Thursday, February 6, 2014

ANTSY DOES TIME by Neal Shusterman

Antsy, The Family Guy

Looking at the story from a vantage point, it is a series of tragedies with slices of sweetmeat in between.  Like I said in my previous post, this book is all heart.  Once more, Shusterman managed to punch in real-life situations, and readers may find some that hits closer to home.

The story started with a tragic accident when it was supposed to be a day of parade and fun.  Among the onlookers were Antsy Bonano and his friends. They were teenagers out there for curiosity’s sake, but not Gunnar Ümlaut, one of Antsy’s classmates.  Gunner was out there to watch death.

Gunnar confides to Antsy that he has only six months to live, due to Pulmonary Monoxic Systemia (PMS).  Antsy doesn’t know how to handle this kind of information. The good in him wants to do something for Gunnar.  It just seemed unfair that death would come after someone so young.  It was Monday, at the Ümlaut’s backyard, that Antsy tore a page of his notebook, signing up a month of his life for Gunnar. Yes, that’s how noble our hero is.

The following days, the news traveled like a wildfire in school; it seems everyone wants to sign up months of their lives for Gunnar too. From here on, some things will get better, and some things will get worse. Antsy and Gunnar realized that things are not exactly how they're supposed to be, and mistakes have their consequences.

I always hear people talk about 'dysfunctional families.' It annoys me, because it makes you think that somewhere there's this magical family where everyone gets along, and no one ever screams things they don't mean, and there's never a time when sharp objects should be hidden.

As much as Shusterman made great efforts to make this book really light and fun to read, I can't help but feel sad due to the tragedies that may strike families. Situations were so life-like; I came close to crying at times.

The best you can really hope for is a family where everyone's problems, big and small, work together. Kind of like an orchestra where every instrument is out of tune, in exactly the same way, so you don't really notice.

Again, my love for Antsy went deeper as I get to know him better. I hope to find his next book soon.  I hope you find copies of his books too, I do recommend them strongly.

-that's when I realized that prayer isn't for God. After all, He doesn't need it. He's out there, or in there, or sitting up there in His firmament, whatever that is, all-knowing and all-powerful, right? He doesn't need us repeating words week after week in His face. If He's there, sure, I'll bet He's listening, but it doesn't change Him, one way or the other.  
Instead, we're the ones who are changed by it.  
I don't know whether I was just delirious from lack of sleep...but if it is true, what an amazing gift it is!

Book details:
Title: Antsy DoesTime
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication: September 18, 2008
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: ★★★★


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