Genre: Contemporary, Young adult
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?
I feel like I could write a whole novel about the characters in this book!
Lucky Lindeman to be honest is the most realistic teenage character. Throughout the novel Lucky goes through some horrific bullying and on top of that he has a submissive mother and a father who isn’t much of a father really. So Lucky’s coping mechanism is to escape reality by visiting his grandfather in his dream. During these dreams Lucky is everything he has ever wanted to be, he’s masculine and in his grandfather he finds a great father which is lacking in reality.
Lucky’s journey of self-discovery throughout the novel and how he goes from being a disturbed boy to finally coming out as a strong confident young man who is able to take control is just done so brilliantly and everyone out there can relate to Lucky’s story at one point or another during the novel.
This book really explores how losing a loved one to war can have a lasting impact on their family. We see this through the behaviour of Lucky’s father and how he is always emotionally detached in some way. Also how Lucky’s grandmother never gives up hope that her husband is alive years and years after the war is over just raises such an awareness of what war does to people and why people are the way they are.
The novel alternates between the Lucky’s dreams, past events and the present but never once was I confused as to what was going on and everything was just so together. The author could’ve just stayed in the reality and told us what happened in Lucky’s life but she took it beyond reality through the dreams and how Lucky finds items from his dreams when he wakes up. This aspect just makes the book so peculiar and extraordinarily good
A.S.King was able to give Lucky such a clear voice that it made it so easy to see things through his point of view and empathize with him; this is the thing about great authors they’re just able to make the character so realistic and clear in your head that you can’t do anything but love the book.
Everybody sees the ants is a fantastic novel about teenage struggle, discovering yourself and how everybody has been a victim at some point in their life. I would highly recommend this book as it has become one of my all-time favourites.
“The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you’re not one of them?” – A.S.King, Everybody sees the ants