2016 Top Ten: #3, We Are the Ants

03wataWe’re getting close to the end of my favourite LGBTQ+ young adult novels of 2016!

And as I promised yesterday, today’s book is a sci-fi story!

Coming in at Number 3, it’s Shaun David Hutchinson’s We Are the Ants.

This book is out of this world! (Pun intended!) Here’s the blurb:

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.

I loved this book! And while I’m not usually a big sci-fi fan, this book is totally different. Yes, it has aliens who are threatening to destroy the planet, and you may think the idea of aliens repeatedly abducting the main character is funny, but at times this book is very heavy.

Henry Denton doesn’t know if the world is worth saving. Over and over again, he is abducted by aliens and they keep giving him the chance to press the big red button and save the planet. But he can’t, because he isn’t sure saving Earth is the right choice just yet. And this is because of everything he is going through.

This book is insanely human and focuses on all the things that make us human: grief, and fear, and loss, and pain, but also love, and happiness and the relationships we share with those around us. Shaun David Hutchinson has really given a remarkable gift of a book here. All of the characters are just so real. And that’s the thing: despite the fact that this book has aliens, it is otherwise very real and honest and emotional and raw and this book will make you feel all the things.

“The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

It’s so good that I may just have to go read it again!

Check back tomorrow for book #2!

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One thought on “2016 Top Ten: #3, We Are the Ants

  1. Pingback: 2016 Top Ten: The Complete List and Some Honourable Mentions | Queering the Mainstream

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