We Are the Ants || Review

(cover art and summary from goodreads)
There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t. Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year. What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.  But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind. The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.


(all views expressed in this review are my own)
(this review is spoiler free)

"Finally I said,'What if I don't give a shit about the world?'
Diego gathered our trash and frowned. 'I'd say that's pretty fucking sad.'
'Because the world is so beautiful.'"

Once in a great while you'll stumble across a book that hits you in the face like a brick. That plummets from the sky, cuts you into tiny pieces, and then somehow puts your shattered shards back together. It's a book that makes you realize something, or changes the way you see the world. For me, We Are the Ants is that book. It broke me into a thousand teary-eyed pieces.

This thing is gorgeous. It's a work of art. A messy, beaten, tear-stained work of art. I fell in love with Henry, Diego, Audrey, Charlie, Zooey, Nana, + Ms. Faraci. I laughed, and I shook, and I teared up. 

With school and projects going on, it usually takes me about 2 to 3 days to get through a 400+ page book. I read this thing in one day. I couldn't put it down. Couldn't get through the day without knowing if Henry pressed that damn button, or if things were going to be okay. 

We Are the Ants was dark, and gritty, and painful. And it was real. Oh so freaking real. There was no sugar-coating, or skirting around subjects. Everyone was broken and struggling. Everybody had scars and things they were dealing with, + it was just such a perfect painting of how crap life can be. 

And yet how beautiful it can be, too. 


I wrote a really cringe-worthy review of this on goodreads, like, 10 minutes after I finished it, because I was practically ready to explode. After calming down over the past few days I figured I'd be able to write a (mostly) coherent list review for y'all on the blog. 

(and why you should read it)

-It's a love story that's not a love story. The way We Are the Ants is marketed makes it sound like Henry meets Diego and boom-- instant happiness. Mental illnesses are cured, people heal, and everyone is gifted free puppies and chocolate. And the brilliant thing about the book is that no, none of that happens. Henry meets Diego and remains broken. Diego's friendship and love does not heal Henry. It doesn't magically make his issues go away. The two are both broken and struggling, and there's nothing 'magical,' about it. And although they do have feelings for each other-- their love is not what We Are the Ants is about. 

I called it a love story because of all the people. Because of the way Henry's misshapen family messes up, + tends to treat one another like crap, and yet how it becomes clear that they love one another. Because of Ms. Faraci, trying her hardest to get Henry to open up, and realize that things aren't always going to be this way. And because of Audrey, the girl who cared so much for her old best friend, to the point where she stepped out of her comfort zone and defended him. It's not a romantic love story in any sense. It's a messy story about the love that exists between everyone.
'Do you think it could last?' 'Who cares?' 'I care.' Audrey sucked up her drink and tossed the empty cup onto the ground. 'You like bacon, right?' Audrey asked. 'Duh.' 'So, when you're offered bacon for breakfast, do you refuse because you're worried about what's going to happen when it's gone?' 'No.''No!' Audrey smacked me in the chest. 'You eat that bacon and you love it because it's delicious. You don't fret over whether you'll ever have bacon again. You just eat the bacon.' Audrey stood in front of me and held my face between her hands. Her expression was so solemn that it was difficult not to laugh. 'Eat the bacon, Henry.'
-Audrey. Audrey, Audrey, Audrey. I have so much love for this girl. She was fantastic, and I think she's one of my new favorites. I'm keeping this review spoiler free so I can't go into why exactly I adored her, but she was the best. She was always there for Henry, + I loved that about her. Plus, that scene where she was drunk (above) was both hilarious and partially inspirational at the same time. 

-The characters were so well done. Much like real people, they appeared one way on the outside, and then turned out to be so much deeper and richer as you got to know them. For the most part, every person encountered in the story had their own personal struggle, whether it was big or small, and I felt it was such an accurate portrayal of how every person has something going on in their life. The issues were never just there either; there was background + reasoning for why a person was the way they were, and the problems each person struggled with were genuine.

-To me, there was so much emphasis on both asking for and getting help. I find that in a lot of ya books, characters who are struggling get help from family and friends, or never voice how they feel at all. In We Are the Ants, both Audrey and Henry got professional help, stayed at centers, and learned how to deal with their emotions and problems. I know a lot of people in real life struggle with being able to admit that they need help, or just someone to listen to them vent and I was so pleased that Shaun implemented this into the story.

-The book was blunt, and Henry was a narrator who wasn't afraid to be crude and brutally honest. At the beginning, I was really turned off to the writing style, and I think it was because it was so honest-- and I mean, who really wants to have things that are so undeniably true slapped in their face right off the bat? But it's not as if Henry was ever making assumptions about life, or trying to get you to believe in some hogwash thing. He simply stated facts, and his last little speech about the world really hit me hard. It's one of the reasons why I think this thing made me so emotional. 


This book hit me like a semi-truck, and I got choked up just trying to talk to it about my grandmother. Which never happens, people. 

We Are the Ants makes me want to live, and dance in the rain, and speak my mind, and never apologize for doing so. 

I have never been so happy to be alive. To be a human. 

To be an ant.


Have you read We Are the Ants? If so, what did you think? If not, you should-- or I'll stand outside your house and screech about it until you do. jk ;) 
And because I love the cover so much I, want to know; what are some of your favorite book covers?

I hope you all have a lovely morning/day/evening/night. I know I've been absent for a while. School is quite honestly killing me but we're so close to being done that it's almost acceptable. I promise to have some more posts up soon, and perhaps a non-positive review for once? xD Just to switch things up a bit. 

Don't forget to smile today, because you're exquisite, and I love you. ^-^ 

Stay street, stay alive. |-/


  1. i'm sold. this book is coming home with me asap. wonderful review, my mom would love you. ;)

  2. this book, just listening to the preview thingy and then reading your review, i need it. and the cover is just gorgeous.

  3. Ooh this sounds good! Might have to put it in the TBR pile :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. NAILED IT ADALINE YOU NAILED IT. I'M SOLD. Thank you so much for this review! <3

      anna | annaish


Post a Comment