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Everybody Sees the Ants
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Everybody Sees the Ants

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  6,212 ratings  ·  1,170 reviews
Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret--...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published October 3rd 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysDivergent by Veronica RothA Monster Calls by Patrick NessOkay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Mock Printz 2012
12th out of 51 books — 269 voters
Divergent by Veronica RothThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
John Green's Book Recommendations
14th out of 64 books — 77 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May

A.S. King: "Everybody Sees the Ants originated from an idea that we are all prisoners. An idea that bullying is a widely ignored form of torture. An idea that only we can choose to escape from our own prisons. An idea that no one can take something from us if we don't give it."

This is a very powerful novel. It is a story for everyone because it's true that everyone has to had to face some form of shit in their lives in one way or another. Every day all over the world people are being hurt, sexu...more
I am not exaggerating or being dramatic when I say that this is now one of my favourite books.

It was so unbelievably poignant, and I have not loved the main character so much in a really long time.

I want everyone to read this book.
Feb 02, 2012 Lora rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of YA realistic fiction told from a male's POV; Maja
Recommended to Lora by: Emily May
I'm so, so glad I decided to give King another try despite my mixed feelings over her Printz Honor, Please Ignore Vera Dietz. Everybody Sees the Ants is an astonishingly wonderful gift to young-adult literature, one that I feel extremely fortunate to have read.

Since the age of seven, Lucky Linderman has been having dreams in which he visits his grandfather in the prison camp where he's resided since being listed as MIA in the Vietnam War back in 1972. When his grandmother died, she asked Lucky...more
Actual rating: Is it lame to say 4.5 stars?

So this review is long, inadequate, and perhaps a bit rambling and confusing. It doesn't really have plot spoilers (this is a quiet book where not a lot happens, action-wise), but it does have thematic spoilers, so read at your own peril. It's always harder to write about the books that really mean something to me, as opposed to the books I merely like a whole lot, and I can't do it without that. If you want to avoid even the thematic spoilers, just re...more
Jul 24, 2011 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Crowinator
So much of growing up is just strung together moments of disillusionment, isn’t it? As a parent, I want to shelter my children from as much as possible, but as a former child, I have to say that I wish that I had learned certain things a bit sooner. For example, I think that if there were some sort of instruction manual issued at birth, item one, paragraph one would read:

1. On Parents

i. The adults in your life may think that they know everything, but in reality, they are just people. And the gen...more

A.S. King has been popping up on my reading radar and to-read lists for a long time. I can’t believe I waited this long to hear her voice! Everybody Sees the Ants is a story with tough subjects, but one told with humor, imagination, and honesty. A voice, style and lesson I will never forget. A young man I will never forget.

Lucky Linderman is just trying to survive the battle of the high school halls. But a bully targeted him years before filling his days with fear and dread. Told in cuts and fla...more
Raeleen Lemay
FREAKING AMAZING, YOU GUYS. I might actually do a book review/discussion on this.... we'll see.
This is how much I love this book. I read it and immediately sat it on my 16yr old son's bed. In our house this means: Read this, you'll like it. He said... "ehhhh...I would read that IF you made me a paper craft of My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic character, Rainbow Dash." Oh, did he think that was clever. I spent two hours cutting tiny rainbow pony legs out and trying to convince a glue stick that it should do my bidding. But I made the damn horse and he is reading the damn book....more
Barry Pierce
My first foray in YA in two and a half years. And I enjoyed it! I read this on personal recommendation from Ariel Bissett so thank you dearie! I enjoyed the plot, the characters, and it's written in very simple/basic prose. There were some points at which it kept reminding me that it was a YA novel (instant romances for instance) but they weren't so common to put me off. This is a nice, light, and very quick read. Am I a YA convert? No of course not calm down. But I might venture into the genre...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard

I always appreciate books that contain intelligent discussion about depression. So often that conversation is trite, trivial and about how you can fix your life if you just do a, b, and c. Then it's always the goth or the emo kid who's depressed, never the smart or pretty people. Depression doesn't happen to them!

