Review: We Are The Ants Plus Side Rambling (Always A Plus!)

by - 9:58 PM

An Explanation In Which I Bluff A Bunch

by - 12:01 PM

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: We Are The Ants Plus Side Rambling (Always A Plus!)

we are the ants book cover

We Are The Ants

by Shaun David Hutchinson
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.

"Life is bullshit."

I, er, don't even know how to start with this review. I am horrific at using time wisely, so of course I read it about 5 days before I decided to review it. Luckily, I only forget some things... *cue worried audience of maybe one person*


You must've (mistakenly??) thought this was sci-fi! Well you're right for the first 150 pages, at least. Then the aliens don't really show up until they're needed as an obstacle for Henriego (yes I made a ship name don't judge - they're so cutteeee). Still wondering if the whole alien/doomsday thing was a giant metaphor for whether Henry thought the world was worth saving/living for or not. Clever, Mr. Brilliant Author. CLEVER.

The Characters

The characters are all such tortured little bunnies - I want to fanatically squeeze them all and tell them everything's going to be okay... Except it probably isn't, because, you know - doomsday is coming and all that. Henry was SUCH a refreshing perspective! He was incredibly strong and brave and quirky, but you could tell he still had flaws - he could be a little more thoughtful, a little more brave, a little more lots of things. Potential. But he wasn't. And that was enough for the people around him. He was still struggling to deal with Jesse's suicide (his former boyfriend whom he loved a bunch but I never really cared for him because we never met him??) while Marcus, his messed up, secretly gay, flamboyantly popular fuck buddy (this book is a book of tortured souls, man) makes Henry feel like dirt. Then they hook up a bunch still. Then Diego comes in.

(also here's a good depression quote from this book)

“Depression isn't a war you win. It's a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest.”

DIEGO. I LOVE DIEGO VEGA. I'm pretty sure there's an artist with a similar name. *Googles artist* YES THERE IS A ARTIST WITH THE NAME OF DIEGO! Awwwww.... Look at Helen remembering stuff from art class and studying Frida Kahlo! ANYWAY. Diego is also tortured (an ongoing trend here - but I love it #sorrynotsorry), and he has a shady past that Henry wants to know about but Diego refuses to tell him (until a point when they knew each other really well and were really close so then they have heart-to-heart confessions). He's such a character! I loved him with Henry, because Diego showed up (pretending to be a nude model actually) at a time when Henry was an emotional pile of dog shit (thanks Marcus) and super-depressed and not wanting to press the button, and is pretty much what keeps Henry from killing himself. Honestly, they're all such deep, emotionally raw characters with issues (ahem Marcus ahem) and I don't even know how to describe it.


With time, I could probably think up a better ship name. Alas, I don't have the time. ANYWAY. Their banter:

"Mr. Kauffman forced us to read A Farewell To Arms last year. I hated it. Hemingway's writing is so bland. He never says anything."...
"It's not about what he says but what he doesn't say."
I sniffed the air. "I smell bullshit. Do you smell bullshit?"
..."It's not bullshit... Hemingway wrote in the negative spaces. His stories were shaped by what he didn't tell you."
"It still sounds like bullshit," I said with a smirk.

YOU SEE THAT? SEE IT. They're so cute! [Show spoiler]

Me Trying To Figure Out My Feelings On This Book

Me Trying To Figure Out My Feelings On The Ending

Seriously. I don't know if this is a spoiler or not so be warned: this is the last sentence (not including the letter to Ms. Faraci...

"Honestly? It doesn't matter."

YES. You guessed it. HE IS TALKING ABOUT THE WHOLE DOOMSDAY THING. AH. WAH. Really just adds to my theory that it was all just a spectacularly huge metaphor for whether Henry will think the world is worth saving. Very thought provoking. I think this is a fitting ending for a spectacular novel.

“We're all Holden Caulfield at fifteen, but when we grow up we want to be Atticus Finch.”


All in all, I absolutely LOVED this novel. I might, er, be flailing, er, a LITTLE bit (hahaha understatement of the year).... but I can see why some people might DNF after the first 150 pages. I don't know, I guess some people are genuinely interested in sci-fi! Lol, no - sci-fi is really cool, but THIS BOOK ISN'T THAT. Some people just don't like romance? And then the rest of the people are homophobes. If you're homophobic, what are you doing here? #weneeddiversebooks ANYWAY. I loved this book, some might not love it, I read it and it got me out of a slump, yada yada. JUST READ THE DAMN BOOK. You won't regret it? :)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

An Explanation In Which I Bluff A Bunch

*waves awkwardly* Well, er, hi. Yes, this is Helen. Yes, she has returned from the dead. Yes, her blog looks really odd now. Yes, she is a certified psycho who is incredibly indecisive and can't choose between designs.

The truth is, though no one really cares, I am a fledgling blogger who is bad at accomplishing stuff. I see blogs that went like, "Oh I was only about a month old and had only a couple hundred followers but I still got ARCs and cool swag from publishers BUT YOU SHOULD BE AT LEAST SIX MONTHS OLD." HAHAHAHAHAH I am six months old and I have like 1 follower. (Hey, better than 0!)

Also I am very good at wasting time. I just get on Pinterest or Tumblr or Twitter or Wattpad and spend lots of time doing stuff. I don't even know what I do. I just WASTE TIME. URGH. THE CURSE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA. Also I waste a lot of time obsessing over what my blog looks like, and it doesn't even matter because it's the content that should be obsessed over. URGH. HELEN WHY ARE YOU SUCH AN IDIOT. You guys be like:

Oh well. Bear with me, please. I'm working on multiple reviews right now (We Are The Ants & The Forbidden Wish), and both books are AMAZING books (because I don't review books that I don't like because I frankly have nothing to say besides cussing it out a bunch XD) so it's incredibly hard to do justice to them. *sigh* #TheStruggleIsReal (Edit: Lady Midnight TOO! At this point, it'll probably be a series of mini-reviews)

Also, this IS totally a filler post because I feel I haven't been posting even every other week! And that feeling sucks, because I know I have a LOT to put into this blog, and I really really really want it all to work! My brain constantly goes, "HELEN. NEW IDEA. PUT IT OUT NOW." Then I lack the motivation to actually push through and make an actual POST about it. There's just SO MANY! And I'd love to have discussions, but those would probably flop because I don't have followers? Or many people that come by here regularly? AND I TOTALLY WISH I DID. URGH. I also hate that new readers will have to see this post when they come... ANYWAY.

The point is, a total bookish related post is coming up! And I don't want you to think that I've died and fallen off a cliff and then the blog died too! Don't worry. If you're here, I LOVE YOU.