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We Can All Be Overlanders

Can Megan recapture that Suzanne Collins spark with Gregor The Overlander? It'd probably help if she had all the pages.

We Can All Be Overlanders

BOOK REPORT for Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles Book 1) by Suzanne Collins

Cover Story: Dig It
BFF Charm: Yeah
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: Nothing Special
Anti-Bonus Factor: Printing Error
Bonus Factors: Subterranea, Giant Animals
Relationship Status: That Time I Went On a Date With My Ex's Younger Brother

Cover Story: Dig It

I adore this cover. The illustration of Underland is just as described in the book. Plus, this is one of those wrap-around covers that continues the illustration on to the back of the book. The typeface is awesome and it is more of a nice bronze on the cover I have. I get kind of jealous that middle-grade books seem to get such nice looking covers, while us YA fans are left with half-faces.

The Deal:

It's been 2 year since Gregor's father disappeared and his family's life was turned upside down. Gregor is spending the summer at home in his New York City apartment, babysitting his two year old sister Boots. On a trip to the laundry room, Boots crawls into an air vent. Gregor goes after her and they find themselves falling miles below the earth's surface. Gregor discovers he is in Underland, a world filled with impossibly large cockroaches, rats and spiders. Gregor is taken in by the Underlanders, a human colony that has been living underground for hundreds of years. All Gregor wants is to go home, but soon finds himself caught up in a bloody war between the Underlanders and the rats and as a reluctant participant in an old Underland prophecy.

BFF Charm: Yeah

For the most part, Gregor is a pretty good kid. Sure, he makes a couple of stupid decisions early on in the story, but I can forgive him for that. He's a great older brother to Boots and I have to give props to any kid who can handle babysitting a 2-year-old without tearing their hair out. Gregor is brave and manages to make it through some pretty sticky situations. I also appreciated that Gregor wasn't as much of a giant-talking-animal racist like some of the Underworlders were. Because I hate talking-animal racism. If an animal can talk, give it some respect, people!

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

The leads in our story are in the tween age range, so there isn't much to be said for any swoon. Though, this is the first of a six(!) book series, so it's more than likely that something will develop later on between Gregor and Queen Luxa. Especially because Luxa started off really disliking Gregor. And as we all know when it comes to fiction, all true love begins with hate.

Talky Talk: Nothing Special

This was a hard section of the review for me to write, because I really don't remember anything standing out with the writing here. The writing seemed pretty typical of what you'd expect from someone first novel, especially a novel that is plot based and for younger readers.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Printing Error

Let me start off by saying, for full disclosure, I picked this book up at a library book sale for 2 dollars. Which means I do not get to have as much righteous rage as whoever bought this first edition hardcover in 2003 for the full $16.99 or whatever. But still. There I am, reading along, and I arrive at page 248. I move to the next page. You'd think it would be 250, right? Wrong. 281. There is an entire 30 pages missing. 30 pages of a 300 or so page book? That's a whole 10% gone. And to add insult to injury? When the book is finished? It starts back at 281 again. I mean, seriously??? And I couldn't find anything on the internet about printing error for this book. There is no way mine was the ONLY one messed up, right? So what happened in those thirty pages? I can only speculate. Maybe Ares the Bat came out of the closet. Maybe Luxa got her first period. Maybe Gregor and the Rat King Gorger made a sex tape. Maybe Boots pooped out a quarter. NOW I WILL NEVER KNOW.

Bonus Factor: Subterranea

Everyone knows stories than take place deep underground are cool. Because all bets are off as to who or what you mind find down there.

Bonus Factor: Giant Animals

Giant animals are pretty fantastic. Because everyone knows, the larger the animal, the more likely it is that you will to be able to ride it. Though, sometimes you have to fight the giant animals (such as in this book, with the rats). Which is way scarier than fighting normal sized animals, because you can almost guarantee giant animals will try to eat your face.

Casting Call:

Zachary looks like he could make a great Gregor. He's got the whole dorky-but-cute-kid look going on.

Zachary Gordon as Gregor

The Underlanders are all blonde and scary pale from having lived centuries underground. Elle not only looks the part, but could probably pull off making Luxa a little more likable.

Elle Fanning as Luxa

Relationship Status: That Time I Went On a Date With My Ex's Younger Brother

We all know why I went out with this book. I used to date this book's older brother, The Hunger Games. And we had a pretty good thing going on for a couple of years. Things were hot and heavy for a while there, but didn't end on the best of terms. I'd started thinking about that book recently and was kind of missing what we used to have. So yeah, kind of pathetic, but I decided to go out with HG's younger brother, Gregor. I mean, don't get me wrong, this book is cute and all, but way too young for me. This book will probably be a lot of fun for someone its own age, which isn't me.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.