Review: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

20140302-150145.jpgGiant mutant praying mantises that just want to eat humans and have sex. Mad scientists. Horny teenage boys. Horny teenage boys confused about their sexual orientation. By this point you’re either really interested in this book or completely turned off. Luckily for me, and for you if you’re still reading this review, I am not easily deterred by less-than-traditional story lines.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Small town Iowa will never be the same after an army of genetically modified mutant bugs is unleashed on unsuspecting citizens. These bugs are big. They’re strong. And they’re either eating or reproducing, often at the same time. Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba, his girlfriend Shanna, and best friend Robby are right in the thick of things. It’s up to them to save Ealing, Iowa along with the rest of the world. If only it were that simple. Along with saving mankind from the ravages of the mantises, Austin is coming to terms with his relationship with Shanna while at the same struggling with his feelings for Robby, who also happens to be homosexual. Throw into the mix a cast of characters including a hot cheating mom, a masturbating sales clerk, a timid and oblivious stepfather, and you’ve got the ingredients for a true gem of a story.

Besides the fact that Andrew Smith writes one heck of a story, the narrative style blew me away. Austin goes back and forth between telling his story but at the same time providing history and background info on how everything is connected in some way. Six degrees of separation with a witty, rambling sense of humor.The conversations between the teenagers read true to life, and the other characters are weird but not so strange as to be completely unbelievable. A word of warning: This is a very strange book full of sexual innuendo along with the real thing as well as lots of foul language, drinking, and drug use. Not for the the faint of heart or easily offended. But, for those of you who are adventuresome enough to give it a try, you won’t be sorry. This is one book that you won’t soon forget.

~Thalia

Buy it Now: Grasshopper Jungle

Advertisements

Melpomene’s Top 10, in other words, Angstfest 2014

397522_717521321621005_1935361946_n
I was looking through Goodreads and I decided to make a Top 10 list of my favorites. By the end, you will get a glimpse into what I look for in a book, as if you don’t already know.

#1 Beautiful Disaster: A Novel, by Jamie McGuire
2
Travis is my very first book boyfriend and no one will ever take his title. This book was my first introduction into the New Adult, angst filled romance books, and it set a pretty high standard. It is usually one of two books I always tell people to read. Beautiful Disaster is pure perfection. My review doesn’t even do it justice. It’s just perfect. Read it for yourself and you will fall in love with it. I promise you.

#2 Poughkeepsie (The Poughkeepsie Series), by Debra Anastasia
4
This is by far the wildest romance book I’ve ever read. I am in love with this book so much, I can’t put it into words. I made the tattoo as my phone cover, a poster in my reading corner and even a book bag. I just love all thing Poughkeepsie. It’s real and raw and so very romantic. It’s basically the perfect combination of everything I love in a romance book. I judge every other romance book against this one.

#3 Point of Retreat: A Novel (Slammed), by Colleen Hoover
5
I am a lifetime CoHort. Seriously. I love EVERY book Colleen Hoover writes, but Point of Retreat is my all time favorite. I can’t pinpoint the reason, but the emotions that this book caused was so overpowering, I was devastated. This is another NA/romance book that will not disappoint. But be sure to read Slammed first, or you’ll be completely lost. 🙂

#4 The Edge of Never, by J.A. Redmerski
9
I actually grabbed this book, based on the cover. I had no idea what it was about. I new it was NA, which seems to be my theme, but I never read the description. This book had a rather unconventional love story, but I think my review does it justice. It can be read as a standalone, even though she wrote a second book. This one was my favorite.

#5 The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel, by Katja Millay
02
This was another book that I grabbed, based on the cover. And it shocked the emotions right out of me. It’s hard to put in words how I felt. I wanted to reach inside this book and hug every single person. They were so broken, my heart was breaking for them. Beautiful and gut wrenching. Another perfect book.

#6 Gabriel’s Inferno, by Sylvain Reynard
6
I remember picking this up and thinking, “How in the world is a guy going to be able to write a romance and make it beautiful?” HA!! I was totally surprised. This book was absolutely beautiful. I was shocked by the tears that fell from my eyes. The words were so romantic and beautiful.

#7 The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
8
OK. This book DESTROYED me. Honest to goodness killed me. I was ripped to pieces and shredded. I have never cried more in my life, than when I read this book, TWICE. This book gets into your soul and changes you. It’s beautiful and sad. If you need to release some pent up emotions, read this. You will feel whole, when you are done.

#8 When I Look to the Sky (The Rock and Roll Trilogy), by Barbara Stewart
01
This is the second book in a trilogy and it was very hard to decide which book I liked more. The first one, Rock & Roll Never Forgets, I can’t even review. It was so beautiful and epic and I was sobbing by the end. I tried to write a review, but every time I think of this book I cry. Big, fat, ugly tears. This book killed me even more, but I HAD to post about it. I can’t have another day go by without people hearing about this book. My review took forever to write. In between all the tears and emotions that were pouring out of me. My family thought I lost my mind, after I was done. It was that good. On a side note, this story helped me get through one the hardest times in my life. I ordered a complete set of signed books and they arrived at my house on the day I received such horrible news. They were such a comfort to me. I can never truly explain how much I love Barbara for these.

#9 Easy, by Tammara Webber
1
I remember searching for books similar to Beautiful Disaster, and stumbling upon Easy. I was completely blown away. I fell for Lucas, instantly. I love reading about broken guys who try desperately to put it all behind them and move forward. And I love the girls who help them. 🙂 I am anxiously waiting for Lucas’ story to come out, in May. I am already anticipating on needing tissues for that one. 🙂

#10 Left Drowning, by Jessica Park
03
I remember reading Flat Out Love and completely falling in love with Jessica Park. So when I found out that she was going to write another book, I was super excited to read it. This book…..To quote the last line of my review, “I may never get over this book.” This was the perfect combination of romance, angst, silliness and devastation. Another perfect combination. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next from her. But it will be awesome.

WOW!!! Typing this out, brought all the emotions back to the surface. Now I need a tissue, or two…perhaps a hug.

~Melpomene

Review: Just One Year, by Gayle Forman

12842134

I remember when I was approved for this ARC. I was so excited!! That is until I realized that it could only be read on my Fire and not my Kindle. Then I wasn’t so excited. But since it was number two in a series, I decided to read number one and see if I could find the motivation to read it. Well….I fell in love with Just One Day, so I knew I would love Just One Year. I was not wrong. So I fired up my Fire and prepared myself. I read this in one sitting, I was so engrossed in the story, I couldn’t put it down. I was determined to see Willem and Allyson connect.

This book is from Willem’s point of view. But it was different from the usual male POV, since we didn’t see him, for most of the first book. Most books, when they do the male POV, you kinda already know the story and it seems familiar. This one, however, was completely different.

Near misses, is the theme of this book. I was dying the whole time. I kept yelling commands to Willem, but he wasn’t listening. Telling him to stay where he is, or turn here, was proving darn near impossible. He just wasn’t listening!!!

Seeing him interact with his friends was very sweet. Seeing how much he has lost, wasn’t. I wanted to reach in a hug him. But I loved seeing him like this, looking for a home, that no longer exists, while trying find his Lulu.

Watching his heart break, was breaking mine. But watching his get put back together, made me cry harder. It seems like he never was able to feel loved. Even though he was, he just never knew it.

This was a story about discovering yourself and finding love among the accidents of life.

I can’t wait til this is released, in October, and y’all can join in the love. This was truly an amazing story!

I received this ARC for an honest review.
~Melpomene

Buy it now Just One Year

And don’t forget to grab Just One Day