Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Genres: GLBT, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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I read somewhere that human beings are genetically predisposed to record history. We believe it will prevent us from doing stupid things in the future.
This is my history.
There are things in here: babies with two heads, insects as big as electric guitars, god, the devil, limbless warriors, rocket ships, sex, diving bells, theft, wars, monsters, internal combustion engines, love, cigarettes, joy, bomb shelters, pizza, and cruelty.
Just like it’s always been.
Funny, intense, complex and brave, Grasshopper Jungle is a groundbreaking coming-of-age novel about two friends who accidentally bring about the end of humanity.
So. How to put this? Grasshopper Jungle was weird. Weird, for me falls into three categories. There’s good weird, where you just love the quirkiness and originality, WTF weird, which literally makes you think: “What the fuck was that?” and Mel weird–where you act like me. Total psycho and creepy all at once. Grasshopper Jungle falls into all these categories. So yes, I guess the only word fitting for this book is weird. You’d think this book and I would be a real good match then, right? ‘Cause anyone or anything that’s weird is a friend of mine. Sadly, this was not exactly the case.
Good books are always about everything.
You can say that again. Grasshopper Jungle was a good book, and it was about a whole truck of things. However not my type of read. Despite it’s awfully simplistic cover (c’mon it’s just two lines, really) Andrew Smith’s latest was crammed full of words and happenings. Our protagonist, Austin, is a teenage boy from Ealing. He has a gay best friend, Robby, and a girlfriend, Shann. Austin is obsessed with history and gets horny. A lot. Like…seriously? I felt that the word “horny” got overused instead of funny after a few pages. So first off, I would only be recommending this to a more mature audience. (I do believe the category for this is Mature YA or something as such.) There are definitely no hesitations with the coarse language–which is not necessarily a good or bad thing. Apart from Austin’s horniness and infatuation with history, he’s an okay protagonist. I mean, he’s bearable. He tends to sit and ponder about life, such as his sexuality and image really out of the blue situations. He’s also confused. And I’m not exaggerating when I say this dude is verbose. He’s practically always spinning off on a tangent.
And I realized that for a good three and a half minutes, I stood there at the doorway to a big empty house that smelled like old people’s skin, thinking about three-ways involving my friends.
So I wondered if that meant I was gay.
I hadn’t been listening to anything Shann and Robby were talking about, and while I was pondering my sexuality, they were probably thinking about how I was an idiot.
Another quibble I had with this book was the pace. I love my coming of age stories slow and gradual. Unfortunately, Grasshopper Jungle was too slow. As in: oh god move on already. This does weave in with Austin’s random and irrelevant rambling. I mean, I don’t need to have two chapters of you talking about your three grandfathers back grandfather and his name being changed. Sure, it’s interesting but we need to move on now. Too much information is just as bad as too little.
I’m not absolutely sure where I stand when it comes to the writing and format of this book. It was different and certainly had it’s quirks. There’s not an exact word I could use to describe the writing, however I think I enjoyed if after a while. The format is also distinctively contrary. The chapters are shorter than what I had expected and the titles are to the point and summarise each chapter perfectly.
Bizarre, unique and still quite thought provoking, Grasshopper Jungle will capture many people’s attention–though please don’t get your hopes to high as this book is not for everyone like myself, I really wished I loved this more).
~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~
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