(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Simon and Schuster on January 19th 2016
Genres: Dating & Sex, Depression & Mental Illness, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
From the “author to watch” (Kirkus Reviews) of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button. Only he isn’t sure he wants to. After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year. Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him. But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.
Shaun’s Novel Secret:
“The World Ends With Giant Roaches”
In We Are the Ants, the narrator, Henry Denton, is abducted by aliens and told that the world is going to end on January 29, 2016 (which also happens to be my older brother’s birthday), and throughout the story, he imagines different ways that the world might end. Meteor strikes, nanites, the deaths of all the bees. One scenario in particular contains nods to both Andrew Smith and his awesome book Grasshopper Jungle, and to The Princess Bride.
The scenario is one in which antibiotic-resistant strains of bacterial diseases have begun to run rampant, so scientists, looking for new treatments, find them in the secretions of cockroaches. But in order to produce enough of the secretions to study, the scientists genetically engineer the roaches to be much, much larger than normal. Of course the roaches wind up escaping and eating everyone on the planet, because that’s what happens when you make giant bugs. But I named the new roaches, Blatella asmithicus after the geneticist responsible for creating them, Dr. Andrew Smith. Though they’re commonly referred to as CroMS—cockroaches of might size—a reference to The Princess Bride and its rodents of unusual size.
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