Sunday, September 22, 2019

ARC Review - Exile from Eden: Or, After the Hole (Grasshopper Jungle #2) by Andrew Smith

Book info:
TitleExile from Eden:  Or, After the Hole
Author: Andrew Smith
SeriesGrasshopper Jungle #2
Genre:  YA science fiction
Release Date:  September 24th, 2019
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source:  Physical ARC received from publisher which did not influence my review
My rating:  5 stars

Synopsis:
From New York Times bestselling author Andrew Smith comes the stunning, long-awaited sequel to the groundbreaking Printz Honor Book Grasshopper Jungle.

It’s been sixteen years since an army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises forced Arek’s family underground and into the hole where he was born; it’s the only home he’s ever known. But now, post-end-of-the-world, the army of horny, hungry praying mantises might finally be dying out, and Arek’s ready to leave the hole for good.

All he has are mysterious letters from Breakfast, a naked, wild boy traveling the countryside with his silent companion, Olive. Together, Arek and his best friend Mel, who stowed away in his van, navigate their way through the ravaged remains of the outside world.

This long-awaited sequel to the irreverent, groundbreaking Printz Honor Book Grasshopper Jungle is stunning, compelling, and even more hilarious and beautifully bizarre than its predecessor.



My Review:
I loved this book by Andrew Smith.  As usual, it was a total "boy" book.  But I love that about it!  While we started out and I was worried I might not remember who was who from the first book, Grasshopper Jungle, it was very nice that the main character, Arek, kept kind of reintroducing the other characters as he narrated the story.  I liked so much about the story, all the different characters and viewpoints we got.  It was towards the end when they all collided it seemed, and it was the perfect way to get them to meet up.  Not a meet-cute since this isn't a romance, but is there another name for it?  I don't know.  Just know that it was a perfectly seamless way to fit the stories together.  Now, in the first book we kind of got the background on how we got those giant praying mantises that were attacking, but in this one, I don't know that we ever find out exactly why they are changing or having issues, just that they are.  

One thing that really stood out to me personally from the story is a note from the author at the back of the book.  There is an artist that Arek is constantly referencing, Max Beckmann.  Now I'd never heard of him before, but of course from this book I found I had to go look him up.  What Smith talks about at the end is that Max Beckmann painted so many self portraits trying to maybe see who he was.   Now the author also mentioned that he feels each of his own books are in a way his own self-portraits in a similar vein to Beckmann's paintings.  That really stood out to me personally, because recently I realized a lot of the stories I write end up being kind of my own daydreams.  Sometimes even starring me, just with different names and places.  When I realized this, I also decided that this was okay.  I remembered something another of my favorite authors once said, to write the book I want to read, she wrote her story for herself.  And that's what I'm going to continue to do.  While my books and writing are nowhere near as good as Andrew Smith's stories, I like that I'm not the only one who sees their writing this way.

Highly recommended, if you liked Grasshopper Jungle, you'll enjoy this as well! 

6 comments:

  1. I read an ARC of Grasshopper Jungle without knowing anything about it before I started. It was truly the weirdest book I've ever read. I was surprised the sequel was coming out--I never really hear too much about the first book. I'm glad you liked it--the first book left a huge cliffhanger.

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    1. Rabbit and Robot by Smith is even weirder! This one is pretty reminiscent of Grasshopper Jungle, but yeah, it was probably one of the weirdest books I'd ever read at that time as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Love your thoughts about the author's note. I'm glad that he inspired you to embrace your own writing!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I have got to get back to my writing! I haven't done hardly any this summer, really no writing, just some editing. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. It's always so nice when the author has refreshed continously going throughout the book when it comes to sequels! And I love the sound of the author's note and the author drawing parallels with their own work. I always read the author's note :D

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    1. Especially if it has been several years since the last book. Thanks for stopping by!

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