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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle defies easy description. To say that it’s a wild, over-the-top story of male adolescence, science gone wrong, the end of the world, and giant praying mantises sounds a little bit insane. And doesn’t begin to touch the warm and fuzzy bits (honesty, love, connection) that are a large part of what makes this book great. Narrator Austin Szerba is a unique historian of momentous things, including the nature of history itself, and his chronicle of family, how the end of the world began beside a dumpster in his small Iowa town, and what life is like when you’re sixteen and in love with two people, is something you won’t want to miss. --Seira Wilson
Simmering within Ealing, Iowa, is a deadly genetically engineered plague capable of unleashing unstoppable soldiers—six-foot-tall praying mantises with insatiable appetites for food and sex. No one knows it, of course, until Austin and his best friend Robby accidentally release it on the world. An ever-growing plague of giant, flesh-hungry insects is bad enough, but Austin is also up to his eyeballs in sexual confusion—is he in love with Robby or his girlfriend, Shann? Both of them make him horny, but most things do. In an admittedly futile attempt to capture the truth of his history, painfully honest Austin narrates the events of the apocalypse intermingled with a detailed account of the “connections that spiderweb through time and place,” leading from his great-great-great-grandfather Andrzej in Poland to Shann’s lucky discovery of an apocalypse-proof bunker in her new backyard. Smith (Winger, 2013) is up to his old tricks, delivering a gruesome sci-fi treat, a likable punk of a narrator, and a sucker punch ending that satisfyingly resolves everything and nothing in the same breath. Grades 9-12. --Sarah HunterSee all Editorial Reviews
This book is one of my all-time favourites! I know (I KNOW) I will never read anything like it ever again, 'cause this is so freakin' epic it hurts my poor heart with its... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Sara St. Sasha
Great book. Smith captures the confusion and obsession of adolescence brilliantly. His free wheeling writing is pretty amazing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Derek Wheems
Very interesting book based on an odd premise. If you like zombie stories, you'll love it.Published 1 month ago by Kelly Simmons
This book is a crazy ride, and great fun. Drew writes through the voice of a teenage boys, and most of this voice is voiced through Austin's mind. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lynn Eager
The book starts our very strong with a unique narrator's voice. I like mad science but the laws of physics are really ignored. Fine. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Danny Kravitz
Imagine a bi-sexual Holden Caulfield who isn't feeling sorry for himself all the time, plop him in the middle of Iowa and deal him the worst hand ever: the end of the world. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brian Lindquist
what a great book! I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I originally thought I wouldn't like it.Published 3 months ago by Taylor Stoutamire