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Book Review: Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Everybody Sees the AntsLucky Linderman’s life hasn’t felt quite so lucky as of late. With a mother swims away her issues (squid) and a father who hides inside himself and his restaurant, no one seems to want to acknowledge the fact that Lucky can’t escape the crosshairs of a bully. Mom finally snaps into action after the latest run-in leaves part of Lucky’s cheek on the concrete and in its place, a scab the size of Ohio. She and Lucky hop on a plane to Arizona, hoping a few weeks away will change things. In the past, the only escape Lucky has ever had are dreams of his grandfather, who he has never really met because Granddad is a POW/MIA soldier from Vietnam. Dreams where Lucky is trying to help Granddad find his way home. Dreams Lucky awakens from, clutching an object that Granddad has given him. What is going on? Is it really possible to just run away and leave your problems behind? 

Why I picked up the book: It was on a “25 YA books for Adults” list that I gave our Never Too Old book club. A few people had read it and loved it, so our group chose it.

Why I finished it: As with the other King book I’ve read (Reality Boy), I could not put it down or leave Lucky alone. I love the honesty and complexity she adds to the characters. They are real and flawed and human. She does a great job of tackling big topics (bullying, suicide, parenting, depression) without harping or preaching.

I’d give it to: fans of Chris Crutcher or Ellen Hopkins. It also reminded me of Leverage by Joshua Cohen.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Review by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my Goodreads reviews)


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