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.
First Sentence: “I read somewhere that humans are genetically predisposed to record history.”
Words to describe Grasshopper Jungle: Fucked up, immensely funny, extremely crude, and weirdly entertaining.
Grasshopper Jungle essentially follows three stories that are woven into each other: 1. Austin Szerba and his best friend going about their day in regular, boring Ealing, Iowa (where the former tries to deal with his mounting horniness for his best friend and his girlfriend, Shann), unbeknownst that they brought about the end of humanity; 2. the history of Austin’s Polish ancestors and how they got to Ealing; and 3. the adventures of an army of six-foot praying mantises that have invaded Ealing with the intention of killing, eating, and procreating.
I loved it in the “oh god, what am I reading? Oh god, that’s disgusting. Why can’t I look away? Why can’t I put this down?” It’s so unique both in content and the way it’s written. So so crude. I couldn’t stop devouring it. It was just so honest and an excellent change-up from the usually YA stories I’ve read, and I appreciated it.
Warning: This isn’t for the faint of hearts or people who don’t like crudeness. It’s disturbing, disgusting, and just plain awesome.