A teenager in Iowa inadvertently unleashes a swarm of hungry and horny praying mantises to replace humanity on Earth, while struggling with his sexuality.
Austin Szerba: Main protagonist, narrator of Grasshopper Jungle, historian, feels that history is important, records events that happen in his journal, confused about his sexuality and often has dreams of sexual intimacy with Shannon Collins and Robby Brees. He attends Curtis Crane Lutheran Academy in the fictional town of Ealing, Iowa. Austin has an older brother, who is in the army.
Robby Brees: Best friends with Austin Szerba, always hanging around him, in love with Austin, but is afraid to tell him. Goes by “Robby”. His father, Robert Brees Sr., left when Robby was in eighth grade. Enjoys skateboarding and smokes often with Austin. Attends Curtis Crane Lutheran Academy. It's Robby's blood that activated Contained MI Plague Strain 412E; inadvertently making him their creator. Once this is discovered, he allows his blood to be extracted even though he is afraid of needles.
Shannon Collins: Austin Szerba's girlfriend. She's called “Shann” by Austin and Robby. Shann attends the girls side of Curtis Crane Lutheran Academy, and has been dating Austin since eighth grade. At the beginning of the novel, Shann's mother has recently married Johnny McKeon and they move into the McKeon mansion.
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