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We Are the Ants

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  34,784 ratings  ·  6,123 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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Josh I'm not Mary but you should definitely give it a read!…moreI'm not Mary but you should definitely give it a read!(less)
Cass It's a standalone, though parts of me wishes there was more. Regardless, definitely read it. It's amazing.…moreIt's a standalone, though parts of me wishes there was more. Regardless, definitely read it. It's amazing.(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  34,784 ratings  ·  6,123 reviews

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Emily May
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult, 2016
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 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
***(re)read for YA lit course***

all i can say is that reading this in the year 2020 is an experience and a half
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, underrated, owned
"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
✨    jay   ✨
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 w
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

Like. I’m sure if you click with this book - if you care about the characters, if you believe the world, if you’re invested - it’s super meaningful and powerful and great.

But if you DON’T do those things…

it is truly a one-way plane ticket to sadness and suffering. And boy oh boy is it a turbulent ride.

No surprise, I’m of the latter group.

This is actually, legitimately 455 pages of horrifying bleakness. Imagine every terrible thing you can think of including in a young adult book, and there
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!
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
edit: shaun david hutchinson said that this is quite possibly his favorite description of the book ever, so

you know how in "once more, with feeling" buffy can't stop dancing 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)
lily ☁️
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
I just reread this book for the third time and it was absolutely incredible again.
"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."

Holy shit you guys, this book just changed my life I think. This book just reminded me why I love reading and why I read books. I don't even know how to properly review this incredible book. the premise of this story sounds ridiculous - a teenage boy Henry is
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
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the fact that i enjoyed a book about aliens makes me worried that i was abducted and brainwashed by aliens. lol.

in many ways, this reminded me of hutchinsons other book, ‘at the edge of the universe.’ they were different where it mattered, but the structure and overall basis of the books were quite similar. so much so that i could probably copy my review for ATEOTU and paste it here and it would work just fine.

again, hutchinson shows that he has a talent for writing heart-wrenching, but hopefu
Kayla Dawn
Hmm. I don't really know tbh. This one is hard to rate for me.

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 speaki
Elyse  Walters
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 di
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 question
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
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, romance
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
Henry Denton, a troubled teenage boy, has been abducted by aliens. More precisely, he's been abducted by the same group of aliens multiple times over the span of many years.

But now, things have changed. The aliens have recently given Henry a choice. He can choose to save the world, OR he can watch it all end in just a mere 144 days.

What??!! OH. MY. GOD.

Needless to say, it's a massive responsibility to put on the shoulders of just one high school boy. Is the world even worth saving? Should he
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
another perfect LGBT book
✨Brithanie Faith✨
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 the
 jd 지훈
Note: Content and trigger warnings are written at the end as they may contain spoilers.

"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."

Calypso, Florida (2015–2016) — The world will end in 144 days. At least, that's what Henry Denton knows based on the ultimatum he was given by the aliens who periodically abduct him. But Henry can prevent this by simply pressing a big red b
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
" 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."

The premise of this book is so misleading - A teenage boy is abducted by aliens and they tell him the world is going to end, but they give him a choice to prevent it by pushing a button. Sounds ridiculous, right? But there is so much more to this book than that, it is not even the central theme of this book. It's a story
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 hila

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
Shelves: year-2017, 4-star, lgbt
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Buddy read with Katherine!!
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?" from t
Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit
SDH is problematic & I will not be speaking about this book. Old review is hidden in spoiler tags.(view spoiler) ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
"We remember the past, live in the present, write the future!"

I picked up this book for a few reasons;
One.. because I wanted to read something light
Two.. I never read an LGBT book and I wanted to give it a try
Three... sometimes you want to go in the young adults world

I am happy to say I was satisfied on all fronts while reading this book. Though it didn't touch me as much as I expected to. May be I have grown out of YA. It was a good light read, funny at some times, sad at others and completel
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.

Articles featuring this book

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young...
68 likes · 18 comments
“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.” 457 likes
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