Title: Everybody Sees the Ants
Author: A. S. King
Release Date: October 2011
Published By: Little, Brown
Goodreads Rating: 4.33 stars
Review: Lucky Linderman is certainly not lucky, with his disappeared grandfather, struggling parents, and the relentless bullying of Nadar McMillan, and the only things that give him comfort are his dreams. At night, he visits his grandfather in the jungle in an alternate reality, the only place he feels safe. But how long can he stay there until reality forces its way in?
For some reason, when I first picked up EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, I didn't realize it was by A. S. King, who is quickly becoming one of my top five favorite authors, but I don't think I could possibly have enjoyed this book any more. Honestly, the only word to describe this is "incredible". Everything about this somewhat offbeat story is emotional, honest, indescribably real, and just so stunningly well-crafted.
I do mean "stunning" literally. When one aspect of the story was revealed, all I could do was put down my Kindle, stare into space, and think "wow" over and over again. Because honestly? Wow. My heart literally ached for Lucky, and it's been a long time so I was emotionally invested in a character to this level. The bullying he suffers is horrific yet all too commonplace in today's world.
A. S. King added some very unique elements to the story - namely, the jungle and the ants. Lucky has shockingly real dreams with his grandfather and he wakes up from them with objects he found while asleep. It's never fully addressed whether or not these are actually "real", which makes it all the more enigmatic and beautiful. I'm not going to describe the ants because it's hard not to make it sound just weird, but trust me when I say that it's a wonderful layer to the story that truly deserves to be there.
What more can I say? EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS is absolutely one of the top books of 2011. I adored the author's debut novel, and this is one is just as amazing, if not better. From the rich characters to the fascinating layers to the hard-hitting emotional core, this is a novel absolutely everyone should read, regardless of whether or not they read King's first book.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This in no way affected my review.