Everybody Sees the Ants
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published on: October 3rd 2011
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--one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside? Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King's smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it.
This is my first A.S King book and I have to say, I'm not surprised I like this book. It was funny, weird, feel-good at some moments, and just beautiful writing. A bit slow in the beginning but I was totally able to handle that. If you haven't read from A.S King, I highly recommend it. The writing in this book was just great.
Our main guy, Lucky, is a 15 year old boy who has been bullied my Nader McMillian since he was 7 (Or was it 9...). Lucky is a guy that has been affected drastically from Nader-you just can't see it as easily. From first look, he just looks like a guy who always sad and "depressed" from the fact that he is constantly bullied. Nader affects him in a different way though. Nader helped Lucky grow into the person he is now-truthful, not a fake person, and just very down to earth. He is a very logical and legit person. If you were to compare him to someone like me- loud, annoying, sassy, sarcastic, and sometimes rude- then obviously, who are you going to want to sit next for the rest of your life? (Me, duh!) Lucky, because he is a very calm and quiet. I don't know exactly where I am going but Lucky was a very interesting person. He is such a great person to befriend and talk to, once you are able to break through his shell of security he lives in. Because he has went through so many years of being bullied, he is able to pull off the facade that he doesn't care about things and isn't affected by it. He is affected by the bullying, but not in a necessarily bad way. (I'm sorry if I just confused you...)
The plot line is very interesting. I mean, there are kind of has two plots but somehow are able to mix in together. First we have Lucky and him dealing with Nader and all that jazz. Along with that is the dreams Lucky has where he is in Vietnam with his grandfather. Every time he has a dream, it is a chance he has to get his grandfather out and help him escape. It's also really cool because if Lucky is holding something while he is taken out of the dream, he will wake up with that item in his hand. Sometimes is like a leaf or a cigar. Guys, his dreams are basically a paradox, it's so cool. As for the bullying plot line, I would have to say they're pretty normal. It seems like a very realistic bullying story. Protagonist get's bullied, goes through tough time, and you know the rest. I think the fact that there were "ants" and the dreams really really spiced up the story. I guess I could say this was a very calming read for me. No huge plot twists or anything. Promise. ;)
I gave this book 4.5 stars because I loved the characters and plot line. It was a bit slow in the beginning though...