"She was short and fat. Check. She was funny and flirty. Check and check. She hadn't ever touched another human besides through a fiber optic connection. Definite, solid blue check."
Ants tells the story of Natasha, a 19-year-old South Indian teenager, as she navigates through online dating, feelings of displacement, her desi background, insecurities and depression.
Afraid of rejection, Nat finds all her men online, in a platform called The Chatroom. There she meets Ben, another lonely teen living three thousand miles away. Although there's nothing concrete about their relationship, Nat starts idealizing and fantasizing about what it could be - plotting and planning elaborate scenarios.
This explorative young adult novel is a tale of two people meeting virtually, exchanging flirty and racy messages, while never seeing the other's face. Can Natasha, or anyone, truly fall in love with a person they've never seen or met?
About the Author
Ever since she was a child, Nikita Chinamanthur has been in love with books. She first started reading, telling and listening to stories in printed pages, before quickly discovering the online experience. From Wikipedia articles to fanfiction and online chick-lit on Wattpad, to… more books, Nikita voraciously consumes words. Chinamanthur started imagining the world of Natasha, the protagonist of her debut novel Ants, while she was studying for her English degree at the historically women’s Scripps College in Claremont, California. She had never seen herself represented in print, being a teenaged South Asian girl, and found a gaping hole in South Asian diasporic, YA fiction. Nikita can also be found building her impressive movie database on Notion, or collecting minimalist posters.