Another Teen Book Club review for everyone.
If you want a bat shit crazy apocalypse novel, Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle is for you. Did I mention the apocalypse is brought on by six-foot praying mantises? Don't worry that won't spoil this book for you, because there is so much more to it than that.
Smith never intended for this book to get published, but I'm glad that it did. This book got more weird as I read it, but it's one of those books that I just couldn't put down.
The thing that I liked about it was that it wasn't just a apocalypse story. There was much more to it. It was also about the main character, Austin's struggle with his sexually and identity. It was very interesting to have that theme be in a novel like this. In the end, I don't think it is ever clear if he gets this resolved. I don't think that Austin knows for sure if he is gay or bisexual, I think he's just very confused, and I think the message in the end is that it's okay to be confused.
The plot got very weird and science fiction-y quicky, and as a scifi fan that really made me want to continue to read the story. I wanted to know what happened in the end. I'm still not sure if I like the ending of this book. It's a bit open ended, and I wanted more of a resolution.
Smith uses a lot of repetition in this novel, which made sense for the overall plot and message behind his novel, but towards the end it was starting to annoy me. He already put the nail in, so he didn't need to keep hammering away. This is a really finicky thing on my part, so it's not that big of a deal. It's doesn't hurt the overall appeal of the novel, but was just something that bothered me towards the end.
All in all, on a scale from 1-10, I think I will give it a 7.5.
Happy Reads Everyone!