Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Ealing Iowa seems like an odd place for history to be made and recorded, however it really isn't when you think about it. Of course the end didn't really start in Ealing, but rather Czarist Russia when a bull was hit by a train. But things really get started when Grant Wallace and his friends beat up Austin and Robby and throw their skateboards and shoes up on the roof at the Ealing Mall.

Austin Szerba is a Polish teen living in a Midwest town, who just happens to bear witness to the end of the world. Like all good historians, he tells the truth as he sees it and as he learns is, which in this case is a very non-linear fashion. He has his best friend Robbie to help him out, and his girlfriend Shan as well. Of course they could have never seen the strange future in store for them when strange inventions, genetic modifications and secret hideouts happen upon them.

It's hard to say both what happens, and what happens next, as things are never quite revealed in real time, rather they are revealed as Austin is able to put them in their place in history. Austin is one of those typical teenage boy characters who thinks more than he acts, and has a lot to deal with, especially after the end of the world starts.

Who should read Grasshopper Jungle? If you like science fiction, there is something for you, as the giant praying mantises that start to overtake humanity are straight out of a 1950's B movie. If you like romance, there is romance as Austin tries to work out his feelings for his girlfriend Shan, and if you are looking for something a little deeper, Austin tries to work out his feelings for his best friend Robbie. There's also a bit of history as Austin traces his family line pretty far back.

If you read Libba Bray's Going Bovine and loved the strange world she created, or the circular storytelling of Melina Marchetta's Jellicoe Road, then Grasshopper Jungle is the book for you, you know what I mean.

I'll see you @ the library!
Katie (Now reading Rebecca Serle's The Edge of Falling)

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