Wednesday, 21 May 2014

DNF: Grasshopper Jungle - Andrew Smith

Published: February 27th 2014, Electric Monkey
Pages: 394 pages, paperback
Standalone/series: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

Funny, intense, complex and brave, Grasshopper Jungle is a groundbreaking, genre-bending, coming-of-age stunner.

My (sort of) review: Now, for the sake of full disclosure I need to let you all know that I didn't finish reading Grasshopper Jungle. In fact, I only made it about a third of the way through before I put it down for good. I'm calling this a 'sort of review' because I haven't read the whole story so I can't give it a full review, but I still wanted to share my thoughts.

Sometimes books just don't work for the reader. Unfortunately, this is one of those times. I was really, really excited to read Grasshopper Jungle and I was sure I'd love it. The summary was great, I tend to always love Electric Monkey's releases, I thought the cover was brilliant - it was all good. Except, however hard I tried, I just couldn't get into the story.

I can't really explain why I didn't finish Grasshopper Jungle, as there's nothing to dislike about this book. The story is unique, the characters are interesting and the writing is great - but I just couldn't connect with the characters and I found myself distanced from the story.

I'm so disappointed as I keep reading amazing reviews of this one and I feel like everybody got something that I didn't. I read a few chapters, put it down for a while, picked it up and read a few more, took a break, read a couple more... and it just wasn't happening. Reading this was a chore and my mind kept drifting to tens of other books while I was trying to get into it. It happens, and it sucks.

It happened with Darcy Burdock, it happened with Geek Girl, and now it's happened with Grasshopper Jungle. It's blinking annoying but it's the way things go; sometimes the whole world loves a book but you just don't get it. And that's okay, because if we all loved the same things how dull would the world be?

Don't let my (sort of) review put you off - I am pretty much the only person in the entire world who didn't love this book! Just hop over (hilarious grasshopper pun) to the Grasshopper Jungle Goodreads page to have a look and some infinitely more positive reviews. 


  1. I haven't picked this up despite the raving reviews because I still can't get Smith's Marbury Lens out of my head. It was so disturbing and weird but I finished that one--didn't hate it, didn't love it. I might try Grasshopper Jungle someday, just not now.
    I haven't ever been able to get into Code Name Verity no matter how many rave reviews I have read. I think it's one of those that by the end you love, I just couldn't get into it. I still think I am missing out on something, so I might go back to it sometime!

  2. Such a shame you didn't enjoy this, though I completely understand it - it's a marmite kind of book.

  3. It's always a shame when a book lets you down but like you say we can't all love everything!

  4. That really sucks! It's a shame you didn't like it. Maybe the timing was just wrong? That sometimes happens to me - I pick up a book I ought to like, but for some reason don't "get it". I tend to give it a few months before returning, and sometimes it's a lot better.


Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.