Archive | comedy RSS feed for this section

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

23 Apr

18079719Title: Grasshopper Jungle
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Apocalyptic deliciousness
Page Count: 432

I read somewhere that human beings are genetically predisposed to record history.

This is a novel about a lot of things, but for the sake of simplifying it down to a pithy blurb, let’s just say that it’s about a sixteen-year-old boy named Austin who is going through some serious angst about his sexuality – namely, that he simultaneously loves and wants to have sex with his girlfriend, Shann, and his best friend, Robby – and it is also about the apocalypse via giant, voraciously hungry and horny praying mantises that the two boys accidentally unleash. Oops.

I would like to start by saying holy shit.

I finished this book last night, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around how insanely awesome it is. It’s basically a combination of some of the things I love most in the world: a complex coming-of-age story that incorporates questions of sexuality; a really, really, REALLY fucking weird B science fiction movie-esque apocalypse story; and a unique, pitch-perfect voice. A lot of reviews have drawn parallels to Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick, and you know what? Those comparisons are well deserved.

Continue reading

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

9 Nov

After finishing The Diviners (a.k.a. the best book ever) on the plane back to the wet coast, I was stuck with a dilemma: which of the three books in my back pack to read next? Because what I really wanted was to read the next book in the series, which obviously couldn’t happen since it isn’t written yet, I decided on the next best thing which was reading another book by Libba Bray. Don’t hurt yourself trying to find the logic, because it doesn’t exist. So, cheeks aglow from finishing a truly awesome book and maybe some tears from leaving my favorite city, I cracked open Beauty Queens.

This book begins with a plane crash.

(Ooooooh, a meta first sentence!)

When the survivors of the crash of Oceanic Flight…wait, no, that’s┬ánot right. When a plane full of beauty queens heading to the Miss Teen Dream pageant crashes on a desert island in the middle of who knows where, the survivors have to band together to, well, survive. Survive their total lack of food, survive monsoons, survive giant snakes that appear to be decomposing, and survive an appalling lack of cosmetic products. But when they notice flashing lights coming from the “volcano” and stockpiled weapons along with mountains of Lady ‘Stache Off, they begin to realize they may not be alone as they thought. Oh, and also, there sexy pirates that crash on the island. YES.

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when, every time I saw this book on a shelf at the library or a book store, I thought to myself, “By golly I want to read that!” However, whatever I was expecting, it certainly wasn’t this over-the-top, campy satire that is Beauty Queens. In order to enjoy this book, an absolute suspension of disbelief must be exercised. Logic has no place here, and as long as you accept and embrace that this book is a pretty damn enjoyable ride. (Example: one of the characters has half of a seat-back tray stuck in her forehead for the entire book. There are some people who got bent out of shape over this because it just wasn’t realistic. To which I say: hahahahhahahahhaha.)

Continue reading