Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Austin Szerba has witnessed the end of humanity and feels it is his duty to record this history for future generations. In a round-about narration describing events in the present, recent past and the pasts of his Polish ancestors, Austin tells the tale of the rise of unstoppable human sized praying mantises in his small Iowa town. If the end of the world is not bad enough Austin and his best friend, Robby, are being overrun with hormones and are having enough trouble keeping their feeling straight and their bodies understood. Austin seems to be in a constant state of horniness and his biggest problem is that it is directed at Robby AND Shann, his girlfriend. Is it normal to be attracted to a boy and a girl?
Grasshopper Jungle is a story about the actions that lead up to an apocalypse. Can the world end when a sphere is dropped? Is it possible to push the scientific envelope so far and then not prevent what you know will happen? Smith’s writing will definitely have the reader laughing at the thoughts coming from Austin’s mind, but this book is not for the faint of heart. Although there are not a lot of gory details, Austin spends a lot of time discussing his erection, the need to masturbate and the urge to repopulate the world through sex. That may make some readers pick this book up just to read those passages, but it may also be a turn off for some. Let this be your warning. I highly recommend this sci-fi pre-apocalyptic novel to those curious enough to make it to the end.
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