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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Gregor the Overlander (The Underland Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Collins

If you can focus on the good qualities of the prominent (and giant...and talking) creepy-crawlies in this middle-grade novel, you'll find a noble quest, unlikely heroes, a mysterious dark land, chilling betrayals, humor, and lots of heart.

Gregor had thought the bats were like horses, but now he could see they were equals. Did they talk?

“Greetings, Overlander,” said Euripedes in a soft, purring voice.

Yeah, they talked.

I tried to get my oldest to read Gregor the Overlander with me after the glorious Harry Potter Era and the exciting Hunger Games Period, but I wanted it too badly and the child was like a cat, solidly rejecting my overzealous interest for years. I set the book out and suggested it so often, Gregor became a joke between us--and remained unread.

Enter: a second child without any Gregor baggage or knee-jerk reactions to it, who was willing to dive in and who would maybe just maybe love this series that I was sure I was going to love too.

Gregor falls through a vent in his New York City laundry room while trying to keep his sister from doing the same--and they both end up in a dark, strange world, the Underland.

We laughed and cringed and sometimes held our breath while reading--even though we felt confident that things would work out for our hero. Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games series) offers a unique setting while doing something fascinating: turning the most detested and feared "Overland" pests (giant, talking cockroaches, rats, and bats) into essential allies and loyal partners in the Underland.

I Bossily suggest that you don't focus on the creepy-crawlies throughout this story and instead delight in the humor, the noble quest, the unlikely heroes, the familial loyalty, and hope in the darkness.

Gregor the Overlander is full of adventure, dialogue that made us laugh, gross-out moments, and heart. We're in for reading book two.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

You might like the books I included on the Greedy Reading List Six Royally Magical Young Adult Series.

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