Un très beau livre qui tient une place spéciale dans mon coeur. J'ai mis deux mois pour le lire, pour le faire durer, car chaque passage est vraiment joliment écrit, poétique, touchant. On apprend des choses sur l'espace, on parle d'un potentiel monde qui arrivera si on continue de vivre comme on le fait, on parle de famille de deuil d'amour d'amitié et de vie qui reprend et qui vaut le coup. Un très joli moment.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
4,5 sur 5 étoiles
5,0 sur 5 étoilesA Brilliant Novel of Acceptance and Change
24 février 2017 - Publié sur Amazon.com
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson is a remarkable account about the coming of age of Henry Jerome Denton from his perspective as a much-persecuted 13-year-old. The reader will have to read most of the novel before discovering the complete name of this protagonist. Through most of the novel, he will be identified with the name “Space Boy,” a title he despises. This is not a whining, complaining account; it is delivered more from a position of resignation, hints of despair, and an acceptance of the inevitability that the world will end on 29 January 2016. Since that is a given, absolutely nothing that happens prior to that point has any meaning. The only possible alternative will occur if the aliens convince Space Boy to hit the Big Red Button. Without Henry's agreement to do this, planet Earth will cease to exist.
Published in January 2016, this 465-page novel has two central anchoring ideas. The entire novel is an account of Henry's life for one year prior to 29 January 2016. The daily events happening to and around him will influence his decision to push the Big Red Button. If he pushes it, planet Earth continues; if Henry's despair is so great and he does nothing, the Earth ceases to exist. Only Henry knows this. It is not that it is a secret, he has tried to tell others about his frequent abductions by the aliens as they continue to check with Henry and emphasize that the decision is completely Henry's to make. Henry's attempts at telling others has earned him the name “Space Boy.”
With such a serious decision to make, readers might think it would be a good idea to keep Henry happy. That brings us to the second anchoring point that appears throughout the novel, the suicide of Jesse. Henry loved his boyfriend and believes that he, Henry, was responsible for his boyfriend's death. Henry is bullied in school both for his belief in aliens (Space Boy) and for his openly homosexual relationship that he had enjoyed with Jesse. One of the biggest bullies is a very rich high school athlete, Marcus. This appears quite strange because Marcus and Space Boy are in a covert homosexual relationship that developed as Henry tried to find a substitute friend to fill the void resulting from Jesse's suicide. The many, many incidents of school bullying center more on the alien factor than the homosexual one.
This novel explores the issue of homosexual relationships in a way that is the best I have ever read by not exploring it. Throughout the novel, there is simply an acceptance of Henry's lifestyle choice. His mother accepts it and even wants to have a safe-sex talk with him. Audrey, the closest person to Henry that might be called a girlfriend, accepts Henry's choice. That is probably because she was a best friend to Henry and Jesse before the suicide and she was aware of the boys' relationship. Because Henry blames himself for Jesse's suicide, he has withdrawn from even the platonic relationship he had with Audrey. Audrey is sad about this and tries throughout the story to rekindle their earlier relationship. The reader will learn (not a spoiler) that Audrey also feels guilty because she believes she was the reason for the suicide. Even Henry's grandmother, Nana, accepts Henry's choice when she can remember to think about it. She is suffering from Alzheimer disease; her struggle is an important story-within-a-story and contributes wonderful insights on the progression of life.
Marcus as the choice to fill the void of the dead Jesse could not continue as a relationship with Henry. One-half of the time spent in satisfactory sex contrasted with the second-half of the relationship spent in administering punishing physical violence to Henry was a bomb waiting to go off. Luckily for Henry, the arrival at school of a new guy, Diego Vega, provided an alternative. Starting out on a very platonic and intellectual relationship, there were signs that a sexual component would evolve. The conflict here was that Diego (also called Valentin) had a deep, dark secret that he refused to reveal to Henry. All Henry's attempts to question Diego were rebuffed. Google searches about his life before Henry returned no results. Honesty and openness were important to Henry; nothing could proceed without a transparent base of honesty and full disclosure.
