Review: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

We Are the Ants

4 of 5 stars

If you knew the world was going to end, but you could save it, would you? That’s the question Henry, our sarcastic narrator and protagonist, has to answer.

I did not expect the beautiful gut punch this novel is. With its unique treatment of grief and mental illness, it’s like no other YA novel I’ve read (granted, I don’t read a ton of YA, though I did when I was a kid). Also, the fact that the main character just so happens to be on the LGBTQ+ spectrum is refreshing. This is not a coming out novel. It’s more like a coming to novel–as in, coming to life again. Sort of.

Have I mentioned the aliens yet? (That’s actually what initially intrigued me about the description for this book.) They’ve been abducting Henry for years and have given him 144 days to decide whether to save the world. His journey to deciding is made all the more interesting when he meets Diego–who has just as fraught a past as he does and might be interested in more than just friendship–and by the compulsively readable first person narration we get from Henry.

Hutchinson’s descriptions of Henry’s grief due to his boyfriend’s suicide are spot on and made this book a stand out for me.

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