2023 Book Review: Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants by AS King

YA Contemporary, 2011 by Little Brown, 279 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The ants were weird, right? Sometimes I would think it was working and sometimes I would be completely confused why they were there. I did like that it was explained but, at that point, I’d already sort of made my decision that it was weird.
  • The dream jumps didn’t always work. They can be confusing and they added a sort of fantasy element I wasn’t sure we needed. 
  • The focus on the Aunt’s weight and eating habits was a bit heavy handed and bordered on offensive. You can eat frozen food that’s not terrible for you. I didn’t like the focus on this being an important part of her character. It felt very fatphobic.
  • I do feel like the suicidal thoughts discussion needed a better resolution and better handling. There are characters who have suicidal thoughts in this one and it is not dealt with head on in a way that worked, in my opinion. It felt like too many characters were judgemental about the thoughts and that is not a positive way to view any of this. 

What I Did Like:

  • Delicate handling of some seriously heavy topics. From treatment of soldiers during war to bullying and cheating spouses, this book took a hard look at a lot of things. I appreciated the way most of it was handled honestly. 
  • Lucky is a GREAT main character. He’s honest and relatable. He’s not perfect but he’s trying. Overall, he’s a good kid and I adored his story. 
  • I actually LOVE the ending. I can see how some people who like all the answers and pretty bows on their storylines might not, but I did. It gave me satisfaction and resolved a major question. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Contemporary fans who like hard hitting subjects being unwrapped and studied.

My Rating: 3 Stars

  • Well done contemporary. Steer clear if you can’t handle books with suicidal thoughts or fat phobic content.

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