Friday, February 20, 2015
Strain 412E in Ealing, Iowa
"Events that night were going to set in motion a disaster that would probably wipe out human life on the planet. That night, I was going to say something to Shann I had never said to anyone. I was going to do something I'd never done, and see things I could not understand and never believed existed."
Title: Grasshopper Jungle
Author: Andrew Smith
Publication Date: February 11th 2014
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon
Three things: first, this was book one of the #ProjectTBR Read-a-thon and second, just FYI, this review is very scattered and jumbled. I thought about making it more concise but decided against it to keep in like with the randomness that was this book. And third, like I have heard from many people, this book is not for everyone. I think it is the right book for some people, but wrong for other people.
It is no secret that Winger is one of my absolute favorite books. So I really want to get my hands on and read all of Andrew Smith’s books. Grasshopper Jungle was just one of those books. This book grabbed my attention just based on the synopsis and the gorgeous cover!
As for the actual book, we follow kid historian, Austin, his best friend Robby, and his girlfriend, Shann in their little town of Ealing. But things in Ealing are not as boring as you would think when Austin and Robby basically start the apocalypse by release an unstoppable virus. This virus basically turns people into praying mantises who only want to mate and eat. The book follows Austin, Robby, Shann, and the rest of Ealing’s residents as they deal with these unstoppable creatures.
Andrew Smith did not disappoint with his witty writing and amusing characters. The chapter titles for this book were also fantastic. When you first read them, you would be confused but at the end of the chapter it would make sense. After I would finish a chapter, I would always look back at the title and see the connection. There were times when Austin bothered me. He was characterized as constantly horny and at times his constant acknowledgement of it went over board. However, I did love the theme of Austin’s confused sexuality. It was a large aspect of the book since Austin is in love with both Shann and thinks he may be the same with Robby.
Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the absolute ridiculousness of it. There were times when I had no idea what I was reading, but I still loved it. The timeline of this book was also fantastic. Since Austin was a historian, the book would explain what everyone was doing at a specific time in detail. I loved the all encompassing nature of the narrative. We always knew what every character was doing a certain times. I have to believe this is solely due to Andrew Smith’s ability as a writer. I have no idea what inspired this tale of Austin and Ealing, Iowa but it was highly enjoyable. I also loved the commentary about how the unstoppable creatures were a result of greedy scientists wanting to create the impossible.
As for ending of the book, I’m still undecided. It was one of those open ends but at the same time it wasn’t. I wanted more about the creatures and the aftermath. But at the same time, I liked how you never truly know.
♛ ♛ ♛ ♛
Let me know in the comments if you have read the book and what your thoughts are.