This amazing, funny, heartbreaking, adventurous, love-filled sci-fi (but maybe not sci-fi), coming-of-age, young-adult-but-grown-up story is indescribable, but exactly what you need. Recommended By Doug C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Henry Denton's life is in tatters—he was abandoned by his father; his boyfriend Jesse hanged himself; and he is regularly abducted by aliens who have put Earth's very fate in his hands. The 16 year old nicknamed "Space Boy" by his tormentors is self destructing until he finds a friend in new kid Diego and an ally in Jesse's former pal Audrey. In a style reminiscent of Slaughterhouse Five Hutchinson (The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley) intersperses Henry's experience aboard the "slugger" spaceship with his trials on Earth where he's "a punch line at school a ghost at home." The extraterrestrial scenes are less the makings of a SF novel than a metaphor for Henry's isolation and alienation from his family and peers including a gang of bullies who brutally assault him in a shower and then publicly shame him. 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. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Boggs Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Jan.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"We Are the Ants is a very complex story about serious subjects. The voices of each character are strong and unique, [and] their language and actions match the situations in which they find themselves." VOYA
"Effectively combines the best of elements of Nick Burd's The Vast Fields of Ordinary (Dial, 2009) with hints of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Highly recommended." School Library Journal (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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"[Henry’s] journey is subtle and hard-won, with meditations on the past, the present, and the future that are equal parts sarcastic and profound. Bitterly funny, with a ray of hope amid bleakness." Kirkus Reviews (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." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, which won the Florida Book Awards’ Gold Medal in the Young Adult category and was named to the ALA’s 2015 Rainbow Book List, the anthology Violent Ends, which received a starred review from VOYA, and We Are the Ants, which received five starred reviews and was named a best book of January 2016 by Amazon.com, Kobo.com, Publishers Weekly, and iBooks. He lives in South Florida with his partner and adorably chubby dog, and enjoys Doctor Who, comic books, and yelling at the TV.