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!