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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Grasshopper Jungle Blog Tour {Review and Giveaway}


I'm so thrilled to have the Grasshopper Jungle Blog Tour stopping by today with my Review and an awesome Giveaway...

Grasshopper Jungle
by Andrew Smith
2/11/14
Penguin

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


I received an ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review


My first thought after finishing Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle was This is an awesome book...a ‘holy-shit-what-the-actual-fuckity-fuck’ kind of awesome...which is obviously the best kind!”....which still pretty much sums up my thoughts on this crazy, sci-fi book! I had just devoured Smith’s Winger (which I’m still NOT over!) before jumping into this one and had no idea what to expect from Grasshopper Jungle, but after reading two different, yet completely brilliant Andrew Smith books, you can definitely call me a Smith Fangirl!

The end of the world is accidentally brought on by two teenage best friends, Austin and Robby, in small Ealing, Iowa. There are no zombies, or earthquakes, or world wars. The end of the world comes in the form of six-foot tall praying mantises. Very hungry, very horny, very unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises. Our young hero Austin must save the world, or at least the people he loves, all while battling his own confusing, intense hormones and feelings for his girlfriend Shann and BFF Robby. Sex, Unstoppable Corn, Man Devouring Praying Mantises, oh my!

There are so many words I can use to describe Grasshopper Jungle: wildly original, shocking, unforgettable, powerful, palpable, thought-provoking...it is all these things and more. Andrew Smith has expertly and impressively crafted a truly breathtaking sci-fi story, full of thrills and chills, quiet and honest coming-of-age moments, and refreshingly real and genuine characters and heart.

The premise of Grasshopper Jungle is outrageous and out-there in the best ways possible. Reminiscent of a classic 50’s monster movie, but with very relevant issues, this book feels both timeless and modern. Smith really is a brilliant, clever storyteller and writer, creating stunning absurdity, profound chaos, addicting characters, and a gripping plot. Small town Ealing, Iowa makes for the perfect, and really the only setting that makes sense for an end of the world full of an army of sexed up, ravenous praying mantises. Seemingly normal and boring, Ealing has its share of shocking secrets. I love the atmospheric isolation created by this small town setting and the unlikely heroes it produces. Smith’s giant, killer praying mantises are a monster-lover’s dream! Startling, frightening, intensely entertaining, I never imagined I’d enjoy such hibee-jibee inducing creatures as much I did these!

As awesome as the sci-fright monster filled elements are in Grasshopper Jungle, Andrew Smith proves that he is a master of exploring the teenage mind and human condition. Austin’s questioning sexuality and inconvenient, overwhelming hormones, may, at first, seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things happening to him, but really, they’re just as important as the end of the world. His confusing, very real feelings for both Shann and Robby are so palpably felt. Smith has beautifully explored love and sexuality in a way that is honest, genuine, and witty.

Another thing I’ve come to expect from Smith are unforgettable, complex characters, and the ones in Grasshopper Jungle are just that! I’ve never been a teenage boy (shocking, I know!), but I can’t imagine anyone capturing that experience quite as well or as poignantly as Smith. Austin and Robby are such relatable, insanely amusing and entertaining characters and I love their interaction and chemistry. I also like the relationship between Austin and Shann, but I must admit I was rooting for the boys ;)

Like an end of the world full of six-foot praying mantises, Grasshopper Jungle concludes in unexpected, yet breathtaking ways. I was sad to see the story end, but completely satisfied with how it ended.

My Final Thoughts: I can’t properly express how awesome Grasshopper Jungle is or just how much I adore it. Andrew Smith is a master at he what he does and this electric, exciting, undeniably unique book is proof of that. A definite MUST READ!

MY RATING

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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.
Win a copy of Grasshopper Jungle and an Unstoppable Corn T-shirt!
Thanks to the awesome folks at Penguin, I have one hardcover copy and one tshirt for one lucky winner.
DETAILS
-US only
-will end 2/28
-must be 13+, one free entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
- Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged prizes
Fill out Rafflecopter form:

Check out the other stops on the blog tour:

February 3rd – The Midnight Garden
February 3rd – The Story Siren
February 4th – Good Choice Reading
February 4th – Bookish
February 5th – I Read Banned Books
February 5th – Jenna Does Books
February 6th – Bibliophilia, Please
February 6th – Escaping One Book At A Time
February 7th – Scott Reads It
February 7th – Live to Read
February 10th – Alice Marvels
February 10th – The Society
February 11th – Lexi Swoons
February 11th – A Reader of Fictions
February 12th – Roof Beam Reader
February 12th – Forever Young Adult
February 13th – The Compulsive Reader
February 13th – Books and Bling
February 14th – Book Chic Club
February 14th – The QQQE
February 17th – JeanBookNerd
February 17th – Ticket to Anywhere
February 18th – Sleep Eat Read Books

February 18th – Read Now Sleep Later
February 19th – Anna Reads
February 19th – Word Spelunking
February 20th – Books With Bite
February 20th – What A Nerd Girl Says
February 21st – Wastepaper Prose
February 21st – LRB – Guest
February 24th – We Are Word Nerds
February 24th – Cabin Goddess
February 25th – Ex Libris
February 25th – Cari's Book Blog
February 25th – A Good Addiction
February 26th – YA Reads
February 26th – The Young Folks
February 27th – Novel Thoughts
February 27th – Fangirlish
February 28th – Once Upon a Twilight
February 28th – Naughty Book Kitties










12 comments:

Carl Scott said...

The more reviews I read the more intrigued I am by this unusual story. I think I have to satisfy my curiosity by reading it.

Michelle Willms said...

I really want a copy of this book.

Michael G-G said...

I've heard so much good about this novel. Would LOVE to win a copy--and also the t-shirt! Thanks for always running such awesome giveaways, Aeicha!

DMS said...

I am excited to read this book because it sounds completely different from any book I have ever read. The rave review makes me want to read it ever more, but I am just so curious about the story.

Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Wow! :)
~Jess

lady reader said...

Thanks so much for the awesome review. You rock. xx

Amy

DogsMom said...

I am excited to read this book not only because of you awesome reviewing skills but because it is far out of the realm of my usual reads.
And I like country settings.
And critters.

Courtney Whisenant said...

I have wanted to read this since I first saw it on the First to Read list from Penguin! I've heard so many wonderful things about it and it is a definite MUST read for 2014 :)

Dan L. said...

(This is Darith L)

I just love the premise. It sounds like it will be a hilarious, but thought-provoking novel about the end of the world. :D

Emily Pan said...

I have heard so many great things about this book! It sounds really unusual, and after Winger, I trust Andrew Smith to deliver on the premise. Can't wait to read this book!

Nicole Layug said...

Cant wait to read this book! It sounds so good and the physical book is gorgeous!

Irene said...

I've heard so many good things about this book!

ncie view said...
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