Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is a type of coming-of-age story we guarantee you have never read before. A teenager’s identity confusion is bad enough before you add the end of the world to the mix.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is a veritable kitchen sink of ideas and unanswerable questions. Austin Szerba is our guide to the end of the world. With his stream of consciousness style of narration, Austin leaves nothing off the table.
This is history, after all.
Being a teenager is rough, especially if you’re not entirely sure who you are quite yet. Struggling with being a teenage boy that finds just about everything arouses him, it’s made doubly difficult by the fact that he’s not entirely sure he’s straight.
But that’s not all. Throw in some testicle-dissolving corn (yes, you read that right) and six foot tall praying mantises (yes, you also read that right), and you’ve got the end of the world on your hands.
It’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of Grasshopper Jungle. On the one hand, it’s a dysoptian, post-apocalyptic story about a pair of boys who are recording the destruction of humanity at the same time they’re trying to save it.
But on the other hand, it’s so, so much more than that. Austin is confused about what he is and who he likes, and there are no easy answers for him. Grasshopper Jungle sets up shop in his brain and allows the reader to be privy to every single thought in his head — whether you’re prepared for the onslaught or not.
While not everyone will be a fan of this type of narration, we implore you to give the book a shot. Like it or not, you’ll have to admit this is a shocking, daring, one-of-a-kind book that will have you laughing, crying, and scratching your head on the very same page. Don’t let the oddity that is the back cover blurb steer you away from this interesting and controversial novel.
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