At first I was put off by the language and masturbation jokes that fill the first few pages of We Are the Ants. Not because of the subject or the words but because I thought "this is approach has been done to death," thinking of Grasshopper Jungle and Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.
But I read some reviews and I kept on reading and I am so thankful that I did. The book ended up being so much more than that and as I wrote this, I can't tell you with any certainly if there was any more swearing and/or masturbation stories. I actually would wager that there wasn't, but I wouldn't bet my life on it, but yeah, I would ante up some cash.
Thing is, I got sucked right into the story because there is A LOT in this story.
Here is the question that faces our hero: if you could press a button and save the world from destruction, would you do it?
So many issues arise in this book and it is so real-life. I mean, I hope there aren't too many teens who are dealing with: a loved one's dementia and decisions surrounding her care, a long-absent father, a boyfriend who committed suicide, a still-born baby, bullying, rape, depression and alien abduction all at once.
There are adults who deal with all of that at once, yes, I know for sure, but a 16 year old? I hope not too many.
Still because I sadly do know people who have had these kinds of troubles and more heaped upon them at once (okay-not the alien one) the book is completely real-life believable.
Is this Printz-worthy? In my humble opinion, I definitely think so.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.