Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: October 3, 2011
Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
But Lucky has a secret--one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?
Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King's smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it.
Lucky, the main character per this one, is a huge nerd. I don't know exactly what makes him a nerd for me, but he'll be stuck forever as that in my mind. And the poor guy is bullied, he doesn't stand up for himself (his daddy made him that way) and one day it just goes too far. His mom gets sick and tired and leave town to stay with her brother. That's when the real story starts. Before that it was like we were just getting all the info for the build up of leaving, so we could see why. Good call there. (Completely off subject, but the bully: Nader. That sounds like a kid who would get bullied to me.)
But anyway. So they're gone. And Lucky starts explaining these weird dreams. Every time he has one, we get the down-low. And honestly, I have no idea whether Lucky is downright delusional, or if he's actually sane. Because the dreams...they're weird. And they're true to him, which makes it even harder to make a decision. Surreal is the best way to describe this entire book.
Lucky was really weird, too. On top of having all of these strange dreams, he's (as mentioned before) nerdy, and not only that, but he's a bit anti-social. I was so proud of him when he started to make friends! Because no matter how weird they were, I loved them. I mean, they're doing a public play named "The Vagina Monologues", and are doing it seriously. How are they not awesome? I mean, if it makes you uncomfortable it's probably not awesome, but I thought it was hilarious and actually kind of meaningful.
All in all, Everybody Sees the Ants was a very weird, surreal book. If you have problems reading about vaginas, or bullied boys, don't read it.