Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Everything makes sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba horny. His girlfriend Shann. Thinking about his best friend Robby’s hot mom. Considering getting drunk for the first time on the bottles of wine they found on the roof of the local liquor store. Even his buddy Robby. As Austin tells the readers his “history,” he weaves in tales about his Polish relatives, trying to show how the past connects to the present, sort of like an absurd historian who smokes too much weed. But for the most part, Austin is stone sober and life is incredibly dull in his small Iowa town. That is until the unstoppable killer praying mantises start trying to take over the world! Through a strange series of weirdly connected circumstances, the DNA for the “Unstoppable Soldiers,” as Austin calls the six-feet tall insect-like killing machines, gets out of its container and begins to create the bizarre strain of mercenaries. Because everything is interconnected for Austin, his girlfriend’s insane uncle created in his laboratory before he took off for South America. And in Austin’s words, all they “wanted only to f**k and eat,” creating some pretty strange scenes since there is only one female and they two things they like to do sort of get mixed up.
Although it may sound serious from this description, the story is really full and black humor, Austin’s foul mouth, and his constant obsession with sex. Even though the story is off-the-wall and outrageous, author Smith looks at some serious question: teen sexuality, gender questions, scientific ethics and bullying. I would recommend this title to fans of Andrew Smith’s other books, Kurt Vonnegut fans, and anyone looking for a humorous, yet racy, book.
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