Grasshopper Jungle Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review

You guys! I got invited to join the GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE BLOG TOUR! This is so exciting! They are even letting me hold a GIVEAWAY for a finished copy of the book, and a tshirt, so make sure you scroll DOWN and check out the entire post!

YOU: “So what is Grasshopper Jungle?”
ME: “You guys! It is freaking AWESOME, that’s what Grasshopper Jungle is!”
YOU: *give me the doubting stank eye O.o
ME: “No really. I’m not kidding.  This is what the editor had to say about it.”


A Note From the Editor:

Grasshopper Jungle defies description, but it’s still hard to resist trying every adjective: funny, intense, complex, risky, literary . . . utterly ballsy. It is a classic coming-of-age journey that bears witness to the end of the world. Plus a generations-old Polish immigrant story. Oh, and bugs. Really, really big bugs.

More than anything, it is a book you must read for yourself; a spectacular and rare find. Welcome, buckle up, and enjoy.—Julie Strauss-Gabel, Publisher, Dutton Children’s Books



Synopsis: DSC04914
“ An edgy and original coming of-age story interwoven with several generations of family history and set against the bawdy, violent end of the world

Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba has always filled notebooks with the “histories” of his family and the narrative of his daily life, but his story takes an epic, dangerous turn when he and his best friend, Robby, accidently bring about the end of humanity by unleashing an unstoppable army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises on their small Iowa hometown. While struggling with their own confusing love triangle, the boys piece together the origin of the unstoppable soldiers from stories that have been locked away in an absurd underground bunker for decades.
Delightfully bizarre, raucous, and hilarious, Grasshopper Jungle is a complex and fascinating balancing act that is both a genre roller coaster ride and an intimate coming-of-age study.

What People Are Saying:
Grasshopper Jungle is a cool/passionate, gay/straight, male/female, absurd/real, funny/moving, past/present, breezy/profound masterpiece of a book. Every time you think you’ve figured it out, you haven’t. Every time you’re sure Andrew Smith must do this, he does that instead. Grasshopper Jungle almost defies description because description can only rob the reader of the pleasure of surrendering to a master storyteller. Original, weird, sexy, thought-provoking and guaranteed to stir controversy. One hell of a book.”—Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series

“Andrew Smith is the bravest storyteller I know. Grasshopper Jungle is the most intelligent and gripping book I’ve read in over a decade. I didn’t move for two days until I had it finished. Trust me. Pick it up right now. It’s a masterpiece.”—A. S. King, Printz Honor–winning author of Ask the Passengers and Please Ignore Vera Dietz

“In Grasshopper Jungle, it’s as if Andrew Smith is somehow possessed by the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut. This book is nothing short of a brilliant, hilarious thrill ride that is instantly infectious. But the most beautiful thing about Grasshopper Jungle has nothing to do with the absurd or out-of-this-world. It is the deft hand by which Smith explores teenage love and sexuality that is truly breathtaking. In writing a history of the end of the world, Smith may have just made history himself.”—John Corey Whaley, Printz Award–winning author of Where Things Come Back

“A meanderingly funny, weirdly compelling and thoroughly brilliant chronicle of ‘the end of the world, and shit like that’…a mighty good book.” – Kirkus, starred review

“Filled with gonzo black humor, Smith’s outrageous tale makes serious points about scientific research done in the name of patriotism and profit, the intersections between the personal and the global, the weight of history on the present, and the often out-of-control sexuality of 16-year-old boys.” – PW, starred review

“Original, honest, and extraordinary… pushes the boundaries of young adult literature.” – School Library Journal, starred review

About the Author:


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.

Andrew prefers the seclusion of his rural Southern California setting, where he lives with his wife, 16-year-old son, 13-year-old daughter, two horses, three dogs, three cats, and one irritable lizard named Leo.

His books include: Ghost Medicine, In the Path of Falling Objects, The Marbury Lens, Stick, and Passenger, Winger, and Grasshopper Jungle.


Buy on AmazonAvailable in:

Grasshopper Jungle

By: Andrew Smith

Published by: Dutton Juvenile
Released On: 2014-02-11

ISBN: 0525426035
Pages: 432
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
Author’s Website:

Author’s Social:   Twitter  |  Facebook

Format of Review Copy: Paperback
Source: ARC

Recommendable for people who enjoy:  Adventure, Apocolyptic,SciFi/Fantasy,YA

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things.

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.

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.




My Thoughts:

This story is about a boy, his bestie, and his girlfriend. Well, it is about more than that, but that is the meat of it.  The story follows our main character Austin, and he is the “voice” of the book, which makes for an interesting commentary. We are following a boy who is kind of obsessed with history, or should I say logging “his history”.

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. But even though we dutifully archived elaborate records of everything we’ve ever done, we also managed to keep on doing dumber and dumber shit.

This is my history.

There are things in here: babies with two heads, insects as big as refrigerators, 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.


Our perspective is that of a 16 year old boy. With a hot girlfriend. Do I need to say anything else here? And then there is the plague of Mantises….

Character wise, I enjoyed them all. I thought they were all well fleshed out, and believable, but more importantly – likeable.

Story wise, this thing is crazy. Its all over the place, filled with: teenage hormones (complete with questioning ones orientation), quick quips, and giant mantises monsters.  There is compassion, comedy, and action.  Oh yeah, and monsters. Big huge monster praying mantises.  I think at its core it is a bit of a social commentary about the concept of ONE and how we are all connected and part of something bigger, subtly slipped into quick paced funny sci fi book.  So well entwined, that you don’t realize it is there and you are getting it…even though you are GETTING IT.

I was trying to figure out how to tell you about the book, without TELLING YOU THE BOOK.  I think the easiest way would be for me to just say, this book is a bit LOST, a bit Scooby Doo, and a bit FREAKS AND GEEKS.  Something for everyone.

In Conclusion:

You guys! Read it. It is different than anything I have ever read. It will draw you in, make you think, and make you LOL. Good stuff.

Mom Notes:

This book is about teenage boys. It contains sexual references, identity “development”,  and language.  Recommended ages 14+

For Students & Teachers:


ATOS Book Level:
Interest Level:
AR Points:
Word Count:
Genre:    Fiction

Want to win a copy of this book?!
*Giveaway is US ONLY. Sorry guys, publishers rules.

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Huge thanks to:

Dutton Books for sending me a review copy, and to Lady Reader’s Bookshelf for inviting me to be a part of the tour!



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