Grasshopper Jungle
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Grasshopper Jungle

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  3,318 ratings  ·  1,070 reviews
In this truly shocking, grotesquely original coming-of-age, end-of-the-world novel, sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the legacy of his family’s history in Poland andimmigration to the United States while narrating the story of how he and his best friend brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, human-sized (six-foot-tall) praying m...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Dutton Juvenile (first published February 1st 2014)
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Rating: WHAT THE HECK EVEN WAS THAT AND WHY THE HECK DID I LIKE IT I think my brains are on the floor

Originally posted at Writer of Wrongs

The end of the world began at about 2:00 a.m., around three-and-a-half feet away from a discarded floral-print sleeper sofa infested with pubic lice in Ealing, Iowa.

I read a lot of books. The more I read, the easier it is to review them. I become accustomed to formulas. I learn to recognize cues. The elements that go into judging and analyzing a novel are far...more
Adam Silvera
Andrew Smith must've been on one special kind of a high when writing this book because holy sh*t.
I have to say, I was disappointed by Grasshopper Jungle.

I happened to be at the American Library Association annual conference this year and I happened to see Andrew Smith announce online that the very first bound copies of his not yet copyedited manuscript would be available at the Penguin Young Readers booth to those who asked. I was excited. They weren't even ready yet on Friday when the exhibits opened, that's how brand new these were, and I had to go back on Saturday to get an 8 1/2" x 11",...more
Sometimes, you have to look at a piece of art and appreciate that it's a work of ART, even though you dislike pretty much everything about it. I think that pretty much sums up my experience with Grasshopper Jungle. There's craft and artistry and creativity but there wasn't much of the story I enjoyed.

I loved Austin and Robby's relationship. But I hated how Austin treated all females in the story. Robby points out how Austin is incredibly selfish and that's spot on. He left out the part where Aus...more
Before I get started on this review I want to put a disclaimer out there - I do not think this book is for everyone. Also, this was probably one of the strangest books i've ever read, and I really liked it.

Grasshopper Jungle follows a sexually confused Polish boy named Austin, Austin lives in a boring small Iowan town were all he does is skateboard and smoke cigarettes with his best friend Robby. However, due to some very complicated yet not so complicated events Austin and his friend Robby unl...more
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

2.5 stars

So. How to put this? Grasshopper Jungle was weird. Weird, for me falls into three categories. There's good weird, where you just love the quirkiness and originality, WTF weird, which literally makes you think: "What the fuck was that?" and Mel weird--where you act like me. Total psycho and creepy all at once. Grasshopper Jungle falls into all these categories. So yes, I guess the only word fitting for this book is weird. You'd think this book and I w...more
People! It's my vacation and I have Odyssey books to listen to but I want you to know that I am reading a book for the second time not because I am required to for committee work but because it is so effing brilliant that I lose my shit just thinking about it. When GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE comes out in February I encourage--nay, demand--that you read it and give it to every horny teenage boy you know, as well as the girls and boys who love them. Revel in the glorious sentence composition, the insane p...more
Wendy Darling
Interesting and bizarre story, and one that's certainly crafted in an unusual way. But the writing style isn't my favorite, so you can chalk this up to as a case where it's just not the book for me.
I am in awe of this novel. So clever, so creative, so unlike anything I've ever read before. It's an extremely meaty reading experience, for lack of a better word; the richness of backstory detail made this novel unlike anything I'd ever read. It made me think about how wide the world is, and as a writer, it made me think about how I need to get out of my comfort zone when I think about the possibilities of what has happened to my characters, and what can happen to them.

