In the midst of my confusion and wonderment that I was feeling after turning the final page of Grasshopper Jungle, I was asked to participate in the Grasshopper Jungle Blog Tour. I doubt my catatonia was detectable via email, but it was there. Grasshopper Jungle is weird. Like, seriously, utterly weird. Weird. The thing is I LOVE weird. Normal is blah. Weird is cool. It’s real. And Grasshopper Jungle is the best kind of WEIRD possible because it totally catapults you into its strange yet familiar world of horny teenagers and killer grasshoppers with incredible prose and charm.
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 is stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann.
Ultimately, it is 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.
After this book, I’m pretty sure I now have a BFF that goes by Austin Szerba because I know all too much about this fictional dude, much more than I ever wanted to. Austin is a historian, and he feels the need to relay every single detail of what’s going on and what went on decades ago when his ancestors were living. At first, it’s all a jumble because all this information and subplots of sorts make no sense, and I had no idea how they would relate, or if they would eventually relate. It seemed like it was an “anything goes” situation for awhile. I will spoil you and say that it does all come together in a way that is brilliant and mind blowing and of course, weird.
Grasshopper Jungle is unforgettable, not only because of its weirdness, but because of what it says of humanity and the world. It’s thought provoking to the highest degree and unabashed in its frankness. It’s a superb portrait of one teen struggling with his sexuality, his past, his relationships with others and well, the end of the world. If you’re looking for a book to completely stun and entertain you, look no further.
^^^ How can I give a book a perfect score and not share the love? Well, lucky for you the absolute darling folks at Penguin Teen are helping us give away a copy of the Grasshopper Jungle and an #UnstoppableCorn T-Shirt. (You’ll think the #UnstoppableCorn shirt will be so awesome to have if you read the book.)
How can you win this unstoppable prize pack? For a chance to win the book and t-shirt, enter your name and email in the Rafflecopter application at the bottom of this post. Rafflecopter is an application that randomly selects winners. Once you submit your information, it will ask you to complete some tasks. The tasks include tweeting about the sweepstakes, liking “The Young Folks” on Facebook, etc. Just remember that every time you complete a task, you increase your chances of winning! Come back every day to gain more entries. The contest ends on March 5th at 12:01am EST. Winners will be contacted via email. Good luck!
About the Author
Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist).
He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle, coming February 11, 2014, is his seventh novel. He lives in Southern California.