Except that it can happen to anyone.

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King doesn't talk down to people struggling with depression or bullying. It takes more of a conversational tone. This...more
I can barely sit still I'm so excited to see wether Lucky will save his Grandpa from the jungles; even save himself from the wrath of Nader McMillan. I feel very close to Lucky, as if he's my best friend and has been for many years. I can't stand his aunt. The book has had awesome character development.

After reading the book review:
Oh sigh. Tears are streaming down my face. After reading halfway through the book I thought it was good, I couldn't wait too see what would happen to Lucky. I was mo...more
A.S. King has a knack for writing Quirky Characters. His mom, his dad, the bully, his grandfather, Uncle Dave and, Aunt Jodi and Lucky in particular: all are very different from what I am used to.

Squids and Turtles… I love how the boy thinks. How he’s put the people in his life in certain boxes and thinks of them that way and yet all at once he’s is completely right about what he thinks and funny, if veering a little toward the oversimplified. His parents: they not be perfect. It was incredibly...more
Suad Shamma
I first bought Everybody Sees the Ants because it had such great reviews and an even better synopsis.

A boy that retreats into his dreams to escape reality, and finds himself in war-ridden jungles? A place where he can be anyone he wants to be, a better version of himself even? A place where it becomes so easy to submerge yourself into, rather than live your life? How awesome does that sound? I thought for sure this book is going to be worth the read.

Sadly, it wasn't.

Yes, as many reviewers have s...more
Ellen Hopkins
Deserving of its many honors. Amy King is a writers' writer.
Sarah (YA Love)
*Update* I read this again for book club and loved it just as much.

Review originally posted at Y.A. Love

I need to say this first–Everybody Sees the Ants is one of the BEST books I’ve read. I was completely engrossed in this novel and couldn’t put it down. Pre-order a copy of this book, ask your librarian to get a copy for your library, mark its release on your calendars.

Lucky Linderman is an underdog that deserves so much more from life. He’s constantly bullied by Nadar McMillan, he feels misund...more
This review has been in the making for ages. It's kind of ridiculous how long it's taken me to write it - to the point that I was wondering if I'd have to read the book again before I could -because it's hard to know what to say. Part of me just wants to say: Get it; read it . Part of me wants to say: A.S King should already be on your auto-buy list . But how else to talk about this complex, weird, painful, triumphant book without giving away some of its magic?

I guess I'll start with Lucky. I lo...more
Charlou Lunsford
Layers, so many layers. It's about bullying, but that is way too simple. For a book about a boy, it has plenty to say about girls. Can you escape in your dreams when they have a reality? If you say every high school kid should read this book and it should be on reading list, will kids read it? Lucky, 15, has a mother who is a squid and a father who is a turtle. It seems the only one who will listen is his grandfather who didn't come home from the Vietnam War. Of course it's all a dream, but he c...more
This is one of those times when I wish I could give a book a half star, or that goodreads would allow for a 10 star rating system. This was a 3.5 for me, and while I found myself very much sucked into the book, it was suffering something terrible from TMMP, or "Too Many Moving Parts." It was like a woman who walks out of the house sporting one too many accessories. Instead of pulling her outfit together, they become distracting and draw everyone's focus away from her pretty face. I swear, I'm so...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I hardly ever read "realistic fiction" because it's... boringly realistic, often preachy, and overly gloomy. However, Everybody Sees the Ants was actually well-written. A.S. King actually understands how bullying works, and how pills and therapists aren't always the solution to life's problems. Even more surprisingly, Lucky actually seemed like he could be a real person.

Most of the characters were realistic and had hidden depths or quirks that made them more "real" than most examples of their ar...more
little machines
4.5 stars. Inspiring and uplifting, and extremely relatable, because I've definitely had Nader McMillans in my life.

