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Review: Abandon

by Meg Cabot

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Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Point
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Library Check-Out
Rating: Sud-Kissed
About the Book:
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
Abandon is the first in Cabot's new trilogy, based on the myth of Hades and Persephone, a story with a twist on the classic Greek myth we've all pretty much encountered before. I've experienced Cabot's writing before and so I was excited to learn that she was putting a spin on a myth I love, one which I feel has yet to be beautifully, perfectly portrayed. Unfortunately, Abandon began as the read I'd hoped it to be but then slowly dwindled into something less than spectacular, although it's a much better retelling than the one I found in The Goddess Test.

One thing that remains true is my love for Meg Cabot's writing. It's simplistic, easy to read, and definitely entertaining. But Pierce's voice didn't shine through. I loved to speculate what had happened to her in the past, how this connected her to the mysterious "he" that seems to find her everywhere and how this connected to the Underworld. But Pierce as a character didn't quite work for me. I'm a character girl as much as I'm a romance girl, and despite the first person narrative, I couldn't fully connect with this relatively quiet, haunted girl. There's a lot of potential in Pierce, being that she's a sweetheart and very caring. But her narrative overall disappointed me, as a character she wasn't enough of a draw for me.

It's a good thing the suspense held me captivated, because otherwise my reading pace would've faltered out of boredom. I was much more concerned with the paranormal element, this dark, unexplained connection to the underworld, the enigmatic John, than I was with strolling through high school with Pierce. Who is John? What does he have to do with that ostentatious necklace Pierce keeps hidden beneath her clothes? And all the strange deaths, disappearances, and just general trouble that seems to follow Pierce wherever she goes? Although there wasn't much action, the mystery propelled the story and I didn't want to stop until my questions began being answered. When the truths did surface, however, I wasn't entirely wowed by what I discovered. Cabot's spin on certain aspects of the myth wasn't nearly as engaging, as exciting as the mystery shrouding it for most of the book. I found Pierce's backstory to be so much more compelling to read about than any other aspect of the book!

It didn't help that Pierce was so resistant to John. While I can't say I'm in full obsessive crush-mode over this handsome, moodilicious guy, I definitely wanted Pierce to stop being so... stubborn. If this sexy young man wanted to keep me with him, possibly sleep in his lush canopy bed, you'd get no complaints from me! In this sense, Pierce was reminiscent of Alera (minus the whining!) toward Steldor, and that just didn't bode well with me. The romance wasn't the deliciously frustrating kind, where you want to shove the protagonists in each other's faces to get them to make out already. Pierce is the girl you want to smack around and say, Oh, honey, what the EFF is wrong with you? Have your eyes disintegrated when I wasn't looking? It got to be very tedious and annoying at times, the Chronicles of John and Pierce's Anticlimactic Love Situation.

Overall, I wasn't floored by Abandon, but I am intrigued by it enough to want to read the sequel and see where Cabot twirls the story next. I expect big things from Pierce and even bigger things from her notso great romance...


Ninja Girl said...

Hey Asher,
How was I not following you before??? Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading this one. I've had my eye on it for a while, and I love Meg Cabot and paranormal romance so...yeah. It's pretty much a sure thing that I'm going to love this one. Great review!
Ninja Girl

Nina @ Death Books and Tea said...

I totally agree that Abandon wasn't as good as it could have been...I've not read The Goddess Test yet so I don't know... I never found myself actually caring about their relationship... Glad we both liked it somewhat, anyway.

Andrea @The Bookish Babes said...

Hmm... better than The Goddess Test? I really like that book, so this one must be really good. I admit, though, I'm getting a little tired of all the Persephone re-tellings. But I may give this one a try.
Great review!

Anne said...

I love Greek mythology - it's a childhood thing, I guess. When I first realised that there are so many YA books about it and nearly collapsed. But I need to start reading more of them. Great review.

New follower!!! :)

Anne (from Living in a Fairy World)

A. Knight said...

Ninja- Well, I'm just glad you found me. I really like your icon by the way. Very cute.

I hope you like this book more than I did. It's still a pretty good twist on the Hades/Persephone retelling.

Nina- Exactly. It had so much potential. And I think that's why I get so frustrated with these retellings. Because there's SOOO many directions you can take this myth and yet people haven't really wowed me with their version.

Andrea- Well, actually, I didn't really like The Goddess Test. I liked this one more.

Anne- Me, too. I've been obsessed with the Olympians and their progeny for this side of forever. I'm just hoping the retellings get better as we move forward. And thanks for following! :D

Krazzyme(Young Readers) said...

A LOT of people have been telling me the same thing.They all say that this book was a little disappointing but they'll give the second one a go because Airhead was a disappointing but the second one was AMAZING!

Krazyyme @ Young Readers

Anonymous said...

Hmmm I liked this book. Nice review and it's good to hear what worked and didn't work for you.

Sandra said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!
I am now following.
I just requested Abandon from my library. I'll let you know how I like it.
Waiting For Wentworth

Jenny said...

I really enjoyed this one but I think I'm by myself out in left field a little bit with that reaction:) I agree with you on Pierce though, I definitely wanted her to be less stubborn when it came to John and I'm hoping we get more development with their relationship in the next book! Awesome review Asher, it's always fun to read a review with a differing opinion!

Melissa said...

Great review...I've heard a lot of great things about this series and your review makes me want to go out and buy this book rather than read The Goddess Test which is sitting on my shelf!

♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

Liz. R said...

I agree! I liked this one, but didn't love it. I couldn't really connect to Pierce either. But I too am intrigued enough to want to read the sequel! Looking forward to seeing what happens. Great review! :)

Missie said...

Bum deal to hear that the character didn't quite live up to her potential. I'd had this one on the back burner for a while, I think I'll keep it there. LOL

Brodie said...

"Chronicles of John and Pierce's Anticlimactic Love Situation" LOL agreed. I felt much the same as you about this book. I have the first four books in Meg's Mediator series which I NEED to read, but Abandon was my first taste of her writing. I will still check out her other stuff, but this sadly didn't fully reach my expectations. I loved the backstory so much more, but the constant back-and-forth between past and present annoyed me at times.

Eager to see what the sequel has in store, though. Excellent review!

Mimi Valentine said...

I honestly had to blink after reading your review because it was like you were speaking my mind!! x) I usually LOVE Meg Cabot's books, but I was so disappointed with this one. Pierce fell flat for me too and I just couldn't get immersed in the plot like I wanted to. I had to set it down several times before I finished it.

But this was such an awesome honest review, Asher -- I couldn't have said it any better myself!! I'll probably be picking up the second book to see what happens too, but I'm in no rush! :)

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

I have to agree. This one didn't really have that "Meg Cabot spark" to it. But nonetheless, it was still a good story and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel next year :)

Samual said...

I've seen this book a few times, but haven't read it. The book sounds pretty interesting although I'm a fan of these kinds of book. Meg Cabot is a great author and really like her MG series. Thank you for sharing your review! Great review, by the way! :)

Books For All Seasons

LoriStrongin said...

I think I'm in a very small minority in saying that I haven't really been impressed by any of Meg's books I've read. My issue has been that I want her to go deeper into the characterizations. But ditto that the Persephone-Hades myth is one of my favorites and I'm always on the lookout for good retellings.


melissa tosh said...

I love this book, i really need to read it again :)