The narrator is just ......more
S.A. Bodeen
I've said this before about Andrew Smith, but it rings so true with this book: as close as it comes to Stephen King writing YA. And that is the highest compliment I could ever give any book. Grasshopper Jungle captivated me and I read it all in one evening. I couldn't have put it down if I wanted to. It is this pleasantly odd mix of Holes and Stephen King dusted with Starship Troopers and one of those cheerily entertaining teen movies about boys trying to lose their virginity. I laughed out loud...more
Edward Lorn
I rarely ever read synopses anymore. The only reason I read this one was because a booktuber by the name of Katytastic mentioned it. The blurb not only piqued my interest, but fish-hooked my curiosity. Surely a Young Adult novel about giant, horny Mantises causing an end-of-the-world event couldn't be as epic as this single synopsis made it out to be. Oh, but it is. It is that and so much more.

Andrew Smith has not forgotten what it's like to be a sexually-frustrated teenager. Our MC, Austin, jum...more
First read finished: 29 November, 2013
Second read finished: 30 January, 2014

I just re-read Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle, and although I understood and acknowledged the artistry and purpose, the ideas and themes inherent throughout Grasshopper Jungle after the first read, the second reading made my perception of this novel so much stronger and grounded.


You think you know what ‘Young Adult’ is, but you don’t. You think it’s all teen angst; it’s not. Paranormal… Dystopian… When you read Y...more
"Good books are about everything." I read so many books and enjoy lots of them, but I am on an endless hunt for books that surprise me and show me something new. Andrew Smith's books disturb me and push me to look at story in new ways. He's a brilliant writer. Grasshopper Jungle will stick with me for a long time. I don't think it's a book for everyone because some readers will find the constant sexual references and bleak storyline hard to read. If you've read anything Andrew's written you know...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

This books begins like so many others – an angsty teen lets us in on his pathetic little life. Austin is Polish and might be gay. He’s always horny and likes to draw and keep track of history in his journal. He lives in Iowa and has a real dynamo of a dog who is great at taking dumps. He’s Polish and he might be gay. He’s definitely horny. Did I mention some of that already? Well, if I say it 57,000 more times I’ll maybe come close to...more
Justin Alcala
If you ever want to understand the true nature of a teenage boy during a hyper-pubescent time in his life, this is the book for you. Oh, also add the apocalypse into the mix.

For those of you who are thinking about picking up this novel, please do. It's a coming of age story about a small town Polish lutheran boy named Austin who is uncertain about life, his sexuality, and the future that awaits him. However, in the background, slowly but surely, there is an outbreak that is causing the local tow...more
Is it possible that Andrew Smith is capable of writing a novel that doesn't fucking rock my world. Umm, the answer is no, no he isn't. Smith is a fucking literary mastermind.
Raeleen Lemay
Click here to see my video review:

Ok, so let me just start out by saying that this book is weird. REALLY WEIRD. But it was written in such a way that it didn't make me want to stop reading it at any time.

The first 150 pages or so of this book seem like a pretty typical contemporary YA novel; we are introduced to Austin Szerba, who is a very horny 16-year-old boy with a gay best friend named Robby.

The book soon begins to transform as Austin and Robby do a...more
Whenever I read a young adult book, I’m always thinking in the back of my head to what kind of reader would this book appeal? As I read Grasshopper Jungle, I could not quite figure out which of my students would like this book. The short sentences and chapters and invasion of the giant praying mantises premise might appeal to the reluctant reader but the fractured, looping storytelling takes too long to get to the action. Reluctant readers like action. I even became impatient. Austin, the 16-yea...more
This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. In fact, when I finished it, I couldn't go on to a new book--so I opened it up to the beginning and started over. I read it twice in three days.

Basically, this is the story of three teens (two boys and a girl) and their relationships with each 6-foot praying mantises take over their small Iowa town. It's also about the history of Austin's family, the purpose of history, bullying, sexual orientation, urinals, bad movies, theft, do...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
This book is absolutely, one hundred percent bonkers. I’ve read my fair share of truly strange, baffling novels, and Grasshopper Jungle is up there. Really high up on that list, in fact. Smith’s novel also has the luxury of being one of the few incredibly strange novels to really strike my fancy. Usually, I’m left feeling bored and confused, but Smith had me laughing every couple of pages and really engaged in the absurd premise. For this, he has earned me as a fan.

