Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book-Crush Wednesday (2)

Yay! It's Wednesday! Every Wednesday, I highlight a book I loved and want to share with my blog followers. Today's book crush is on an MG series by an author that everyone reading this blog has heard of...but I bet many of you haven't read this MG series (and you definitely should).

Today's book crush is on The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins! Yes, that's Suzanne Collins, of HUNGER GAMES fame! But before she wrote Hunger Games, Collins penned this fantastic five-book series about a boy who falls down a sewer in his laundry room and finds an incredible world full of giant rats, bats, roaches, spiders, and strange humans living under New York City.

I found the Underland Chronicles after finishing Catching Fire. I was dying for another dose of Collins, so I headed to Goodreads to see what else she had written. At first, this series didn't interest me much. But my library had it on the shelf, so I picked it up the next time I was in. And wow.

The main character in the books is Gregor. Gregor is a little bit funny, but most of all he's strong and pretty smart. He doesn't worry too much when he gets into dangerous situations (which happens constantly), and he always puts the safety of his little sister in front of his own.

And speaking of his little sister...her name is Boots, and she is THE BEST CHARACTER IN THESE BOOKS. Seriously, Boots makes these books awesome. She is wonderful and funny and so sweet. She has her own little storylines that are just fantastic, and add to the overall mystery. Since the books are spread out over a period of time, you get to see Boots grow up a little bit - both emotionally and mentally. Watching these small victories is really a testament to how far her character comes. She makes me smile every time she's on the page (particularly because I switched to audio for books 2-5, and the narrator did a fantastic job with her voice.) And since Gregor & Co.'s adventure occasionally put them in situations where they're low on food or other supplies, you see how difficult it is to have such a small child along. But you also see how the innocence of a child can help in tough situations.

The Underland Chronicles is a fantastic choice for MG boys. I know that there is a slight "boy problem" (more so in YA than with MG), and this is an excellent choice to combat that. There are giant insects, sword fights, battles, and a ton of mystery. (OMG THE MYSTERY!!! The suspense and drama in this will keep you guessing for sure. Collins does an incredible job weaving the riddles in this story throughout the plot.)

There's also a subtle romance in the books that develops beautifully. I won't give away how it plays out in the end, but it's perfect and uhm awesome and since it's MG it's all done in this very age-appropriate way.

The Underland Chronicles are awesome. There is fighting, loss, heartbreak, love, adventure, mystery, some kooky characters, and an awesome story about finding yourself and learning to accept who you are. In short, an awesome precursor to what we know Collins is capable of thanks to The Hunger Games series.

And, in case you were wondering, the order of the books is:
Gregor the Overlander
Gregor and the Prophecy of the Bane
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (probably my favorite, in terms of plot twisty-ness)
Gregor and the Marks of Secret
Gregor and the Code of Claw (an absolutely perfect end for the series)


  1. I loved these books! And Boots was my favorite too. She was such an authentic little kid. Suzanne Collins is brilliant with characterization (and stories, and writing, and well, everything else).

  2. Ooh, I'm sold with the name Boots - this series sounds fun, I'm adding it to my list of "need to read." I like your Book-Crush Wednesdays, hope it becomes a regular feature :)


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