I've only read the first Gregor, although we sell a fair amount of all of them. One of the indications of a good series is when readers keep coming back for more. I think I read it during one of those intense times in ordering season when I read half a dozen books a week and place orders that will arrive six months in the future. Gregor hasn't stuck with me. That said, the one vivid image I hold from the first book is the laundry room, which is the portal to Underland. In my mind, I see the cavernous laundry room in my parents' -- your grandparents' -- basement on West 77th Street. So I guess my belief about Underland is that it's beneath the Upper West Side, probably below the Museum of Natural History.
The other element I've held onto is the into-the-rabbit-hole nature of Gregor's fall. It was my impression not that the cockroaches (great comic relief!) and other animals were huge, but that the humans shrank as they fell. Am I making this up?
You so deserve some relaxed reading time! Around this time of year, I start packing some books I haven't read into a going-to-Maine box. I'll dig through the box when we get there in August and work my way through a number of them while lying in the hammock. Some are books I've ordered and know I need to read before they arrive. And others are ones I just really want to read because I hear they're exceptional.
Here are the three YA books that I really want to read by Labor Day:
Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. It won the Printz Award for best YA book two years ago. Dystopian future with environmental breakdown in full swing. About a boy who works mining beached oil tankers for their scrap metal. Into his world sails a perfect clipper ship. Sounds dark and fascinating.
Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley -- the winner of this year's Printz award. Nothing futuristic or magical. A high school boy whose brother disappears, and whose town becomes the focus of the search for a rare woodpecker. I have high hopes for this one.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which just came out. It's a World War II drama. Two young women -- one a pilot, one a spy, each other's friends -- crash in Nazi-occupied France. The intelligence agent is captured -- her interrogation and confession make up a large part of the book. The other things I know about this book are that it's full of twists and surprises -- so the reviews are a bit squirrely -- and the writing is riveting.
Anybody out there read any of these?