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Grasshopper Jungle

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  11,514 Ratings  ·  2,777 Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of 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
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Dutton Books (first published February 1st 2014)
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Cari NO - all the reviewers seem to love it - I HATE it. It was repetitive, weird, jumped around too much and weird.
Kyra This book was definitely worth the read in my opinion! If you're into contemporary YA fiction (think John Green's novels about teenagers and love in…moreThis book was definitely worth the read in my opinion! If you're into contemporary YA fiction (think John Green's novels about teenagers and love in the present day) and some gore (let's just say this book takes some wild, somewhat unsettling turns), you may like this book! It follows the story of a boy, Austin, who has a nice girlfriend, but is questioning his sexuality because he finds himself in love with both his girlfriend AND his (gay) best friend, Robby. In small town Ealing, Iowa, this isn't the most accepted thing. But it's about so much more than that: the end of the world, what history is, and how our lives connect.

I will note, though, that the writing style is very odd and quirky, and some may have a problem with the repetitiveness (because it definitely is repetitive) of the style, but I personally loved the way the novel was written.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Unfortunately this is my least favorite Andrew Smith novel. I adored the weirdness and quirkiness and how outside of the box this story was. You won't find a YA book out there (at this point anyways) like this one, trust me. The main problems I had with this book involved the slow pacing and the over detailed history sections. It was hard for me to get through at times, but nonetheless I still enjoyed it. Remarkable characters and a wild plot!

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 fa
Jun 15, 2015 karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
I was horny, and scared, and so confused about everything.

that pretty much sums up the book - main character austin puts the q in lgbtq as he is torn between his equally powerful romantic feelings for his girlfriend shann and his best friend robby, in a situation as turbulent as the one where the giant superbugs are taking over the planet.

i'm as confused as austin about my feelings towards this book. for some reason, i thought this book was universally beloved, but i see that most of my friends
Adam Silvera
Nov 19, 2013 Adam Silvera rated it it was amazing
Andrew Smith must've been on one special kind of a high when writing this book because holy sh*t.
Brian Yahn
Jun 20, 2016 Brian Yahn rated it liked it
Here's the facts about Grasshopper Jungle: it's different, unique, weird, and it's a lot.

More or less.

In ways, the weirdness and tangents are similar to Vonnegut's stories: the characters, the world, the writing, and even the dialogue is reminiscent, which is to say it's great. But Grasshopper Jungle feels much less cohesive. It feels like it defies physics with its dozens of story lines that neither parallel nor intersect. Actually, what it feels like is a story without any lines, just a lot of
mark monday
Sep 09, 2016 mark monday rated it liked it
Austin is a 16-year-old living in Ealing, Iowa. he's in love with his girlfriend Shann; he's in love with his best friend Robbie. author Andrew Smith inhaled a lot of Kurt Vonnegut Jr, or something, before writing this decidedly quirky take on teenage hormones, the cyclical nature of history, how and why we define ourselves, and the joy of creating a whole new world out of what came before. the prose is loose; the tone is light; the narrative is haphazard. because Austin is a realistically depic ...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
Jul 03, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing
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",
Apr 14, 2014 Regan rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned-read
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
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'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
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
Dec 17, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing
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 ...
Feb 11, 2014 Donalyn rated it it was amazing
"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
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 r
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
Feb 15, 2014 Walter rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 06, 2016 Jennie rated it it was ok
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 misogynistic. 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
Sep 11, 2014 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2014
Semen, horniness, profanity on almost every page.

BUT, a hilarious end-of-the-world/family history/exploration of teen sexuality combo.
Jan 17, 2015 Brooke rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction, 2015, ya
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
Edward Lorn
Aug 12, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing
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
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
Vitor Martins
É um livro completamente doido que ou você vai amar, ou você vai odiar.
A escrita repetitiva e cheia de detalhes pode irritar muita gente mas eu achei GENIAL. segundo livro do andrew smith que eu leio esse mês e já quero DAR UM BEIJO NESSE HOMEEEEE.

O livro funcionou muito pra mim, mas eu super entendo se não funcionar pra você. Porque esse livro é um verdadeiro dínamo quando se trata de confundir as pessoas.
Apr 09, 2015 Nnedi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is
1. A unique telling of a story in which all hell breaks lose. Super cool.
2. The most unknowingly patriarchy-driven novel I have ever read. (not in a "aren't men cool" kinda way, in a "men are just central and superior and therefore the default" kinda way). Not cool at ALL.
Feb 22, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, arc, mind-fuck
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
Jun 09, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, lgbtqia
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 best friend (who is also gay. YES.) named Robby.

The book soon begins to transform as Aus
Jan 30, 2014 Barbara rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
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
Estefani at Fiction Jungle
Nov 12, 2016 Estefani at Fiction Jungle rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

This book is many things: strange, unusual, unrealistic, grotesque, kind of nasty, a bit misogynistic, fun and entertaining, all at once. I actually chuckled several times throughout the book. There were many hilarious quotes in it, but I forgot to mark them. "What can you do?"

It's full of repetitive sentences, but once you get the feel of it, you can go through it more easily. Austin was, to me, very similar to Ryan Dean from Winger. Of course I didn't relate with Austin, at all, but t
Thibaut Nicodème
Oct 22, 2016 Thibaut Nicodème rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: snark, dnf
DNF at 12%. You can find my detailed analysis on my blog, the Snark Theater (part 1part 2)

If I had to summarize this book, it would be "desperate to be edgy". The blurb describes it as "shocking", but…it's not. It's trying to be, but it just rings false.

It's all style and no substance. Trying to have an almost poetic feel to the narration (which…falls flat and mostly just ends up with it feeling confusing; you're writing prose, tone down the metaphors), repetition of the obvious enforced the
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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.
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“All good books are about everything, abbreviated.” 101 likes
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