Publication Date: February 11th 2014
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Rating: 5/5 Stars
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.
I’m really struggling with writing this review because I basically just want to say “Holy shit what did I just read” and then tell you to go read it, although it will be the weirdest and strangest coming of age book you’ve read in a long long time.
Andrew Smith is pretty much just a genious when it comes to writing. And I mean writing anything in general. He has this feel throughout his books of surreality, but it is also rooted in absolute reality and everyday mundane aspects of human life. Austin Szerba is easily the most honest and heartfelt characters I’ve had the pleasure of being inside the mind of, and it really makes me question whether or not 16 year old boys really do think about sex that much. Smith also has this incredible ability to bring everything together so flawlessly while at the same time completely throwing you off your feet and not knowing what to expect next. And with Grasshopper Jungle, the reader never has any idea what will happen.
It was gory, honest, brutal, bawdy, hilarious, touching, exciting, brave, complex, weird, and simply amazing. It’s hard to write a review for a book that is so far out there but truly an absolute pleasure to read at the same time. I am a complete Andrew Smith fan and cannot wait to read whatever comes out of his wild brain next!