Review || Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Title: Grasshopper Jungle
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Published: February 11th 2014
Format: eBook
Genre: YA
Find on: Goodreads

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.

I’m so glad I finally decided to pick up Grasshopper Jungle. It’s a book that I’ve wanted to read for a long time, and since someone, the lovely Cynthia amongst others, informed me that there was a bisexual main character, I couldn’t put it off anymore. It did take me a while to read the book. Not because I didn’t like it, or I thought it was boring. No, I just couldn’t really get used to the way the book was written. I felt like nothing was happening at all, but at the same time, it felt like so many things were happening.
“We killed this big hairy thing and that big hairy thing. And that was our day. You know what I mean.” 
Our main character isn't exactly likable. Austin is a teenage boy with so many confusing thoughts in his head. Even though we see the story from his POV, he comes off as an ass. He is pretty selfish, which Robby actually points out. He is constantly horny, and constantly confused about basically everything. He sees himself as a historian, and while he tells the story of what is currently happening, he is also telling the story of his family's history - which I found to be pretty interesting.

I didn’t particularly like the way the female characters in this book were portrayed and treated. It felt downright degrading at times, and it made me a little uncomfortable here and there. I did like Shann a lot, and I hated the way Austin was treating her. In my opinion she deserves better. The book is from the point of view of an incredibly horny teenage boy, and that really shows in the way he sees women - most of the time at least.

The character I fell mostly in love with was Austin best friend Robby Brees. He was an absolute delight, and I would have loved to see something from his perspective - just a little something. Robby goes through a lot in this book, and my heart ached for him, as well as Shann, half of the time. He takes everything as it comes, and he seems pretty down to earth, especially considering everything that is going on in the town.

And while we have a main character that definitely is experiencing come confusion about his sexuality, it doesn’t really get dealt with all too much. What he is feeling is something I’ve definitely experienced myself before I figured out I was bisexual, so I can definitely relate a bit there. However, I would have loved if the topic of bisexuality was dealt with a little more, instead of just being mentioned off hand as more of a joke than anything. 
“Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to decide not to decide, to remain confused and wide-eyed about the next thing that will pop up in the road you build.” 
I really liked the ending, and without spoiling anything I think I can say, that it was a good way to end the book. I would maybe have liked a little more of the ending, but I definitely liked it. It was such a weird book, and it’s definitely not for everyone. But if you like weird, and slightly disturbing books, then definitely pick this one up.

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