❋ ❋ ❋ ❋Andrew Smith is a brilliant writer, but his style isn't for everyone. Grasshopper Jungle is bizarre, disturbing, and trying to describe it verbally will probably make you sound like a lunatic, but it is also very original, thought-provoking, and filled with black humor. The characters also feel very raw and realistic - not the giant praying mantises, but Austin and Robby, the two teen boys at the center of the story. Even though they are facing this outlandish apocalypse, they still have to deal with very real issues that real teens face on a daily basis. Smith doesn't pull any punches and he manages to capture teen boys, small towns, and sexual identity in the mind-bogglingly weird thrill-ride that is Grasshopper Jungle.
I also really enjoyed the way the tale ended. I mean, I would have liked a sequel, but at the same time I'm glad it ended how it did.
By the way, did anyone else automatically think of The Dharma Initiative's Swan station from Lost when it came to McKeon Industries and Eden, or was that just me?
I read this from April 2 - 8, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.