The Book Junkie

What a fabulous story! Shusterman's "Antsy Does Time" is the sequel to his inventive & charming "The  Schwa was Here." "Antsy Does Time" is about a Antsy Bonano, a Brooklyn teen living an ordinary--if funny--life with his family and friends. Antsy soon discovers that his new friend, Gunnar Umlaut, is suffering from "pulmonary monoxic systemia," and only has six months to live. To cheer Gunnar up, Antsy decides to donate a month of his life to Gunnar. His symbolic gesture of goodwill, however, ends up taking over Antsy's life. Soon, everyone in school is signing up to donate months or even years. When the school principal finds out, he decides to make it an official school-wide "fund" raiser (a "time" raiser, perhaps). Things are getting out of control! All the attention and generosity does make Gunnar happy, though, so Antsy decides to go with the flow.

In the mean time, Gunnar's gorgeous older sister Kjersten, spurred by the good Antsy is doing, decides to pay romantic attention to Antsy. A sophomore boy's dream come true! While befriending Gunnar and getting involved with Kjersten, though, Antsy learns more about their family than he wants to know. With their financial distress, a distant father, and avoidance of the truths in front of their faces, Gunnar's family makes Antsy realize how normal his family is.

While navigating the choppy waters of high school, teen romance, and seemingly-doomed friendships, Antsy has troubles of his own to face. The family restaurant is taking over his mother's & father's lives, and feels like it's ruining Antsy's own life. His good friend (and former girlfriend) Lexie, is being helpful, in an unhelpful sort of way, and Antsy discovers the truth about Gunnar's illness. The stress all comes to a head when Antsy's father has a heart attack. The family crisis teaches Antsy a lot about himself, his family, ans his outlook on life. It also leads him to answers about the mysteries surrounding Gunnar.

"Antsy Does Time" was a wonderful read. It is laugh-out-loud funny, and it really takes you into Antsy's head. The characters are fun and fully-fleshed, which makes me want to know what happens to them after the story ends. I hope Shusterman writes another book about Antsy, because I'd love to keep following him!

If you're looking for a fun, funny, engaging read, "Antsy Does Time" is a great bet. 

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