Grasshopper Jungle - YA Review by Gwyneth P

Reader: Gwyneth P.
Age: 13
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: The writing style was very original and is something I'd love to read more of. I loved how the book was very well put together and flowed nicely with its intriguing use of history and more modern events and ideologies. The plot, I felt, wasn't necessarily about the end of the world; it seemed more in the background. I think that was because it was seen through the eyes of a sexually confused teenager who was quite ignorant to even the most dire needs of others. The dialogue was fun and witty, but did have some quite serious and emotional moments. I thought it was quite well thought out and articulated. I thought the character development could use some more work. I wish we could get to know all of the main characters in more detail, especially Robby and Shann. I understand that Austin was mainly focused on himself, as he had many issues at the time. I did love the way that everything was out in the open, there were no secrets. Everything was known and everything was shared at some point and that truthfulness in the writing was very surprising but very appreciated. I also loved the way that everything was consecutive almost like a time line, which I guess it was.
Memorable or Forgettable: Grasshopper Jungle was very memorable because of the eccentric and beautiful way that it portrayed the truth, in all sense of the word, to its readers.
Cover: Yes, the cover did tempt me to pick up the book because it was so simple. It was so simple that it stood out with its simplicity. The yellow pages made the gritty, almost dirty, and old effect that the writing style portrayed, but that kind of gross look also drew me in.
Age Range: 12 through 18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Additional Comments: This book was beautiful.
Annotation: In a miniscule town known as Ealing, Iowa, sexually confused Austin Scerba and his two best friends Shann and Robby (of whom he is sexually confused about) accidentally let loose a plague strain that turns humans into giant praying mantises that only want to do two things. Austin, Robby, Shann, Robby's mother, and a pancake house owner then must learn how to stop these beasts from ending the world by uncovering their concerning history, somehow resolving their personal problems, and making history themselves.

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

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