfect blend of humor and poignant yet dark realities. It was odd and slightly off-putting in its uniqueness at times, but good nonetheless.

To begin, this book offered sarcastic, satirical humor that was exactly what I love and nothing like what I expected. I was prepared for a depressing, tear inducing book about bullying, which can also be fantastic. However, Everybody Sees The Ants cracked me up with how Lucky described his crazy family and life without being insensitive to those in his situation. Lucky was never really a reliable narrator, but that only made me love him more. No teenager in the history of high school has told the truth all the time, and his reluctance to do so made the story unfold in a very slow and methodical way. Little by little, his confessions came together to deal with big, important topics. The “banana incident”, questionnaire answers, and other Nader encounters came to a point where all the blurry spots were cleared up. This also seemed highly realistic; kids like Lucky don’t just suddenly open up. It takes time.

Next, the characters were one of a kind, frustrating, and incredibly real. From Lucky’s mom (the “squid) to insane Jodi, Everybody Sees The Ants made characters feel like actual, believable people. Their relationships study how families fall apart, the different types of terrible parents, and what drives people to do hurtful things. Although some characters are the kind of people that you wish didn’t exist, they teach important lessons.

One part of this book I wasn’t exactly on board with were the weird dream sequences. As a result of Lucky’s metaphorical, ironic descriptions of life, I could never really tell if what was happening during and after the dreams was some sort of figurative message or actual plot points. After a while, the dreams dragged on and became boring. I understand why they were used, but I found them unnecessary after a while because they took a perfectly realistic book and confused it by adding fantasy. The ending was even more infuriating. I’m sure that Lucky’s dad was just as skeptical to Lucky’s words as I was and the conclusion offered no closure whatsoever. On the other hand, I loved all the information about the Vietnam war and the POW/MIA movement. Learning interesting facts through books is always an added bonus of reading.

Overall, Everybody Sees The Ants had amazing characters, amusing humor, and a slightly strange writing style that made it so unforgettable. Though I wasn’t exactly in love with the rescue mission dreams, the rest of the plot was impeccably executed. Everybody Sees The Ants gets a 4.5 stars rating from me.

The most memorable part of this book is the “banana incident” reveal. It was definitely the most unexpected and dramatic confession that completely changed everything I thought I knew about this book.

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars