Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Books I've Loved: We Are The Ants

I read this over the weekend and just loved it.  It has the perfect mixture of speculative fiction and contemporary for me and leaves so much up to the reader, it makes you think.  I've had this book stuck in my head ever since I finished it, questions whirling through my mind.

Henry is a very likable protagonist.  Even when he makes truly questionable decisions, you never feel that he's doing something out of character.  He's flawed, and quite possibly extremely unstable, so everything he does makes perfect ensue within the context of his world.

And Diego… What a fantastically flawed and real character he is.  I was really rooting for things to work out between him and Henry almost as soon as the two of them met.  Even when I knew one or other of them would do something to fuck that up.  You can't have two people holding such big secrets without there being some fallout.

Overall this book is an exploration of grief and how different people deal with grief.  But it has so much more to it than that.  It's complex and deep and asks some big philosophical questions about the world we live in. But it's also stuffed full of very real people who it was a pleasure to spend a few hours with.

Do yourself favor and read it.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

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