Grasshopper Jungle – Andrew Smith

Title: Grasshopper Jungle
Author: Andrew Smith
Rating: 3/5
Published: February 2014
Source: Physical owned copy!



Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of 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

This book is a very hard one for me to review. So I’m just going to do a simple pros and cons (the lazy way I KNOW DON’T JUDGE ME *slaps self* bad blogger)

I should note that this book is NOT for the faint hearted. It’s very ‘adult’ for the YA genre that I think could only be suitable for people aged 15+.

– I really liked that Andrew Smith took everything considered taboo in YA literature and put them in this book. There’s swearing, there’s plenty of sexual nature and there’s vulgar language. I feel that this made the book authentic and real though, what kids going through puberty aren’t thinking about sex?

– I really liked the premise, too. It’s a very unique premise that I haven’t heard seen anywhere.


– I feel like NOTHING happened for the first 260 pages? My copy is a 388 page book. When I came to the last 100 pages I was hooked. Austin is our narrator and he tells the story like it’s his autobiography and some moments he describes I felt were so irrelevant to the plot. I did end up putting this book down a couple of times.

– I became invested in the other characters such as Robby and Shann and I felt, in particular Shann, had very little development whatsoever which pissed me off.

Nonetheless, I really want to read Winger by Andrew Smith.

Grasshopper Jungle isn’t one of those books I’d jump at you to recommend but if it sounds like your kind of thing or if you’ve enjoyed Andrew Smith’s previous work then give it a go!

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