Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

My (slightly derailed) Summer of Series


I went to the library recently for a stack of books.  Otherwise, I haven’t done much reading this summer (for shame!).  Before my hiatus, however, I picked up Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King.

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?

King is fast becoming one of my fave YA authors.  Her stories always have such a unique spin and I love how she handles bullying in Ants without coming across as heavy-handed.  I did feel a bit iffy about one part of the book, though.  Without giving anything away, the MC befriends a group of girls and the scenes involving their after-hours activity felt slightly product placement to me.  It’s a good cause, no doubt, but it just felt a little off.

Sorry, that was way more cryptic than I intended.  I’ll appease you with some quotes from the book:

Page 151: She looks into my eyes.  “Just be careful, okay?”  Then she strokes my cheek – the healing one – and says, “Damn.  You’re bleeding a little,” and hands me a tissue.

The ants say: Aren’t we all bleeding a little?

Page 222: “I just do,” he says. “When they torture me, they show they’re weak.  When I survive, I show them I’m stronger.”

Page 243: New skin amazes me.  New skin is a miracle.  It is proof that we can heal.

In completely unrelated news, except that it’s also about books:

A few weeks ago, my husband and I somehow got on the subject of vampire cats and were laughing over the idea of our cat sparkling in the sunlight.  Then hubs insisted I write a book about vampire cats.  I said, “I’m pretty sure there are already books about this, honey.”

He didn’t think so.

But, yeah, there are (click on pics to go to Goodreads descriptions).

I feel like I need to read these now.

What is everybody else reading?  Has anyone actually read about a vampire cat?  If you have, that completely rocks and you are my hero for today!


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

11 thoughts on “My (slightly derailed) Summer of Series

  1. I remember FANGS from back in the day (I think!). Maybe it was riding the BUNNICULA trend?
    PS How’s the housing/moving going?

  2. No vampire cats, but it makes sense. They’re all so fangy and brooding most of the time.

    Love the quotes from that book–never heard of it, but I think I’ll have to put it on my TBR list… thanks! 🙂

  3. I can’t recall reading about vampire cats.

    I loved Everybody Sees the Ants. A.S. King knows how to write a unique, meaningful story.

  4. You are my second writerly friend to recommend EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, which means I need to pick this one up!
    And vampire cats? Hmmm, nope, haven’t read anything there. Vampire bunnies / BUNNICULA? Yep, I was all over that one when I was a kid – the Howe’s were authors well before their time. 🙂

  5. HA! Vampire cats. Who’d have thought it?! (Well, those authors obviously, and your husband too, but who knew they were already done?!)

  6. Ohmygosh – that is INSANE. My daughter used to read those Warrior books. I bet she’d like those. 🙂 As for me, I’m currently reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Gorgeous writing, wonderful story.

  7. Pingback: My Five Favorite Reads of 2012 « Jennifer Pickrell

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