It might be a cliche, but it is a well written and interesting take on a cliche.
Title: Everybody Sees the Ants
Author: A. S. King
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page #: 280
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Yes, this book is another story about the loner in high school. Bullied relentlessly and virtually unassisted by the adults in life. We have been reading these stories forever. I’ve read countless number of them. It, like vampires, is a cliche that riddles the young adult section of every library and bookstore. There are so many of them, I know. However, I really enjoyed this one.
I have enjoyed others as well, so what makes this one interesting. For one thing it didn’t just show the plight of the high school student with everyone else in the book being perfect angels. It showed that every person in the novel was experiencing difficulties. It showed a wide variety of coping methods and equated them all to a bunch of sassy dancing ants.
I was enjoying the novel for the most part but it was the last 100 pages or so that really blew me away.
I love books that have interesting elements and this is one of only a handful of books that executed magical realism not only in an interesting and unique way but perfectly. I didn’t feel like it was out of place. When supernatural elements are introduced and relatively ignored in an otherwise contemporary novel I almost always feel a rift in the story. It usually pulls me out. However this story was flawless in its execution of magical realism.
The characters were all dynamic and intersting the plot was also interesting and I am not a huge contemporary reader. I tend to read one a month or less. I often grow bored reading about our own universe. I like learning about places that are real only in our imaginations. It adds more to it. This book didn’t feel like it was lacking without that element.
I would recommend this to you even if you are tired of the loner/loser high school student cliche. It is a good one. I promise.