By Andrew Smith
Publication date: Feb. 11, 2014
Dutton Juvenile, 338 pages
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the storyof how he and his best friend, Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.
To make matters worse, Austin’s hormones are totally oblivious; they don’t care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He’s stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it’s up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.
— Goodreads.com description
I’m one of the few who missed out on the buzz surrounding Andrew Smith’s Winger last year, but based on Grasshopper Jungle…ummm I SHOULD GET ON THAT.
Because, wow, Grasshopper Jungle is WEIRD AS ALL GET OUT, but it it’s also dang good.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that wasn’t written in verse but still felt this much like poetry. Smith’s surprising word choices and phrasing and the repeated refrains and themes he weaved so well throughout the story will make it a real treat for readers who appreciates thoughtful, unique writing.
And then all the loveliness is juxtaposed with the actual story, which is all about giant mutant praying mantises and a horny, confused teenage boy.
So, yeah. It’s strange. But it’s also amazingly refreshing. I’m, like, equal parks impressed and concerned about what is going on in Andrew Smith’s brain. I would say if you are open to trying something different and are ready to be pleasantly surprised by a book, check this one out. I wouldn’t have thought it was for me on paper, but I’m so glad I gave it a try — so I think you should, too!
Ready to try the book yourself? Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Grasshopper Jungle and an #UNSTOPPABLECORN t-shirt. U.S. only, please. Good luck!
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February 4: Good Choice Reading and Bookish
February 5: I Read Banned Books and Jenna Does Books
February 6: Bibliophilia, Please and Escaping One Book At A Time
February 7: Scott Reads It and Live to Read
February 10: Alice Marvels and The Society
February 11: Lexi Swoons and A Reader of Fictions
February 12: Roof Beam Reader and Forever Young Adult
February 13: The Compulsive Reader and Books and Bling
February 14: Book Chic Club and The QQQE
February 17: JeanBookNerd and Ticket to Anywhere
February 18: Sleep Eat Read Books and Read Now Sleep Later
February 19: Anna Reads and Word Spelunking
February 20: Books With Bite and What A Nerd Girl Says
February 21: Wastepaper Prose and LRB – Guest
February 24: We Are Word Nerds and Cabin Goddess
February 25: Ex Libris and Cari’s Book Blog and A Good Addiction
February 26: YA Reads and The Young Folks
February 27: Novel Thoughts and Fangirlish
February 28: Once Upon a Twilight and Naughty Book Kitties