Grasshopper Jungle- Andrew Smith

This is one of those books that I really wanted to like, I’d heard such good things and was going in with high expectations which is always the kiss of death with, well, anything really. However I just couldn’t get myself to like it very much, I do actually have reasons for my dislike and on the other hand I do have praise for it but in the grand scheme of things I just wasn’t a fan so please don’t judge me or hold me to anything, this is just my opinion…

For people who don’t know this book follows the story of two sixteen year olds that accidentally unleash an unstoppable army of giant grasshoppers. This is what really made me want to read this book, just to find out how this crazy plot line can come into being and how they were going to solve or maintain this rather large and serious problem, I have to admit I couldn’t have predicted it… it’s rather strange and if I say so myself, rather inventive…

Let’s start on the positives, I really liked the characters. I thought it was a really refreshing idea to have a protagonist who is sexually confused because I personally haven’t seen that in YA fiction and it was really eye opening to see their trials and tribulations though their teenage life. However some of the things that were said and divulged to the audience was, for my liking, too detailed, I think I said “I did not need to know that” about 50 times during this book, I know it’s all part of the story and I know that’s what makes up the character, but it did make me feel awkward at times (by the way if this is how boys think I’m intrigued yet totally disgusted at the same time)

On a lighter note I thought the ending couldn’t have been better (for the circumstances they were in), I don’t want to give too much away because of spoilers but the ending really summed up the story nicely. It did also pick up towards the end as well. It became more fast pace and more exciting as new intelligence is uncovered in the story, although up until then it was quite slow and the story just kind of plodded along, and this, if i’m honest was the first 3/4 of the book so it did take me a while to get through. However I was pleasantly surprised with the ending.

Another little nit pick I have against this book was that it was quite confusing. It would jump to what other people are doing with no breaks or gaps so I did find it quite hard to figure out what was really going on… this may just be me being stupid though. In contrast an aspect I respected was that everything was from one characters point of view and you were literally inside his head almost listening to his thoughts which I thought was a rather clever idea…

Overall I wasn’t really a big fan, which i’m annoyed about because I really wanted to be as it was a good story and a good idea, but I just couldn’t warm to it. Feel free to read this and completely disagree with everything I’ve just said as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if you do want to read this book make sure it’s OK with your parents if you’re under 16, there is explicit content.  I’m going to award this book two and a half out of five stars, it pains me to give such a low rating for a book that so many people love, so if you’re one of those people I’m sorry but I have to be honest.


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