I was ecstatic to get my hands on the newest book by Andrew Smith, Grasshopper Jungle, and was super exciting when I got an advanced reader copy of it to review. I'm familiar with his somewhat vulgar writing style, as I recently read Winger and was blown away by it (review here). Both books were told from a teenage boy's perspective and both did an excellent job of reminding me how gross a teenage boy's mind can be. :)
There were moments while reading that I was outwardly disgusted by the words I had read, and the imagery the words created in my mind. I'm getting grossed out just typing this remembering some passages. So with that being said, I could see this as a book that just isn't appealing to everyone. But the actual story was great, and unpredictable, and had a really interesting interconnectedness of Austin's life and history intersecting others histories.
Overall, I'm really happy that I didn't put the book down for good when I was grossed out. Prepare yourself for some squeamish reading moments, and then get to reading this book!
My rating: 4
Summary from goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the storyof how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.
To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.