Friday, 28 February 2014

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.




Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Published February 1, 2014 by Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: 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.This is my history. There are things in here: babies with two heads, insects as big as electric guitars, 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.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is set in the fictional town of Ealing, Iowa. Sixteen year old Austin Szerba lives with his parents, and his older brother, Eric, is overseas in Afghanistan. He spends most of his time skateboarding with best friend Robby Brees, as well as hanging out with girlfriend Shana Collins. He keeps a history of his life, documented in notebooks. 

I don’t even know where to start with this book. It won’t be for everyone but I really admire an author that sets out to write what they want to write, rather than writing what they think or know their audience will want to read. Snaps for Andrew Smith.

The beginning of this novel is a perfect example of contemporary YA. Austin’s thoughts felt so true to life, it was like sharing the most intimate thoughts of an average teenager. I respected his friendship with Robby, he has no issues with him being gay, and he’ll stand by him even when local boys show up to give them a beating.

Once the virus is released and giant bugs start populating their town things did get a little weird, gross to be more accurate. But the story was still excellent and the repetitive way Austin told his story was enjoyable to read because it was used with purpose. The sci fi element was odd, intriguing and I had no idea where this story was going to go. I think there will be teens who’ll love this book. It’s clever, unique, weird, and funny.

Thank you to the fantastic people at Hardie Grant Egmont for my review copy.



This is a really simple cover but I still wanted to paint my nails to match, it's not every day that I paint my nails neon green. However, neon green does not photograph well and I layered it over white to make it pop and that seems to show through. So, this is not my best work but I'm sharing it anyway!

I used 2 coats of L.A Girl Brites Kryptonite over China Glaze White Out. I used a fine brush and acrylic paint for the antennae.



46 comments:

  1. Good to know you enjoyed this one. I just got a copy at my library and it certainly sounds curious. That manicure certainly pops. I love how awesome and simple it is, I might have to sport this look too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a fun book cover! That green is awesome ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for a review of this, I've had my eye on it for a while but wasn't too sure about it. It sounds like my kind of read though. Your nails look lovely, I wish I could paint my nails well but my as soon as I have to switch hands to my left and paint my right, it all goes horrible wrong. Also, just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog and following, am following back via GFC & Bloglovin :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to read it. And, when it comes to nail paining, practice really helps, so keep it up!

      Delete
  4. I can see how this book would be hit or miss. Love the bright green! I actually paint my nails that color a lot =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely will be for some people, but worth finding out!

      Delete
  5. I'm really not sure if this is a book for me. It seems quite out of my league and the mixed reviews have me very tentative to pick it up, so I might likely just skip this. LOVE the color of your nails though, Mands! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting and I'm not sure what you'd make of it, Keer!

      Delete
  6. Pssshhht. That manicure is AWESOME. I love how minimalist this cover is! Also, I totes bought a copy of this book and I hope I can get to it soooooon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad you enjoyed this, I've heard mostly good things about it. I might read this one day but I'd really love to read Smith's debut first, which has also been receiving good praise. As for your nails, they certainly pop!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just saw this book spotlighted in a magazine, and I'm absolutely intrigued by the premise. It definitely doesn't sound like a run-of-the-mill plot! And I love that shade of green nail polish. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have seen so many people talking about this book!!! I love the nails... I tried to do some crazy stuff with my nails last week.. even had to have my husband help me with my right hand. Well it turned out OK... I took it off that same night! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to see what you did, and what your husband painted for you!

      Delete
  10. Love this mani! Such a vivid green :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. The first time I saw this cover all I could think was DAMN. IT'S SO GREEN. I'm not sure if the book(and the cover!) is for me because of all the mixed reviews.

    Cute mani! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your nails are PERFECT for this cover.

    Also, I agree so much about Robby and Andrew's friendship -- I loved it as well and how there was not this big huge coming out, instead Robby just happened to be gay.

    Fab review, yo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was so great to see two characters written this way

      Delete
  13. That was probably the most simplistic nails you've done but they still look awesome! This book did not work for me too well, but I see why you enjoyed it.

    Brilliant review, Mands! <33

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love it when a character's thoughts feel realistic / intimate - that's how you know an author truly captured their character. This book sounds strange, but worth checking out!

    That color is so vivid!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree, this is such a clever and original book that somehow had the feel of a contemporary while also being sci-fi. Ooh I absolutely LOVE those nails! So cute!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like when authors don't conform to any set rules too. I've heard quite good things about this book and I'm definitely curious about it, even though I'm not quite sure if it would be for me. I guess I'll have to give it a try. :) Love the nails, Mandee!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your nails look perfect with the book! thanks for stopping by and following, i am now following via gfc and bloglovin!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I admire Andrew Smith, too. His books aren't for everyone but he definitely does his own thing. I really want to read this one and do a manicure. No doubt it's going to look exactly like yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I totally agree with you, I give majour props to an author who has the guts to write what THEY want to write instead of what they're expected to write. Mad respect. As for this book specifically, I adore the weird and unexpected, so I have a feeling this is right up my alley.

    As far as the manicure, it's brilliant as always! I love it in the same way that I love this cover, because of the simplicity of it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love the antenna in your manicure. Cute!

    Andrew Smith marches to the beat of his own drummer and I love it. Looking forward to reading this book soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so keen to read more of his books now!

      Delete
  21. What an effective mani! This book sounds kinds strange but interesting!

    ReplyDelete

Hi, hi, hi!
Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.
My priority is to return comments on YOUR blogs because I know how much a comment can make someone's day!
If I have time I will also try to comment back on my blog.
Mands xox