When I started reading Abandon, I wasn't quite feeling it. It kept jumping around from the past to the present to the past again and it was kind of hard to keep up. The transitions weren't at all obvious and a lot of the times I'd have to flip back to check where in the timeline I was. In the end, though, I was devouring it.
I thought I might have a problem with the relationship between Pierce and John because the whole we-barely-know-each-other-but-it's-love paranormal romance thing doesn't usually appeal to me, but I ended up really rooting for them to be together. I'm not sure what it was about John, but he's quite swoony. And once again, the typical paranormal bad boy is not at all my thing. In fact, I'm more of cute-and-sweet-nerd love kind of gal. Maybe it's that John may have been kind of grumpy sometimes but he also just seemed kind of innocent. Like he has no idea why a girl would be terrified at the thought of spending forever in some strange guys room.
I liked that there was a lot of setup in Abandon, but it didn't feel like there was. A lot of the side story-lines will carry into the next book, but I didn't even realize they weren't going to be tied up until I turned the last page. Also, for all you cliffhanger haters, I didn't feel like the end was that much of a cliffhanger. Sure, it's not all tied up with a pretty little bow but it's not like "will Pierce make it out of the River Styx alive or will she DROWN?! Find out next time!" And no, that's not a spoiler.
One minor little gripe I had was with the way the dialogue was broken up. I don't like when it looks like this: "What," Alex asked while turning around from his post at the dishes, "do you think you are doing?" It just feels so unnatural and it happened SO many times.
The Nutshell: Abandon started out a little rocky for me, but I ended up loving it. I mean, if paper burns were possible, I would probably have had them from flipping pages so fast. If you like variations of Greek mythology then this is definitely a book for you. If you like Meg Cabot with a dash (and then some) of paranormal, then give Abandon a try. If you like the wounded-bad-boy thing then what are you waiting for?
Hobbitsies Reviews: Meg Cabot is brilliant as usual
I am a HUGE Meg Cabot fan. I will read anything she writes, really. So whenever she comes out with a new book, ESPECIALLY a new series, I do several jumps for joy. And then hope it doesn’t let me down because I built it up so much in my head.
Abandon? Totally did not let me down. Seriously, Meg Cabot knows how to write awesome paranormal-ishhhh series. I mean, I wouldn’t say that I love it more than the Mediator series (at least not yet), but taking Greek Mythology and twisting it and modernizing it and setting it on an island off of Florida? Pretty genius.
The characters in Abandon, in my opinion, were very likable. I loved Pierce, and I thought her reaction to…everything, really, was very believable. I think some of the problems that arise in a situation like this (creepy guy wants you to be his wife & live in his kingdom) is that the character accepts/believes it too easily, but I think Pierce’s reactions matched my own very well. John was quite swoon-worthy and complex and rather interesting, and I’m definitely looking forward to more swoony moments in the second book.
I thought the writing style was much different from previous books from Meg Cabot. All of her books, that I can recall, are told in a linear style. Each event as it happens, with maybe a few flashbacks or anecdotes thrown in. But in Abandon, the narrative definitely leaped around and sometimes I had to go back and reread to figure out where I was in the story. This didn’t really detract from the experience, though. I actually liked the jumping around-ness.
Overall, I thought Abandon was amazing. It’s a great set up for the trilogy – part back story and part new story, and I thought it worked really well combined. I’m looking forward to picking up the next book in the trilogy, and, of course, anything else Meg Cabot ever writes.
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2011/04/abandon-by-meg-cabot/
I have been sort of obsessed with books that reinvent the Hades/Persephone myth lately, so naturally, Abandon was on my list of books to read. After reading it, I'm sort of stuck on how I feel about it. I love the storyline that Meg Cabot puts forth and I think it had tremendous potentional, but for me, the actual book fell short. It was slow and at times awkwardly written. That being said, I did still enjoy it and plan to read Underworld very soon.
