I really enjoyed this one, but I would have liked a different ending. Not major, but just a little more information. Tessa Gratton doesn't give a perf...moreI really enjoyed this one, but I would have liked a different ending. Not major, but just a little more information. Tessa Gratton doesn't give a perfect HEA and that's okay. I just wanted a little more confirmation as to the future of two of the characters. Hmm. (less)
I am not usually a big reader of historical fiction, but I am so glad that I decided to listen to this one. Eel is a fantastic main character - a swee...moreI am not usually a big reader of historical fiction, but I am so glad that I decided to listen to this one. Eel is a fantastic main character - a sweet young man working as hard as he can to take care of a younger brother and make a better life for himself. The problem? Not everyone is as honest as Eel. When Eel is accused of theft, he is forced to leave his steady job. Amazingly, one of the worst disasters in London gives Eel the best opportunity of his life.
When Cholera strikes the Soho district the people are under the common assumption that the miasma was the cause - meaning that the filthy air they breathed was the cause of the sickness.
Eel watches the people around him fall ill and die. He finds himself working as the assistant to Dr. John Snow, a doctor who doesn't believe in the Miasma theory. Instead he believes the cholera is being spread by drinking contaminated water from the Broadstreet Pump.
The town council doesn't believe Dr. Snow's theory and want proof before they will agree to take the handle off of the pump. They give Dr. Snow only a few days to gather the information he needs to prove the water is causing the deaths. Eel is a great help. He knows the people in the community and is trusted more than Dr. Snow.
Deborah Hopkinson has taken actual events from this terrible time in history and created a very interesting teen and tween novel. I feel like I learned so much while listening to this book. (less)
GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE is an absolutely brilliant book. Andrew Smith is a genius the way he weaves the stories of Austin's ancestors, his conflicting feel...moreGRASSHOPPER JUNGLE is an absolutely brilliant book. Andrew Smith is a genius the way he weaves the stories of Austin's ancestors, his conflicting feelings about Shann and Robby, and the total destruction of the human race into one amazing book.
I started listening to the audio of GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE and wasn't finished by the time I pulled into my driveway so I had to finish by reading the ebook that night. That is the kind of story this is - one you can't put down until you reach the end. Even after I was finished with the book I couldn't stop thinking about it. GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE has definitely left me with a book hangover. So much so, I'm having trouble finding any satisfaction in what I'm reading now.
Here are some of the things I loved about GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE:
1) Austin and Robby's friendship is wonderful. Robby is patient even though Austin is confused about his feelings. Even though Austin can't decide what he wants, Robby remains committed to the friendship.
2) Equally enjoying is the relationship between Austin and Shann.
3) This is such a small thing, but I really like how Shann's stepfather, Johnny McKeon, is a nice guy. It is nice for a change to have a girlfriend's "father" approve of the boyfriend. It's not only that, but other things like how he never cusses is a quirky characteristic.
4) The weaving, rambling way that Andrew Smith tells the story. There is a quote from Shann that describes this perfectly. Shann is talking to Austin when she says, "I love how you tell stories. I love how, whenever you tell me a story, you go backwards and forwards and tell me everything else that could possibly be happening in every direction, like an explosion. Like a flower blooming." A friend and I were talking about the writing style and decided that we liked this first person omniscient narration, but Andrew Smith takes it even further by NOT restricting the events relayed in the narrative to those that could reasonably be known. I mean, really, Austin knows EVERYTHING!!! I love it.
GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE comes out tomorrow, February 11th. Take it from me, download it or buy it and read it ASAP!(less)