Read the full review at A Read...more
Steph Sinclair

I think I may have enjoyed this more if I had read it instead of listening to the audiobook. The narrator's voice was so robotic and made me want to slam my head against a wall. I fell asleep a lot and had to keep restarting chapters.

I also don't really understand what was happening? The world was ending? Bugs were invading human bodies? Oh, well, not a single fuck was given that day.

I was interested in the MC's struggle with his sexual identity, but the cons I mentioned kept me from contin...more
I've never found so many male characters in one book who have lost ownership of at least one or more of their balls. I have never met, in ya fiction, a bisexual character described with such frankness and transparency. However, I have frequently met female supporting characters who's pain, complications of character, and dissatisfactions are their defining features, are unrelenting, and neglected by the male protagonist and the whole novel itself. The author does not seem too concerned that, for...more
George Lester
If you read any book at all this year, make it this one. It is the illegitimate love child of Michael Grant and John Green. It is this generations "The Perks of Being A Wallflower". It is so many things, but above all it is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Full review on
Great great book, crazy as hell and jaw dropping at times. Closet thing to Vonnegut for teens that you'll ever get. Holy shit is right.
4 Stars

Andrew Smith is the author of one of my favorite series The Marbury Lens. I had high expectations when going into this young adult novel called The Grasshopper Jungle. Once again, it is the writing style that makes this a successful book. Andrew Smith knows how to write the coming of age tale with fantastical twists.

The Grasshopper Jungle is a fun take on the post apocalyptic genre. This book is narrated from the point of view of our young sexually confused protagonist named Austin Szerb...more
Check out Scott Reads It for more reviews!

Grasshopper Jungle is the strangest book I've ever read. At the surface, it's a book about a boy whose town gets invaded by giant horny grasshoppers, but it's truly so much more. This is a hilarious, coming-of-age story about self-discovery and the human condition. I've never read a book where an author has captured the strange, alien feelings that come with being a teenager better. Andrew Smith gets it, he understands that being a teenager is confusing...more
Aaron Hartzler
Smith has done something grand and special here. He's written magical realism—only it's a touch of sci-fi (not the supernatural) that skews the very realistic/contemporary world of his teen protagonists.

GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE is a beautiful, terrifying, soaring, back-flip of a coming-of-age tale. Finally, an author has caught on the page how high the stakes feel when trying to figure out on which side one's bread is buttered. In this book, those stakes are literally life and death as the fate of th

Timothy Ward
Wow, that was fun. This unsuspecting title by an author I’d never heard of about a mantis-apocalypse hitting small town Iowa stole my interest from beginning to end. Grasshopper Jungle is the funniest book I’ve ever read. It also portrays the best friendship I’ve ever read. The narrator, Austin, is complex, unwilling to look at the world the way society wants him to, and plays the perfect part of historian, recording two events that alone could make great books, but which together fit perfectly...more
I've always enjoyed unique stories. Bizarro is one of my favourite genre after all. This book reminds me of that genre combined with YA, sci fi and coming of age. Three bloggers who's bookish opinion are always on my radar have read this book with glowing reviews. I thought it time to jump on the Andrew Smith fan girl band wagon and borrowed this one from my local library. It's a delightfully freakish wtf kind of book that will make you ponder an authors sanity or applaud at their wild and vivid...more
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Sno-Isle Mock Printz: Grasshopper Jungle 3 16 Aug 12, 2014 09:46AM  
Henrico Youth Boo...: Grasshopper Jungle 2 3 Aug 07, 2014 03:48PM  
Mock Printz 2015: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith 10 129 Jul 26, 2014 10:06AM  
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Andrew Smith is the author of Winger , The Marbury Lens , Passenger , Ghost Medicine , Stick , and In the Path of Falling Objects . Grasshopper Jungle is coming from Dutton/Penguin on February 11, 2014.
More about Andrew Smith...
Winger (Winger, #1) The Marbury Lens (The Marbury Lens, #1) Stick Passenger (The Marbury Lens, #2) In the Path of Falling Objects

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