I also want to say, to anyone who's bullied, it really is okay to tell someone about it, like your parents, teachers, even the cops if it's serious. It won't make you a snitch or a pussy or whatever. You shouldn't care about that. You'd be surprised how much of a relief it would be afterwards. I told my parents I couldn't take it anymore and have since moved to a new, smaller schoo...more
So good, and so intense. Once I started I could not put this book down. I was so worried about Lucky, about his grandfather, about Charlotte and Ginny and Lucky's mom, who is really a squid. Really just a fantastic book about bullying and about family. Strange to say, it was also very realistic (for a book which contains magical realism). It's realistic in that not everything is tied up in a neat little package at the end. There are no loose threads, but it's not all rainbows and unicorns for ev...more
I loved this a million more times than Please Ignore Vera Dietz. "Mama's boy" Lucky Linderman, his ants, his crazy family... this book very nearly had me in tears. It will be awhile before I can process and write a coherent review.
First Second Books
My vote for the Printz this year.

Also: imaginary ants in sweaters in the supermarket because supermarkets are freezing! So awesome.
I don’t know how I’m going to say this without coming across ignorant or anti-everything, which I’m not, so I’m just going to push ahead and hope you catch my train of thoughts:

What I can’t figure out is who on Earth the audience for this book would be. On one hand, there’s a boy on the cover and an image of a rifle scope within nearly every chapter, yet it isn’t what I’d consider a “boy book,” and by that I mean is that there’s nothing traditionally “boyish” about this story. On the other hand,...more
Cass -  Words on Paper

(This review has been posted on the blog.)

Everybody Sees the Ants is written by A.S. King which automatically means that I had to own a copy (with the intention to one day read it). Of all of her novels to date this was probably the one that instilled the most doubt in me, as in, I wasn't sure if this would be my kind of book. Male protagonist? Strange POW/MIA-themed lucid dreams? "Everybody Sees the Ants"? But I need not have worried; as far as I'm concerned A.S. King can do no wrong.

Sarah BT
Last year, I picked A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz as my "dark horse" Printz candidate-it was a book that was so unique and wonderful and I hoped that it got the committee's attention. (It did). This year, A.S. King is back with another book that I'm calling my "dark horse" Pritnz candidate with Everybody Sees the Ants. I was finishing the book today on my lunch break at work, and working in a library, everyone always asks what you're reading. This book is a hard book to explain and a stra...more
Morgan Renae
A.S. King has done it again!! She has written another powerful punch of a book, but with a quiet strength that slowly creeps up on you, and then proceeds to slap you in the face. Everybody Sees the Ants drew me in from the very first page, thanks to the main character, Lucky Linderman.

I grew incredibly fond of Lucky. By the end of the book he had become a completely different person; someone stronger, wiser, tougher, and with an even bigger heart. I loved being inside his head, seeing how he dea...more
Lucky Linderman is anything but. His dad hardly talks to him, his mother is addicted to swimming, his school thinks he's depressed, and Nadar McMillan has been bullying him for seven years. When his mother finally notices that the bullying has gone too far, she packs up Lucky and herself to stay a few weeks with her brother in Arizona, where Lucky's uncle proves to be more of a father than his actual dad and where his aunt is convinced he's going to kill himself. Meanwhile, in his dreams, Lucky...more
Valerie Hunt
It's probably unfair of me to review a book that I read only a few chapters of, but I will anyway. It was well-written and drew me in, but I still put it down and will likely never finish it. So, this book actually gets two ratings from me: as far as the quality of the book, I'd give it a 4 or 5, but as far as readability, I'd give it a 1. And, since I read books for enjoyment and positive emotional impact, I'll have to stick with a 1 overall. Which isn't to say that it's a bad book, just that i...more
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A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed REALITY BOY, 2013 LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories for adults, MONICA NE...more
More about A.S. King...
Please Ignore Vera Dietz Ask the Passengers Reality Boy The Dust of 100 Dogs Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

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“The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you're not one of them?” 207 likes
“Listen to me. They may control what you do, but no one can pee on your soul without your permission.” 56 likes
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