Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review: Everybody Sees the Ants - A.S. King

Published: October 3, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 282 pages
Source: Library

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 family is fine. And he certainly didn't ask to be the recipient of Nader McMillian's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

Lucky has a secret -- one that helps him wade through the daily dysfunction of his life. Granddad Harry, trapped in the jungles of Laos, has been visiting Lucky in his dreams -- and the dreams just might be real: an alternate reality where he can be whoever he wants to be and his life might still be worth living. But how long can Lucky remain in hiding there before reality forces its way inside? 

"Everybody Sees the Ants was a dark and somewhat humorous story, although some parts did let me down."

All Lucky Linderman did was ask a stupid question. It was for a question survey for a class in school. The question? If you were going to commit suicide, which method would you choose? Now everybody thinks Lucky is suicidal, even though he's not. On top of that is the constant bullying that is being led by Nader McMillian towards him. Lucky describes his mom as a squid: she only stays in the water to stay away from her problems. His dad? He's a turtle: when he's scared, he hides away in his shell from the real world. And ever since he was eight, he travels into his dreams where he meets his Grandpa in the jungles of Laos and tries to bust him out of the jungle, only to fail each time. And now, he's seeing ants that can talk to him about whatever situations he's into. It's about time that Lucky makes his place in the world, before everything around him starts crashing down.

Starting out with Everybody Sees the Ants, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I found this book deal with a very dark, realistic topic of bullying along with a character who doesn't fit in to anywhere, whether it's with being bullied or people he loves turning away from him.

The first thing about this book were the characters. Lucky Linderman was a great character. I felt very sorry for him with all of his troubles, mainly because bullying is up there on my pet-peeve list. When Nader McMillian would bully him, I wanted to jump into the pages of the story, smack Lucky in the face, and tell him to start defending for himself. Our antagonist, Nader McMillian, was a horrible person.  He's so cruel and awful and he's just a horrible villain in the making. There's also another character in named Aunt Jodi who is crazy. Read about her and you'll see. :D

Next, the writing style. I think that this is where the book fell flat for me. I know that it's written from a teenage boy's perspective, but I know sometimes, she could have worked around some words and added some more details into some scenes. It's hard to describe in a blog post. And some language was used in this book that seriously wasn't necessary. You'll know what they are if you read it. I really don't want to put what some sentences were here.

Finally, the novel itself. Sometimes, it pulled at my heartstrings with the sadness and tragedy of bullying, and other times, it just honestly fell flat for me. Overall, A.S. King's junior novel was an good book that I would recommend.

My Rating:

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