Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
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In this truly shocking, grotesquely original coming-of-age, end-of-the-world novel, sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the legacy of his family’s history in Poland and immigration to the United States while narrating the story of how he and his best friend brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, human-sized (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, 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.
Grasshopper Jungle is a cool/passionate, gay/straight, male/female, absurd/real, funny/moving, past/present, breezy/profound masterpiece of a book. Every time you think you’ve figured it out, you haven’t. Every time you’re sure Andrew Smith must do this, he does that instead. Grasshopper Jungle almost defies description because description can only rob the reader of the pleasure of surrendering to a master storyteller. Original, weird, sexy, thought-provoking and guaranteed to stir controversy. One hell of a book.” Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series
Andrew Smith is the bravest storyteller I know. Grasshopper Jungle is the most intelligent and gripping book I’ve read in over a decade. I didn’t move for two days until I had it finished. Trust me. Pick it up right now.It’s a masterpiece.” A. S. King, Printz Honor-winning author of Ask the Passengers and Please Ignore Vera Dietz
In Grasshopper Jungle, it’s as if Andrew Smith is somehow possessed by the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut. This book is nothing short of a brilliant, hilarious thrill-ride that is instantly infectious. But, the most beautiful thing about Grasshopper Jungle has nothing to do with the absurd or out-of-this-world. It is the deft hand by which Smith explores teenage love and sexuality that is truly breathtaking. In writing a history of the end of the world, Smith may have just made history himself.” John Corey Whaley, Printz Award-winning author of Where Things Come