Grasshopper Jungle - YA Review by AJ G

Reader: AJ G.
Age: 18
Title: Grasshopper Jungle
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pub Date: 02/11/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is one of the coolest science fiction books I've ever read. It's from the point of view of a sixteen year old boy, and it's written so perfectly in that voice. A lot of authors would skip the parts where the character says things like "uh" or "you know what I mean," but not Andrew Smith. He took the time to actually make Austin sound like a real person. In addition, this was just a very human book. It was clearly a science fiction story, but it was easy to forget that while you were reading it. It felt like just a normal story, because Austin tells you what happened so well, and so naturally. If I had to criticize anything, I wouldn't. There were no plot holes, and the story flowed easily from the beginning to the end. It was a book about everything, abbreviated. (That's funny, if you read the book.)
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was memorable to me for two reasons. First, because of the characters, and second, because of the plot. The characters were all so genuine. They all felt like people I might have met. Austin sounded like an actual sixteen year old, instead of an adult trying to sound like a sixteen year old. The plot was also incredibly memorable. I've read a lot of post-apocalypic fiction, and a lot of science fiction, and this one of the most unique stories I've read in either of those categories. This book details how the end of the world came about, and what everyone was doing when it happened, rather than the cliche survivors trying to rebuild. It honestly was one of the most interesting ends of the world I've ever heard of as well.
Cover: The cover is certainly striking. The bright, almost fluorescent green definitely stands out on the shelf. I also love the insect details. They tie the cover nicely to the story. It's a little bit bare, but I don't think it needs that much, to be honest. The cover is unique, just like the plot.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: My name is Austin Andrzej Szreba. Me and my best friend Robby Brees are two of the only survivors of the end of the world, which started right here in Ealing, Iowa. We tried to stop it, but it was Unstoppable. And nobody knew anything about it. You know what I mean.

tags:  realistic science fiction / ya lit

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