Here is my first Book Bucket List Review! Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins was voted as my February 2018 read, and I dove in as excited can be. Thank you to those who voted and are helping me go down my TBR list! I’ll be posting March 2018 poll in a few days, so look for that one and vote for my next book!
Publication Date: September 1, 2003
Theme: Family, Love, Friendship, Trust, Persistence, Courage, Acceptance
Eleven-year-old Gregor isn’t able to join one of his younger sisters at camp for the summer. Instead he has to watch his two-year-old sister, Boots, and do some household chores. One mundane day, Gregor is doing some laundry and turns to see his baby sister falling through a grate! Panicking, Gregor follows his sister not knowing where the grate leads. What he soon discovers is an unknown world, called the Underland, where creepy creatures interact with human-like creatures.
Furthering into this world, Gregor learns of a prophecy. One that could involve him. Going on a quest to save his father, Gregor learns how to have courage to not only save his father, but to help determine the fate of the Underland.
Since I really enjoyed The Hunger Games, I was very excited to begin reading this children’s series. It was a fairly enjoyable one, and one that I will continue the series.
Most of the characters are very likable. For instance, Gregor is a loving, caring, and selfless young boy who does anything that he can to take care of his family, especially Boots when they venture to the Underland. But, I do have to say that my favorite character was Boots (real name, Margaret). Though being two, she was kind, thoughtful, and showed bravery like young children tend to do with unfailing faith. She also was one that did not judge by outward appearance, and just had so much love to share with anyone that wanted her love.
When thinking about the creepy crawly creatures, at first, I was uncertain how I would feel about these characters. There were giant cockroaches, enormous bats, big evil rats, and spiders you just don’t want to cross paths with. After getting over the shock of these creepers, I was able to enjoy the story more for what it was – a fantasy.
The plot flowed well throughout and never once was I bored. Being a children’s book, the vocabulary was easy to follow and the book ended up being a very quick read. Sometimes, with new worlds and history, it can become overwhelming, but luckily not here. I felt the history of the world Collins created was explained well for children to understand.
There were only a couple of areas where I thought improvements could be made. Firstly, Gregor’s internal thinking were placed in quotation marks, making it seem there was actual dialogue when there wasn’t. There were a few times when I had to revisit a scene due to the quotation marks to understand if Gregor was just thinking or speaking aloud. Secondly, and this could be preference I sometimes found Gregor, though lovable, to be either ignorant or annoying with some of the things he thought or said. Since his character is eleven, this could be true to nature, but it still bugged me, lol.
I will caution there were several deaths here. The scenes were quick and not very gory, but several creatures do end up dying, which might be bothersome to some children. I would also caution for children to not become too attached to the real-life versions of the creatures mentioned here (i.e. bats can carry rabies, cockroaches aren’t very sanitary, etc.).
Overall, Collins definitely has created an interesting and unique world where humans and creatures interact in ways our real world don’t. I really enjoyed reading about Gregor’s adventure and look forward to continue the series!
I would recommend this book to older elementary and young middle school children who like to read about an adventure to a world that is not like our own. Also, it would help if the reader isn’t bothered by some enlarged creepy crawlers. If you’re an adult and enjoy children’s books, you might find this enjoyable, too!
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
3 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!
Click on the links to see my reviews of other books in this series:
- Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Underland Chronicles, #2)
- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (Underland Chronicles, #3)
- Gregor and the Marks of Secret (Underland Chronicles, #4)
- Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles, #5)