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We Are the Ants

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  17,142 Ratings  ·  3,485 Reviews
From the author 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
Hardcover, 455 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Simon Pulse
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Cass It's a standalone, though parts of me wishes there was more. Regardless, definitely read it. It's amazing.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe.
But you don't.
Because we are the ants.

My first 5 stars of 2016!

This book. Seriously. I hadn't read any of the author's other work. I wasn't even sure that the premise promised a book I would like. My curiosity was piqued when I saw the good critical reviews it was getting, but that has meant little in the past so I wasn't completely convinced...

But it was so damn good. The truth is,
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt, 2016, underrated, to-buy
"I could paint you sometime."
"I'm afraid to ask what you see when you look at me."
"You wouldn't believe me."

This was my second book by Shaun David Hutchinson and I loved it even more than The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. 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.

We are the Ants is very raw and real, and it has everything to do with its characters. They are
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melanie by: Gabby

“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.”

We Are the Ants is a really beautiful story about being a teenager, being gay, and not being accepted. This is a story about heartbreak, loss, grief, and trying to figure out who you are in the midst of it all. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love the start of this book, but I completely fell in love with the middle and end. And
✨    jamieson   ✨
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? I'd ALWAYS say astronaut. 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.)

But the point stands I am absolutely a SLUT for space. What can I say, stars are pretty, planets intrigue me and I wan
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

This is, my friends - without any doubt - the most unexpected and remarkable book I've read this year (and the year before, if I'm being honest), soothing and yet poignant at the same time. I feel as if I should wait and write a better review because let's face it, my midnight thoughts hardly come close to what this book deserves but I can't. I'm ecstatic and barely thinking straight as huge is its impact on me, and honestly? I need to vent.

As far as 5 stars ratings are concerned, mines are ofte
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
4.5 This book was sold to me as a "Teenage boy with a lot going on in his life is being abducted by aliens once in a while"

While this is true I would consider this book a contemporary dealing with suicide, mental illness and a lot more. A very moving book!

If you liked "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe", "Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda" or "I'll Give You the Sun"... you need to pick this up!
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe. But you don't. Because we are the ants.”

This is going to be slightly difficult to review.
Our main character has been abducted by aliens. They give him a choice. A choice where the fate of the world rests on his shoulder. He's been given 144 days to decide whether he wants to end to world or save it. But Henry isn't sure whether he wants to.

Safe to say this is an important book, bec
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
❝The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.❞

It's been a while since I gave a book 5 stars but not only that, it's been a while since I completely loved and adored it. We Are the Ants is, without a doubt and with no hesitation, one of the greatest, most heartwarming books I have ever read. It delivers a touching message but at the same time, it delivers humor around it. It has scenes where you just want to curl up and cry because of
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update... from the book festival...
Shaun David Hutchinson read the first two pages of his book.. a room of about 50 people were laughing hysterically.
He is so real...
So wonderful. He says he has ADHD. He was an average kid in school. One of the themes in is books is that his main character is average who is presented with extraordinary things to do. He wants to give the nerds a place to shine in the world.

His book "We Are The Ants" is really great!!!
So is this author!!!!

"Popularity is teenage
Larry H
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book deserved more than 5 stars.

I stayed up until nearly 2:00 a.m. to finish this book and I cannot stop thinking about it. Honestly, I read a good amount of YA fiction, and a lot of it is tremendously well-written and emotionally evocative, but I've not been this blown away by a book since I read Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun , which made my list of the best books I read in 2014.

Seriously. This one was brutal and absolutely beautiful.

"Sometimes I think gravity may be death in disg
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4 Stars

“We're not words, Henry, we're people. Words are how others define us, but we can define ourselves any way we choose.”

Dude, that ending messed me up.

Our story revolves around Henry, a teenager with what can only be described as a shitty home life.

So when Henry is given the option of letting the world end, or saving it at the press of a button-- he hesitates.

And the rest of what follows was a glorious expedition of character development, philosophy and profoundly unsettling questions.
4 to 4.5 stars

While many of the elements of this book are recognizable as common to recent YA novels, there are several unique elements that make this book stand out as different. Overall, a very enthralling book.

Here are some of my thoughts.

- Lots of great and interesting characters. For me, all the people we meet in this story each play a big part in bringing it all together. Also, everyone you meet takes a huge journey from page 1 to page 451
- Maybe a bit heavy on the cynical melodrama; lots
Lily ☁️ {semi hiatus}
1 1/2 stars

“I finally finished this book, and I could cry tears of relief,” was my first thought, after doing so. We Are the Ants had a few meaningful moments and one or two quotes that resonated with me, but all in all, too many things irritated me too much for me to rate this higher than 1 1/2 stars.

I spent about 85% (more than 400 pages!!) of this book wanting to give up on it, but since everyone loves it so much, I decided to finish it, and give it a fair chance to win me over as well. It
Kayla Dawn
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-besitz
Hmm. I don't really know tbh. It's hard to rate.

