Everybody Sees the Ants is a novel by A.S. King that follows the story of Lucky Linderman, a 15-year-old boy whose life is just a series of misfortunes. Lucky is being bullied by a boy called Nader, his family is dysfunctional; his father avoid any relationship with him because he didn’t have one with his father, and his mom prefer to avoid her family problems by swimming and pretending that everything is okay when actually it is not, and poor Lucky is lost in all of this. However, things changed.
When the day his grandmother died, she told Lucky to rescue his granddad from where he is, and that he should bring him home to his family. But the granddad died in the Vietnam War, and they never found the body and returned to the family. Since that day Lucky started to have these dreams about saving his grandfather, and he made it his mission to do so until the end.
Let me start my review by saying that this book was phenomenal, it deals with a lot of topics and leaves you as a reader with a bunch questions. Through the story, mainly from part two of the novel, I kept wondering what is real and what is not, what I mean is, is Lucky making up these dreams because he wants them to be real? Or was he really in a mission to save his granddad?. Also, when his grandmother asked him to rescue his granddad, could’ve she only been on drugs because she was in pain and she was dying or was it real? All these questions makes me think all the way through the novel. Also, about Lucky’s dreams, in the beginning they were purely about rescuing his granddad and giving him the closure he deserved all this time, however, when things started to get heavy in Lucky’s life, his realty and his dreams mixed up together, and now his reality became a part of his dreams, again the question is what is real and what is not ?!
Now coming to the ants, the ants are an important part of the story because Lucky started seeing these ants that tells him stuff that he believed in, or do stuff he wanted to do and the ants here are a metaphor for the voice inside our heads that we cannot express even though we want to, this whole time with the ants, Lucky thought that he is crazy, and he is the only one who sees them. However, his granddad told him that everybody sees the ants because we all have troubles and problems in our lives that we don’t know how to deal with. Therefore, everybody sees the ants.
Another scene I liked in the book is when the granddad asked Lucky why is he here, is it really to rescue him? Or is it to escape from the reality he lives in by dreaming these dreams where he is the hero in them?
The last part about the book review is the characters. A.S. King did an amazing job with the characters, they are so real and believable in a way that makes the reader connect with and feel what they feel. My favorite character is Ginny, I could here her in my mind, she had a powerful voice and a powerful message to the community around her and this message is just be who you are, don’t let anyone decide your personality and control it. My second favorite character is of course Lucky, Lucky is an amazing real character with a very strong voice just like Ginny, he is believable and a lot of people can relate to what he is going through because a lot has been through bullying whether it is physical or verbal, and each person deals with these issues in a different way.
This is my first A.S. King book and I was not disappointed at all, and I would recommend this book to everyone I know.
“The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you’re not one of them?”
“When they torture me, they show they’re weak. When I survive, I show them I’m stronger.”
“Listen to me. They may control what you do, but no one can pee on your soul without your permission.”
“All those people see the ants?”
“Yep. Right hand green!”
“Yeah,” he says. “If there are people who don’t see ‘em, I’d say we outnumber them a million to one.”
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars