In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things...
Funny, intense, complex and brave, Grasshopper Jungle is a groundbrea...more
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)
"I do not write for kids; I write for readers."
…moreI think Andrew Smith said it best himself, when he wrote this:
"I do not write for kids; I write for readers."
More lists with this book...
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 ...more
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 ...more
Grasshopper Jungle is about Austin and how he and his best friend, Robby, cause the end of the world by letting loose 6-foot grasshopper killing machines that only want to eat(people, each other, themselves?)and have sex(reproduce), into the world.
I love this book more than words can e ...more
I'd love to talk plot and twists, but don't want to be a spoiler. I went in basically blind, and I think that's the way to go. I'll only say that it is a coming-of-age story with giant m ...more
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 ...more
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
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
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
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
The narrator is just ... ...more
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 ...more
Ultimately, I just became SO tir ...more
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 ...more
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
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. ...more
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
How the hell do you review a book like GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE? I'm not sure I can. I'm not sure it's even really a book. It's a history. It's a lot of histories, actually. The thing about histories is that they're inevitably filtered through the particular lens of the person writing them. In this case it's Austin Szerba. He also likes to do two things, or think about doing them any ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Andrew Smith has not forgotten what it's like to be a sexually-frustrated teenager. Our MC, Austin, ju ...more