First of all, this was a really quick read. I flew through the pages. The writing style was okay most of the time (But next time dear Hutchinson please double check if your translations are correct!! If you want to write something in a different language you need to make sure that it's not complete bullshit lol - he literally translated "I miss you so much Dad" with "Ich hab dich so sehr, Papa verpasst" - sorry for the english speaking people but t
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, young-adult
This book is so special. At some parts it seems like every other YA contemporary, but then at some parts it's just so much more. Its touching, deep and really makes you feel. I'm so glad I didn't DNF this, which I was very close to doing.

What I loved the most about this book, is that it leaves you thinking and questioning your life. It leaves a mark on you.

This book is about a boy named Henry.
His life is very fucked up.
His boyfriend commit suicide.
His brother is a college dropout who got hi
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
another perfect LGBT book

I finally started to write my review, and Goodreads deleted everything I wrote...


Review to come. Again.
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Buddy read with Katherine!!
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Maybe 4.5 stars

“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live.”

Well that was certainly a different kind of read. It’s familiar and new at the same time. Even though the themes are very common- bullying, mental illness, depression, broken family, search for identity and life’s meaning, all these things were manipulated and twisted into something new when the author brilliantly thought of throwing in the element of science in the story. The premise is actually pretty hilari
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Favorite Quotes:

"As human beings, we’re born believing that we are the apex of creation, that we are invincible, that no problem exists that we cannot solve. But we inevitably die with all our beliefs broken."

"When the days are darkest, dear, you latch on to happiness wherever you find it."

"Dreams are hopeful because they exist as pure possibility. Unlike memories, which are fossils, long dead and buried deep."

"I hated movies and books where people ignored bullets whizzing by thei
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it

And the biggest (and most pleasant) surprise read of 2018 goes to.... *drum rolls* - WE ARE THE ANTS!
What a read. What a surprise!


Told myself I wasn’t going to fall for hyped up books anymore (always a lie but... y’know).

Then I read the first chapter.

I fell. I fell hard.
Lala BooksandLala
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia, hard-hitting
This was heavy.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live.
The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.”
― Shaun David Hutchinson, We Are the Ants


Oh my gosh this book made me cry my eyes out. I felt every emotion on the planet while reading it. I’m actually struggling to write this review because I don’t know how to put my feelings into physical words. Not only was the way the story unfolded different and interesting, so we
Whitney Atkinson
TW: Suicide, self harm (mention), nihilism, severe bullying & physical assault, attempted rape

This book was refreshingly funny and raw—and not the type of male narrative that’s too crude or uncomfortable. However, the more it went on, the more flaws I began to notice.

First of all, I loved Henry's story. It's a mental health plot confined in this weird sci-fi/contemporary hybrid, and even though it's really open-ended, it somehow works. I like the philosophy of "Is the world worth saving?" fr
anna (readingpeaches)
you know how in "once more, with feeling" buffy dances her final number, until spike catches her & sings that life is just living?? this feels a lot like that, only it's gay & there's science™

(tw depression, suicide, bullying, attempted sexual assault)
Simona Bartolotta
(The stars are liable to become three. I guess I'll see how the novel sediments in my mind in the next days.)
*Some ten days later, the stars did become three


“We're not words, Henry, we're people.”

•In my humble opinion, We Are the Ants won over so many hearts thank to the concept: if an apparently omnipotent alien race told you you could save the planet from complete destruction (which will occur in about five months) simply by pushing a button and with no consequences for your person, would
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Goodreads friends: I wish I had fallen in love with We Are the Ants. It has all the makings of a magical novel: characters of diverse sexuality and race, a focus on mental health, and some interesting tidbits of science fiction. But I could not immerse myself in this book because I felt Shaun David Hutchinson's presence within its pages.

Before I elaborate on that, I want to praise certain characteristics of We Are the Ants. I appreciated Henry's nontraditional family, his healthy friendship with
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I adored this book. While Henry's experiences are vastly different from things I went through during high school, his feelings and the way he described his emotions made me feel like I was 17 and discovering myself all over again. It was so authentically teenage. I really, really loved this.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, books, favorites
First and foremost, I want to thank my beautiful Lia for roundabout recommending this book to me.

You said you were terrible at recommendations and I've got to say, that couldn't be further from the truth. I will never be the same.

Every page of this book is beautiful and heartbreaking and real. It forces you to take a long hard look at your life and reexamine what you are doing with the precious time that you have on this planet and who you choose to spend it with, that the only choice we really
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Some Kind of Book...: July Buddy Read Thread 17 11 Jul 19, 2018 07:42AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson- Restarting December 1st 2017 57 151 Dec 03, 2017 08:40PM  
Between the Covers: * We Are the Ants 8 24 Aug 08, 2017 09:55AM  
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of We Are the Ants, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, The Deathday Letter, fml, and the editor of the anthology Violent Ends. Find out more information at He currently lives in South Florida with his dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.
More about Shaun David Hutchinson

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“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live.
The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.”
“Depression isn't a war you win. It's a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest. It's one bloody fray after another.” 269 likes
More quotes…