Lauren Librarian's Reviews > Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
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's review
Nov 30, 2011

it was amazing

You really get inside Lucky's head, in his life with this amazing book. A.S. King has done it again with another fantastic novel. It sucked me in and I devoured it in 3 hours. The "dreams" that Lucky has about his grandfather have that symbolic, meaningful quality that lets you know things about Lucky that he's not quite getting about himself. He's straddling two worlds, one of them in the middle of a jungle where his grandfather was left after the Vietnam war where he's strong and has the ability to change his grandfather's fate. The other is where he's powerless, the one where he undergoes "operation don't smile" to avoid his bully and make his survival of freshman year just a tiny bit more likely. Chapters will alternate between the tortuous scenes of Lucky being bullied and the "vacation" his mother has brought him on that gets him away from his bully (but that's not why she's brought him). He's complex: he likes school and does well, he has a knack for gourmet cooking that he probably picked up from watching cooking shows with his dad, and is just starting to get "into" girls. He's sweet and quiet and reminds me of the teenage boy from the movie "Little Miss Sunshine" who has taken a vow of silence until he gets his pilot's license. When the moment requires it, he jumps in and plays the hero part. Most of the time, he's very introspective and quiet. It makes for some great internal monologues. That's where the ants come in. They represent whatever Lucky is thinking about. They're the chorus in a Greek play, they're the peanut gallery, they're awesome. Most of the time, the reader feels just like the ants, cheering along with them, or picketing, or whatever else. But they're invisible and no one else but Lucky can see them within the context of the story.
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