Wednesday, March 26, 2014


On a long flight over spring break I read 
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

It's an amazing book on so many levels. On the one level, it starts off like most teen novels: there's adolescent angst and coming of age drama, bullying, and sexual confusion. But then, on another level, there's this whole end of the world, science fiction, metaphor that will knock you over part.

And, I loved it!

The story is creepy and violent and hilarious and sexual and rude and dramatic and heartbreaking and so completely clever.

It's the story of sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba and 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 Ealing, Iowa.

Here's the beginning from Part One: Ealing
I read somewhere that human beings are genetically predisposed to record history.
We believe it will prevent us from doing stupid things in the future.
But even though we dutifully archived elaborate records of everything we've ever done, we also manage to keep on doing dumber and dumber shit.
This is my history.
There are things in here: babies with two heads, insects as big as refrigerators, God, the devil, limbless warriors, rocket ships, sex, diving bells, theft, wars, monsters, internal combustion engines, love, cigarettes, joy, bomb shelters, pizza, and cruelty.
Just like it's always been.  

Grasshopper Jungle is one of those books that is amazingly clever in how it tells a story.

History is my compulsion.
I see the connections.
And that was our day. You know what I mean. 

You should probably be about fifteen or sixteen to read this book due to the swearing and the sex and the violence… but, you could probably be fourteen… because good books are always about everything.

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