Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Review: 'Grasshopper Jungle' By Andrew Smith

So when I started 'Grasshopper Jungle' I knew it was going to be weird. You can't read a book with a blurb like the one 'Grasshopper Jungle' has and think you're about to enter 300 pages worth of normalcy. However, I will admit, I was completely shocked by just how weird this book ended up being. 

'Grasshopper Jungle' tells the story of Austin and his best friend Robby who, accidentally, cause an apocalypse. A strange series of events lead to a strange experimental virus being released into the small town of Ealing. This virus is like no other. It causes ordinary people to become 6 foot tall Praying Mantises who only want to do two things - eat and procreate. However, in many ways, 'Grasshopper Jungle' is also a coming-of-age story and a story of self discovery. We experience the apocalypse through the eyes of Austin, a sexually confused boy with polish ancestors, as he tries to determine whether or not he's in love with his girlfriend or his best friend and much much more. 

The characters in 'Grasshopper Jungle' were really interesting. I love how Andrew Smith became so invested in the little town he created and made each character - no matter how significant - so individual and unique. Austin was a good protagonist, however at times he was really whingey and annoying. It was Robby, Austin's gay best friend, who really stole the show; he was a really intriguing and engaging character and most of my favourite quotes from the book come from him. I felt incredibly sorry for Austin's girlfriend, Shann, as much as Austin said he loved her, in my opinion, I think it's pretty obvious that he's in love with Robby and not her. 

The writing style was really interesting. You could tell how invested Andrew Smith was in this story. It's such a fun and unique story and you can certainly tell that the author had fun writing it too. I liked how it was split into parts and how Austin was so obsessed with recording history that we recognised how people from Austin's past - way way in the past - had in some way impacted/lead to the apocalypse. 

I found myself a little bit disappointed by the lack of action. I went into this thinking it was pretty much going to be 'The Walking Dead' with insects instead of zombies, so I felt the action and gore was lacking a little bit but this was probably just due to my incorrect expectations. Like I said, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the author dealt with such relevant and important topics within this kind of fun, and almost silly sounding, book. 

The ending left me wanting to know so much more. Were certain characters ever reunited with their loved ones? Etc, Etc. I think this book had a great ending as it was so open, as much as it's annoying that I will never get any solid answers about some of my questions I think it's great that each reader can form their own opinions and decide what happens next for themselves. 

Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

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