My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a very wild ride! Andrew Smith's description of the end of the world through narrator and recorder, Austin is a whole lot to digest. But with Smith as an expert with words and Austin and his best friend, Robbby Brees and girlfriend, Shann Collins, the reader follows this wild unbelievable ride! In Ealing, Iowa Robby and Austin accidentally unleash a plague that will herald the end of the world with 6 foot tall praying mantises that were bred by Shann's stepfather's brother. They were supposed to stop the war as soldiers for the government but since they have insatiable appetites with food and sex, they kill anyone in sight, except Robby, who seems to be a god to them. Shann finds a bunker on her property that sheds light on this whole sordid mess with journals and films. As Austin records what he is thinking and feeling (This is history, and it is also the truth), the reader is gripped by the sheer craziness of this situation but also totally enmeshed in Austin's search for himself- can he love both Robby and Shann. Through lots of cigarettes, Austin ponders the world, both past and present, and as the reader, I could not stop reading it! I loved Smith's writing- he got bullying, Robby being gay and in love with Austin. Smith's description of the bizarre is sickening (the two headed boy, Hungry Jack mutating into the 6 foot tall giant bug)not for the feint of heart. There is also a lot of F-bombing, being horny and masturbating. Schools will have problems with this book, parents will have problems with this book but I think teens will love this book. For a book that defies description in so many ways, there are wonderfully drawn characters, lots of humor, lots of action and a rippin' good read. I loved Winger by Smith and this crazy book with a sci-fi, romance, and horror will make you THINK and THINK again!
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