Sep 162015

Cover for We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. A photo of a yellow sunrise, the sky going from teal to navy as the stars blur in a their circular rotation.Booklist:  Self-hating teenager Henry is caught in an existential trap: finding life to be absurd, he thinks humans are not the apex of civilization—on the contrary, they’re no more significant than ants. Are they even worth saving? A relevant question, for Henry has a secret: the aliens who have abducted him a dozen times or more have told him when the world will end. Strangely, they’ve also given him the choice to prevent doomsday; he can simply press a button and the world will live on. Yet will he take that action? His boyfriend Jesse has committed suicide and Henry, blaming himself, doubts that life is worth living. Certainly, his is a grand parade of suffering and humiliation (because of his belief in aliens, he is called “space boy” at school). But then charismatic Diego shows up in town, and suddenly life has renewed purpose. But does Henry really have the freedom of choice he thinks he has? Hutchinson’s excellent novel of ideas invites readers to wonder about their place in a world that often seems uncaring and meaningless. The novel is never didactic; on the contrary, it is unfailingly dramatic and crackling with characters who become real upon the page. Will Henry press the button? We all await his decision.