Narrator: Philip Church
Published by Dutton Books on February 11th 2014
Length: 9 hours, 19 minutes
Source: Purchased through Audible
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.
To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.
(Very) Quick Review:
This is probably the weirdest book I have ever read, but I loved it. It was a little all over the place, taking different story lines and knitting them together to show some weird cause and effect. The plot was strange sci-fi that built slowly until about halfway through the book when there is no going back. View Spoiler »Giant bugs that destroy the world! « Hide Spoiler On top of this, the characters struggle with each other and themselves. This is especially true of the main character who is pulled between his love and attraction for his girlfriend and the same for his male best friend.
The end is unexpected, but fitting. This type of story, much like the relationships explored in the book, can’t be wrapped up neatly with a bow.
O.o moments: This whole book. Oh boy.
Would I use this in my classroom?
YES! I have recommended this book to a number of students, all of whom loved it and then immediately went on to read more books. This book may be weird, it may not be for everyone, but it is the right book for a lot of kids who need a story like this! I don’t personally have a copy for my school shelf, but I handsell it to students every time I’m in the library.