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Inhabiting an underground fortress of winding, labyrinthine galleries, ants can be gothic or postmodernist as the plot requires. For them the above-ground world of predators and enemies has a painful realism when it is not violently picaresque. Imagine translating Jane Austen into ants: your six-legged heroine will have not one or two but hundreds of gossiping, posturing, romantically and socially ambitious sisters, all striving to get precedence of one another.

Or don't bother imagining it for yourself—just read A History of the Novel in Ants. Ants are social animals, like us, forming tiny but highly complex societies underneath our feet, above our heads, or sometimes within our walls, cellars, decks and floorboards. He's a smart, witty and very funny human being, prone to one tragic misfortune after another. The way he portrays and explores the world around him is excellent, showing us intricate family bonds, friendships, love and all the wonder and horror of the world we live in.

The book opens with Henry telling us about the aliens. The aliens who have abducted him several times, conducted experiments on him, and finally given him the ultimate choice.

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The world is going to end, but pushing a button will stop it - will Henry find reason to save the world? In the wrong hands, it could have been unbearably cheesy, but the tone is just right. Dark, but often comical. Sad, but full of heart-warming moments too. The description gives the impression that Henry meets Diego and his perspective on life changes, but it's far more complex than that. This book is not a romance, and so many characters have an important part to play in the telling of the story : Henry's ex-boyfriend who committed suicide, his alcoholic wannabe-chef mother, the popular boy who makes out with him one minute and bullies him the next, his grandmother with Alzheimer's, his college-dropout brother, as well as others.

All the characters are so well-developed, all are complex, none are throwaway. Hutchinson weaves relationships gradually, throughout the novel, showing all the layers that exist underneath the surface and - ultimately - showing that every person has more than one side, is more than one thing. It's the kind of truly smart and insightful book that doesn't come along too often.

And it left my mind spinning with thoughts long after I finished the last page. View all 62 comments.

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Oct 31, Kai rated it it was amazing Shelves: glbt , to-buy , underrated , It deals with several heavy topics like depression, Alzheimers, suicide and bullying, as well as science, family, love and friendship, a combination that works perfectly. Characters: We are the Ants is very raw and real, and it has everything to do with its characters.

They are "I could paint you sometime. They are all broken somehow, and so precious at the same time. Everyone of them copes with reality in a different way, some better than others. All of them have this character-depth and grow throughout the story.

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Even and especially Henry's brother, who I hated in the beginning, but went through the most surprising changes. I also fell in love with Audrey and Diego, Henry's closest friends, as well as Mrs.

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Faraci, his teacher. Writing: I just love the writing. It's beautiful and smart and brought me to tears. There is so much truth in SDH's words. I hope he never stops writing. Unlike memories, which are fossils, long dead and buried deep. Other times I think gravity is love, which is why love's only demand is that we fall. The ability to look back at your life and know that you left your mark on the world.

But I'm losing my memories, it's like someone's broken into my piggy bank and is robbing me one penny at a time. It's happening so slowly, I can hardly tell what's missing. What shocked me most was the violence in Henry's family and the bullying he suffers at school. Bullying sucks. And with everything that drags Henry down already, I'm still surprised he didn't break completely after what happened to him.

Henry gets publicly shamed, insulted and disrespected in the most horrible ways. That's what broke me inside. I really felt for him in those moments, it made me unbearably angry and sad. The only thing that bugged me was the aliens, the abductions and every single time I stumbled on the word slugger. It made me cringe. Henry really had enough problems, vanishing for days and the turning up in strange places, without clothes or memories of how he got there, was something he could have done without.

Feminism and Sexuality: This book has some messages. They're not obvious or loud, but they're subtle. It made me so happy. There was no coming out scene. In an ideal world nobody has to "come out". The baby's room wasn't painted in pink just because it was a girl. In an ideal world nobody forces colours to be gender-specified.

The Nora Notebooks, Book 1: The Trouble with Ants

The principal, physics teacher and police officer weren't all white and male. In an ideal world positions of power are equally represented by all genders and races. Thank you for this incredibly honest novel. I'm looking forward to S. Hutchinson's future projects. Find more of my books on Instagram View all 14 comments. May 30, Melanie rated it really liked it Recommended to Melanie by: Gabby.

Shelves: young-adult , read-in , lgbtqiap , buddy-reads , sci-fi. The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on. This is a story about heartbreak, loss, grief, and trying to figure out who you are in the midst of it all. And I totally understand why so many of my friends hail this as their favorite book of all time. I was honestly scared I was going to end up hating this book.

It was so beautifully written, so lyrical, so immersive, so empowering. Henry has days to decide if the world is worth saving. Another important aspect I love in this book was the depictions of adults. High key, Ms. Faraci was my favorite character.

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  4. I also just loved seeing a teacher care about a student the way that she did with Henry. It was truly heartwarming and meant a lot to me. Another really real and raw theme of the book is how we use other people to fill a void left by someone else. And how we will make excuses and justifications for the only person who is making us feel something, even if they are abusive and manipulative.

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    This just really spoke to my soul, honestly. You all, I was not expecting pan rep in this book, and even though the actual word is not on the page, my heart was so damn happy. And I hope you all might consider picking up We Are the Ants and get blown away, too. It's a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest.

    It's one bloody fray after another. Pan , which is another amazing book that I completely recommend for anyone looking for more books that center around mental illness. You are deserving of love and happiness, sometimes it just takes a little while to find those things, but I promise you are worthy of them. And I promise that you matter. View all 22 comments. The universe may forget us but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on When people used to say to me what do you want to be when you grow up? In fact, I still want to be an astronaut.. I just don't think I will be unfortunately it turns out getting to space involves a shit ton of MATH and I don't do math very well.

    What can I say, stars are pretty, planets intrigue me and I wan The universe may forget us but it doesn't matter. What can I say, stars are pretty, planets intrigue me and I want to meet me some aliens and yes aliens are real, you can't tell me in a universe of 60 tillion planets there aren't some aliens about somewhere ANYWAY , this relates, I promise. We are The Ants has space, and aliens too. Space isn't the only thing that made me fall in love with this book but it helped. The aliens helped too.

    go site But what also helped was the incredible characters, the witty dialogue, the beautiful prose, the enchanting plot line, the emotions that this book dragged out of me and had churning within the first few pages. Traditionally, anyway. Of course there was some that get me all emotional. We are the Ants is a contemporary I didn't just enjoy, but fell head over heels for. I love this book.