Tag Archives: queer

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.

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