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Grasshopper Jungle

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  5,356 ratings  ·  1,628 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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Community Reviews

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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
Adam Silvera
Andrew Smith must've been on one special kind of a high when writing this book because holy sh*t.
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
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",
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
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
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.
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
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 ...
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.


ou 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 YA

1) Otevři knihu
a) Pokud si po přečtení 1. strany myslíš, že je všechno v pořádku, hlas se na psychiatrii.
b) Pokud si po přečtení 1. strany říkáš WTF, rozběhni se čelem proti betonové zdi a zkus to přečíst znova, mělo by to být OK.

2) Pokračuj ve čtení
a) Až narazíš na penis ve skleničce a jestli se ti to bude líbit, jsi pravděpodobně úchyl. Promiň. S takovýma já se nebavím (rozkaz od maminky).
b) Až narazíš na penis ve skleničce a řekneš si WAT, věz, že bude hůř, vypij rum
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
Edward (The Book Pusher) 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
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.
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
"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
Semen, horniness, profanity on almost every page.

BUT, a hilarious end-of-the-world/family history/exploration of teen sexuality combo.
Roof Beam Reader
That was certainly a book.

I wanted to like this -- giant grasshoppers who like to eat people sound hilarious. Unfortunately, the narration drove me nuts. I wouldn't have stuck with it past page 75 but for the good reviews my friends gave it.

I can also see why it's being criticized as mysogynistic. The protagonist's girlfriend is only there to serve as a foil for his possible bisexuality. By the end of the book, the only thing you really know about her is her breast size (big). Between that and t
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
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
If wide spread readership of Grasshopper Jungle reflects that of my reading group, this book will have a polarizing effect. It's frequent talk of horniness, sperm, and repetitive nature annoyed a lot of folks. But I for one found this book to be extremely amusing and oddly thought provoking.

*Kudos to Andrew Smith for allowing his narrator to be horrendously flawed. So many YA books shy away from writing their characters in a way that may make them unlikeable, but not Andrew Smith. The end result
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
Two stars is a REALLY generous reflection of my response to this book. At the half-way point, I was very firmly in the 2-stars camp. As I pushed my way through the second half of the book, I was feeling pretty certain I was going to 1-star it. There were flashes of cleverness that made me want to like it much more than I did. There were also things in its narration style that reminded me of Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-Five, both of which I did not like very much.

Ultimately, I just became SO tir
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
Andrew Hicks
I will forever remember Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle for being the first book I read after I quit smoking cigarettes*. The two main characters of this book smoke more damn cigarettes than anything I've seen in YA. Pack after pack after pack as the narrative goes on.

A couple months ago, I would've been like, That sounds good, think I'll join you fictional fellas. Now I'm like, Geez, what're you guys doing to yourselves? And you're in a car or small room with other people around? Geez, how
I loved the first quarter of the book. Halfway through, it seemed to drag. I think it was the repetition. It was like a broken record of horny teenage boy confessions, family history, "uh", "um", "and shit", and hungry, breeding bugs. Spinning and spinning, around and around, forever. The charm had worn off, like when a small child tells the same joke for the hundredth time that day. You laugh the first time, smile and indulge it for the tenth time or so, then eventually you want to put duct tap ...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
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
Actually 4.5/5

This book was a completely different experience for me. Ive never read anything like it before.

It started as a quirky contemporary story, about a boy named Austin and his strange, sexually confused life. But then it changed into a story about history, relationships, sex, and also giant praying mantises.

I was reading about Austin, in this small town, and then something would happen, and just...

I kept on reading, and it still continued to surprise me.

And in between all the weird thi
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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) 100 Sideways Miles Stick Passenger (The Marbury Lens, #2)

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“Good books are about everything.” 62 likes
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