Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Everybody Sees the Ants” as Want to Read:
Everybody Sees the Ants
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Everybody Sees the Ants

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  12,700 ratings  ·  2,131 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--
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published October 3rd 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Everybody Sees the Ants, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Annalee High Schoolers or older. Although, a very advanced 7th or 8th grader could comprehend this and not freak out.
Michael Wu People don't want to pretend to (insert action here), but they find themselves going far in pretending anyways in spite of themselves, knowing that th…morePeople don't want to pretend to (insert action here), but they find themselves going far in pretending anyways in spite of themselves, knowing that they're not (cliche[s] incoming) being real or being themselves. Why? Because it's easier.

Or, it means that what seems like an incredibly obvious assumption to make may be a lie. As in, "ah, the lengths we will go to in order to create an image that we know everybody will believe (why believe it? again, because it's easier), when there's so much more underneath".

Although maybe everybody's analysis will be different, and that's a good thing. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,700 ratings  ·  2,131 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Everybody Sees the Ants
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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.
Emily May
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it

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, s
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Wayne Barrett

Of course we are. You are. They are. Now what are we doing to change that, tell me?

Let's clear the air right away : Each and every one of the characters is complex and believable, from the teenagers to the adults in their lives. As it is, they're flawed. They're realistic. Once again I have to say that in my book that's the most important in a contemporary. I don't care about perfect people, otherwise I would read old fairytales, you know, those where the girl is waiting for her perfect guy to
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 Lu
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
Lala BooksandLala
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 out of 5. I don't think I can even express the way this book moved me. ...more
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it

“Everybody sees the ants?"
He looks at me and says, "Well, how many people do you think live perfect lives, son? Aren't we all victims of something at some time or another?"


This is my first novel I've read by A.S. King, and I can say with full confidence that this won't be my last. Everybody Sees the Ants is a coming of age-novel that is insanely cool, insanely funny, sad at times, and insane in all the best ways.

1) The Plot

Lucky, our main character, lives in Pen
Sarah Churchill
I had heard a lot of hype about the book, but didn't really know what it was about beyond what a vague synopsis. So I went in fairly blind, which is how I like it, and I am now a BIG fan of this book.

It felt easy to read and follow, but at the same time almost every supporting character had their own story, so it's a woven web of philosophy and psychology. In the main this is a book about a boy (ironically called 'Lucky') who is tormented by a vile bully and haunted by the 'memory' of a grandfat
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
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
Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui

This book started as a casual read for humor and it suddenly changed into a completely different experience.
It was there on my to-read shelf for so long and I regret that I delayed reading it and you guys should not delay.

A quote from the book on how we can tackle our problems:

“The simplest answer is to act.”

This book deals with topics like:

- Bullying
- Abuse
- Impact on the family of dead soldiers after war

The topics of this book are difficult to discuss for any author but
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Wayne Barrett
Wow! I liked this book so much that I am immediately going to browse A,S. King's other books and pick more to read. For me, this was reminiscent of Donna Tart's 'Goldfinch' but without the 300 pages of dead space.
"The world is full of assholes. What are you going to do to make sure you are not one of them?"
This story, surrounding a young man names Lucky, is a tale of bullying...but so much more. I read this from beginning to end in a 24 hour span and closed the last page with glassy eyes.
I ima
Jacob McCabe
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book for many reasons. I'm a fan of the main character, Lucky, and his struggles. The book heavily focuses on bullying in a relatively realistic way, which is often disconcerting, because books/movies usually portray bullying in an exaggerated way. A.S. King made me feel like I was Lucky, and boy, do I know some Naders in my life.

My main problem with the book, which is the reason I docked a star, is because I felt disconnected from both the writing and the direction of the story.
The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you're not one of them?

I've only read one other book by King - Please Ignore Vera Dietz - and it was a very similar experience for me as this one. Both stories contained an odd mixture of humor, extremely fucked up shit, and a weird surreal strangeness that, for me, just works.

4 🌟
i don't even know what the fuck I just read but I know that I had a good ass time reading it.
also, this isn't really contemporary it's definitely a little fantastical so if contemporary with a dash of weirdness ain't your thing i wouldn't recommend but if it is READ THIS. also if you like A.S. king's other work you are probably going to enjoy this (this is coming from someone who has only read Dig and Everybody Sees the ants so take my rec
Aaron Vincent
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aaron Vincent by: Patrick
When I was challenged to finish a YA novel in basically 24 hours, I selected A.S. King's Everybody Sees The Ants. Seeing its page count at 280 pages, I thought it will be quick and easy but because the universe loves to kick you in the nuts with irony, it turned out to be the opposite. It's a very difficult book to read and even harder to write a review about. It hit a little too close to home.

Everybody Sees The Ants is about a boy named Lucky who is dealing with some not particularly fortunate
Suad Shamma
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, 2012
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
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
usually the YA novels i read discuss about bullying and growing up in much more melancholic and heart breaking way. example: before i fall, the last time we say goodbye

this one is hilarious. its still discussing about bullying and family. but in cynical way. i love the ants. wish i have those ants in my head talking to each other.

it is very enjoyable book to read.
Ellen Hopkins
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Deserving of its many honors. Amy King is a writers' writer. ...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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
A social studies assignment of creating a survey question and evaluating the data has Lucky excited for the easy A he’s sure to receive. His question: “If you were going to commit suicide, what method would you choose?” is viewed quite differently by the school administration. They want Lucky evaluated to make sure he isn’t a danger to himself or others.

I went in to this book with no expectations and was very pleasantly surprised. I’m always impressed when a writer can create such a realistic ch
Cori Reed
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I definitely think the writing in this book hasn't aged well, but I really enjoyed Lucky's story. ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Neil (or bleed)
No one can pee on your soul without your permission.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Masooma by: Jawad Khan
Everybody Can See The Ants is a brilliant read. It is intriguing and captivating. For me, the novel was a recommendation thoroughly enjoyed.

The writing is incredible. From the first page onwards, it engaged me straight into the story. For a very heavy subject matter, A S King chose the lightest style and the finest words to deliver it. Just when I was thinking that the tragedy wasn't big enough, he unveiled the biggest deal, in a simple way which left me totally surprised.

Lucky Linderman is the
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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 Luck
I feel as though it is unfair of me to give this book such a low rating. Why did I? Because I've sadly come to the conclusion that magic realism is not my thing.

Everybody Sees the Ants tells the story of Lucky Linderman, a teenager with an unusual secret - he can enter his dreams to help rescue his grandfather from the Vietnam War. Amongst it is his coming-of-age story as he deals with bullying, a dysfunctional family and his first taste of love.

I have heard a great number of things about A.S. K
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Where Things Come Back
  • Querido Dane-Se
  • The Year We Fell From Space
  • Todos Querem Beijar Karl Marx
  • Ground Zero
  • The Splendor Falls
  • You Don't Know Me
  • Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything
  • Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature
  • Me and Marvin Gardens
  • Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever, #1)
  • Felix Ever After
  • Every Time a Rainbow Dies
  • Watch Over Me
  • At the Edge of the Universe
  • The Dream Bearer
  • A House at the Bottom of a Lake
  • Black Girl Unlimited
See similar books…
See top shelves…
A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed I CRAWL THROUGH IT, Walden Award winner GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, 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 and THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories f ...more

Related Articles

At Goodreads, we love reading (shocker, I know). There's just nothing like curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee or tea and burying...
50 likes · 18 comments
“The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you're not one of them?” 341 likes
“Listen to me. They may control what you do, but no one can pee on your soul without your permission.” 105 likes
More quotes…