Thursday, February 6, 2014

*Review & Giveaway* Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Grasshopper Jungle Tour!!  

Release Date:  February 11, 2014
Published by:  Dutton Juvenile
Length:  388 pages
Review Copy: eARC, provided for tour

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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 is stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. 

Ultimately, it is 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 have never picked up a book by Andrew Smith before this one and I was shocked.  This book was like nothing I have ever read before.  The writing and layout were so completely different and shocking that I did not know what to think to start.  However, once I got into the groove of his unique style of telling this story, I really enjoyed it.  I will admit that it did take me a bit to truly appreciate how unique and amazing the writing was, finishing it and reflecting gave me a huge appreciation for Smith, and his ability to weave such detail into what could have been a bland and straight cut tale.  All of the details and bits that I didn't appreciate to start 

  You live this story and walk alongside Austin in his awkward march toward the end of the world as we know it.  The story takes you through from the start to the finish by his horny side.  This is not a book for prudes.  I imagine that, though not all teen boys are as fixated on sex and sexual confusion, but there are those out there that may deal with this and I imagine Smith is fairly right on.  The teenage years are awkward to start with, never mind not having someone that you believe you can actually talk to.  Austin was not a rude or inconsiderate character, he quite simply was what he was supposed to be to perfection.  He was a horny teen that loved his girlfriend and best friend deeply, questioned his attractions and had a thing for accurate and detailed history.  

  What I loved was that Austin was not the "cool" kid.  He was not the teen that had everything figured out, but the teen that wanted some guidance and had nowhere to go for it.  He felt bad for loving Robby the way he did, unsure if it was right or wrong.  This is the sad and honest truth of society and some families, there is a right and wrong way to "feel" and often people are raised to feel bad about being anything but "normal".  Andrew Smith crafted Austin and his wants, needs and confusion perfectly, giving me the ability to both feel for him and laugh at some of his more awkward moments.  This is a character that may not have been able to relate to on a person basis but he was someone that you could gather emotion for and hope for.

  Though Robby and Shann played their part in this story, I think honestly everyone played their part in history.  Austin and his graphic yet extremely detailed  account of everything that happened leading up to the end, was well... detailed.  The town he lived in carried a large variety of characters and they were each woven into the important historical recording of the end.

  I appreciate Andrew Smith's ability to use forward and true to themselves characters.  These are not people crafted into superheroes that will save the world, but everyday people that live through the end of the world.  Knowing how unique and mind altering this book is, I am now eager to start something else by him that resides on my shelves.  I am not sure what I could say this resembles and relate it to it because this is so mind blowing and different.  I do believe that to fully appreciate it, there should be a certain level of maturity and appreciation for authors that write bold and freely!  Pick this up if you want something different and fit the above description.

This is the truth. This is history. It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. You know what I mean.

February 3rd – The Midnight Garden
February 3rd – The Story Siren
February 4th – Good Choice Reading
February 4th Bookish
February 5th – I Read Banned Books
February 5th – Jenna Does Books
February 6th – Bibliophilia, Please
February 6th – Escaping One Book At A Time
February 7th – Scott Reads It
February 7th – Live to Read
February 10th Alice Marvels
February 10th The Society
February 11th Lexi Swoons
February 11th A Reader of Fictions
February 12th Roof Beam Reader
February 12th Forever Young Adult
February 13th The Compulsive Reader
February 13th Books and Bling
February 14th Book Chic Club
February 14th The QQQE
February 17th JeanBookNerd
February 17th Ticket to Anywhere
February 18th Sleep Eat Read Books
February 18th Read Now Sleep Later
February 19th Anna Reads
February 19th Word Spelunking
February 20th Books With Bite
February 20th What A Nerd Girl Says
February 21st Wastepaper Prose
February 21st LRB – Guest
February 24th We Are Word Nerds
February 24th Cabin Goddess
February 25th Ex Libris
February 25th Cari's Book Blog
February 25th A Good Addiction
February 26th YA Reads
February 26th The Young Folks
February 27th Novel Thoughts
February 27th Fangirlish
February 28th Once Upon a Twilight
February 28th Naughty Book Kitties

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist).

He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle, coming February 11, 2014, is his seventh novel. He lives in Southern California.
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  1. Thank you so much for posting and for the fantastic review. I am so glad that Smith has won you over. I can't wait for you to read more of his novels so we can discuss. Thanks again, doll. You rock. xx


  2. I have heard nothing but praise of this author . I can't wait to read winger , grasshopper jungle and other books by him .tnx for the review


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