Grasshopper Jungle - YA Review by Courtney D

Reader: Courtney D.
Age: 17
Title: Grasshopper Jungle
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pub Date: 2/11/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is weird, but a good kind of weird. It starts out as a coming of age story. You get to learn a lot about the characters. The main character, Austin, is telling the story as if it’s a history book for future civilizations. This makes the book very interesting because he is funny and tries to include everything, including all of his embarrassing or inappropriate thoughts. Part way through the book, science goes wrong and the book changes from a coming of age story into a science fiction story. I found myself screaming “what the heck??” many times in my head because of the weird details, but I was interested the entire time. I would recommend this to teenagers 16 or older who like science fiction.
Memorable or Forgettable: There are many aspects that make this book memorable. It managed to mix two genres of writing brilliantly. It was so much different from any of the books I have read before. The narrator was funny and did not leave anything out, no matter how weird the details were. The book also has a great ending that I will always remember because of how unique it is.
Cover: Someone recommended the book to me. I then saw the cover which made me really want to read it. It is simple and unique but still manages to tell a lot about the book.
Age Range: 16 through 18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: Austin is a 16 year old who is dealing with normal high school problems: he's confused about his religion, friends, and sexuality. Oh, and giant praying mantises have taken over Iowa so it's almost the end of the world.

tags:  realistic science fiction / coming of age / GLBT / ya lit

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