The character interactions in the book are brilliant as they engage in dialogues defining their relationships. Henry mentions that he loves his brother, Charlie, because he has to but as far as daily life, Henry despises his brother. As the novel progresses, Henry finds that he didn't really know much about Charlie. Henry engages in dialogues with Nana despite her frequent mental absences when she is not sure who he is. Henry's advice to his mother on life choices is ironic and is the one point where I had to almost suspend belief. How can a person this young make such great, deeply philosophical observations? I found myself using a highlighter frequently as Henry made observations that were stunning philosophically stated with such simplicity.
There are some really great “outtakes.” These are chapters depicting how Planet Earth might disappear for reasons other than Henry failing to hit the Big Red Button.
This is one of the books I recommend highly for all ages (mostly 12 and up). Young people will empathize with the depictions of classroom life. The sexual angle is done with no sleaze and no unnecessary referencing. The importance of strong family relationships is emphasized even though Henry's family appears to be the definition of dysfunctional.
And then there is THE QUESTION. Did Henry push the Big Red Button?
5,0 sur 5 étoilesThis is such a good book. Sincerely.
6 juin 2018 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: BrochéAchat vérifié
I bought this book as part of a 30 Days of Pride Book Review project. The following is that review:
This is such a good book. Sincerely.
A snippet from School Library Journal on the back cover said -- “Hints of Slaughterhouse-Five.” And I thought, comparing yourself to Vonnegut is setting a pretty high bar... but, yes, hints of Kurt Vonnegut, indeed. Of course, Hutchinson isn’t Vonnegut (who is?) but just like with my favorite Vonnegut novels, this book begs to be quoted, but has so many quotable lines that tie back into themselves that it becomes impossible for me to figure out where I want to start or stop quoting it, until finally I decide instead of reading you any of these passages, I should just make you read this book.
On the surface this book is about some real concrete story point things. It is about a boy named Henry Denton who is abducted by aliens and given the absurd power to decide the fate of the world, while struggling to deal with his own family and relationship drama, with a doomsday clock quietly counting down in the background. But then it is also about a lot of other things. It is about grief. It is about being fifteen and weird. It is about hooking up with the wrong person because you can or because they are there or because you don’t think you deserve any better… It’s about being human and insignificant in the grand scheme of things and whether or not that should stop you from caring about living…
One of my favorite Vonnegut quotes is, "Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn't it such a relief to have someone say that?"
This book is about what a bummer it is to be a human being, how short, brutal, and absurd our lives are, and whether or not we should keep making the choice to live them anyway.
I really enjoyed finding out whether or not Henry Denton would decide to spare humanity… almost as much as I enjoyed all the various Sci-fi theories he proposed as possible world ending phenomena for when the doomsday clock eventually ran out.
I want you to read this book. And, some of you, I know, will never actually read this book... whether because it isn’t your taste or you’re too busy or you just don’t enjoy reading… but I want you to read it, anyway. Like, I know if you started reading this book, you would want to keep reading this book, and I don’t think you would regret reading it. It’s just that kind of book.
It has my ringing endorsement, but let's put it on the project scales.
First up: The Queer Counterculture Visibility Scale. The main character was white, male, and gay. I’m giving points here for: Class issues, a side character’s sexuality being more fluid than a binary Gay VS. Straight, and a very honest look at mental health. I also kind of like that the struggles that our main character was having in his life did not revolve around his sexuality. Things weren’t tense because he was gay, but because he was being abducted by aliens and no one believed it. I don’t know if it is weird or not to give it a half point just for not being another coming out story, which are great and necessary, but are really saturating the YA genre… but it’s my scale, and I made it up, and I can score it however I want.
3 out of 5 stars
Secondly: The Genre Expectation Scale. This is a young adult novel, in that the main character is a fifteen year old boy, dealing with highschool, family, relationships and the pain of figuring out what kind of human being he is. But it easily surpasses any expectation I would have for the “Juvenile--fiction” Genre. It is well written and poignant without being pretentious. It is able to be dark without having to turn off the lights and nihilistic in a way that doesn’t actually reach hopelessness. It is a well crafted, well thought out, and well edited novel.