Mock Printz 2022 discussion

Mock Printz 2017 > March: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

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message 1: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Friebel (jenna_friebel) | 86 comments With multiple starred reviews, does We Are the Ants, a sci-fi, LGBT novel, have what it takes to take home the Printz?

message 2: by Sean (new)

Sean Dowie | 10 comments This novel was perfection.

I loved the way the author dovetailed descriptions of astronomical phenomenons with commonplace events so poetically, without it feeling like purple prose. Or, how I felt attached to every single character - even the bullies, who don't have a lot of redeeming qualities, had something to love.

This book provides the best description of nihilism that I've read in YA -- Henry's view on it are thoughts of mine that have been on the surface, but didn't have the wherewithal to articulate it until I read this. It also helps that the themes were told in such a creative way through the implementation of the aliens.

Then there's the conclusion which bears a hopeful note, but doesn't fully discard its nihilistic themes that it built on throughout the whole novel.

This is definitely Printz worthy. A+

message 3: by Mandy (new)

Mandy (mandysouthgate) | 17 comments I keep trying to write something here and then deleting it again. This is such a beautiful, complex book that it seems an impossible task to pass judgement on it.

It is rare that an author will juggle so many heavy themes in a book at once - grief, bullying, sexuality, mental illness and teenage pregnancy to name a few - and not have the book collapse under the weight of them but somehow Hutchinson manages it with grace.

If judged on literary worth alone, I'd definitely say the book is Printz worthy. There were entire paragraphs of wonderful prose and quotable quotes that I've saved and bookmarked. For example:
"How ugly we must look to them, spilling light into every dark corner to push back the shadows, blinding ourselves to the true beauty of emptiness".

And the last page? So perfect that I read it three times. I would definitely read more of this author's work.

message 4: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cathyothelibrarian) | 10 comments I absolutely agree that this novel was amazing, and will be reading it again. One little thing I found particularly intriguing was the way the main character was gay. Obviously not that he was gay, but that there was no drama around it. There was drama around EVERYTHING else in the book, but not that. No gut wrenching coming-out, it was just known. Maybe I've read too many YA where gay was the main (only) theme, but in this book I think readers may find better reflections of themselves in life, where gayness is not their only identifying factor. I found it refreshing. At any rate, loved it. :)

message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily | 6 comments Sean wrote: "Or, how I felt attached to every single character - even the bullies, who don't have a lot of redeeming qualities, had something to love.."

Yes. Except for Adrian, who did nothing but make me angry. Otherwise I agree 100%. What a mark of significance for an author to make all of his characters relatable or likable or someone for whom you keep rooting.

Definitely worthy of some award. As has been pointed out already, the language alone is delightful and worthy of being recognized.

message 6: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nicolekukral) | 8 comments All I can say about this book is WOW. There are so many heavy and important concepts that this book tackles--and in a very original way. The writing is beautiful, and the characters are complex. As I was reading, I kept thinking that this book reminded me so much of "I'll Give You the Sun," 2015 Printz winner. This has to be a major contender. I keep thinking about everything in this book, especially the philosophical underpinnings.

message 8: by Maureen (new)

Maureen (mhsquier) | 79 comments I also loved this book, although it took me a bit of time to get into it. This book reminded me of Andrew Smith's books (without as much profanity and crudeness), especially Grasshopper Jungle and The Alex Crow, and I loved the shout out to him (Dr. Andrew Smith). I could definitely see this on the list next winter.

message 9: by Mary HD (last edited Jul 02, 2016 11:11AM) (new)

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 82 comments So much to like about this book: complex, credible, sympathetic characters, vivid writing, an intriguing sci-fi element that evolves into something more down-to-earth, and most appealing, an emotional journey by the protagonist that earns the respect of the reader.

A contender for sure.

message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne (headfullofbooks) | 80 comments Unique plot, multiple themes all handled deftly. Likable main characters who show growth. Superb writing. I think we have found one of the winners. Ding, ding, ding.

message 11: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Friebel (jenna_friebel) | 86 comments I liked this one. Can't say I *loved* it, but definitely a lot to discuss here. (view spoiler)

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