Perhaps the reason I have blah feelings toward it is the main character, Pierce. She just seems unbelievably nieve to me--I mean....how can you end up at a River with boats ferrying people to different places while a man dressed all in black uses his thunderous voice to control the rioting and then NOT put two and two together that...Oh, maybe I'm in the Underworld. And throughout the entire novel things that should have been so obvious (had she had any education at all)just went completely over her head. I got really frustrated at how little she understood. Her attitude towards John (resident Hottie God of the Underworld)really irked me, too, after he repeatedly shows up to help her.
Okay...so what did I like? Obviously the guy--John. Meg captured his brokeness brilliantly. He's tortured by his job and his feelings for Pierce, and that shows in his actions and personality. I really felt for him the moment he was first introduced. However, he is hardly in the book at all until the end--which, in my opinion, was a huge mistake. I wished there were more circumstances where he would have shown up so we could get to know him a little better.
Overall, not the best Persephone/Hades reinvention out there, but I still somewhat enjoyed it. I'm hoping that the second book will move a little faster, that Pierce will get over herself, and that we will see more John!
I love Meg Cabot books and greek mythology so I was sooooo excited about this book! Pierce, the daughter of a famous businessman and a nature conservationist almost dies after she drowns in her pool. In fact she did die but no one will believe what happened. Turns out she'd meet a death diety before at her grandfather's funeral so when she ends up in a strange place afer being in a pool the second before she naturally asks the one person who she's meet before to help her. Only he misunderstands and he brings her back to his house to be his consort so she can't 'move on' or go back to life but she escapes. The only proof she has that this ever happened is a necklace that came with her after she escaped.
Long story short it's a typical 'girl moves to new town after mysterious incident' story except the characters, like her friend Kayla or her cousin Alex, weren't really that well developed as I'd've liked them to be and John(the love interest and death diety) isn't really explained at all. Like we don't know why he's a death diety, he and Pierce never seriously talk unless it's arguing and the most we learn about him is from a freaky cemetery groundskeeper! The story seemed to catch up to itself pretty quickly at the end, like one minute it's pretty ordinary(like most of the rest of the book) but not boring and the next minute in like the last 15 pages all is revealed out of the blue.
On a more positive note Pierce was a great main character because she was pretty realistic, the storyline was unexpected and we don't get all the facts at once but they're sort of spread out throughout.
It wasn't what I expected and I don't know if that was a good thing or not.
Pierce was a good character
Liked the idea
Good set-up for next book at end
I am a mythology junkie. If a book that comes along based on a myth, I jump all over it. Obviously, if you couldn't tell, Abandon is based on the Hades/Persephone story. Loosely.
Yes, there were obvious similarities between the Greek myth and this modern retelling, but Meg Cabot really changed things up a bit. I'll be honest, I thought Abandon was going to be "familiar" (if you know what I mean). I was really afraid it would be like the other versions out there. But, I was wrong! In this case, I love being wrong.
Abandon has a very dark feel to it. It's not scary or anything, but it's certainly not rainbows and sunshine. The Hades character is a moody, anger-prone type. Seems fitting, right? Pierce (Persephone) is not very surprising. To be very honest, the characters were just so-so. I think John (Hades) was my favorite because he was (and still is) so mysterious.
What really got me about this book is the timing. Everything takes place within a matter of days, which leads me to believe book 2 (Underworld) will pick up where the last page ended. There were a lot of questions left unanswered that I am certain will be resolved (or at least further developed) as the series progresses. Think of Abandon as a stepping stone. It's needed to set the stage, but doesn't really leave a lasting impression on its own. However, I can certainly say it's needed as a part of the series because it gives a lot of background details that will be important later on.
Overall, it was a quick and easy read. I would even say a 'page turner' because I read it in a few hours. Another myth retelling to add to your collection.
Like most Meg Cabot books, Abandon is a quick absorbing read. Having read most of her extensive ouevre, I would place this roughly in the middle of the pack so far as quality goes. The idea of Abandon was amazing; I was looking forward to this one so hard, because I was obsessed with Greek myth as a child. The myth of Persephone being tricked into the Underworld is not one of my favorites, but any Greek myth is better than none Greek myth.
Foreshadowing can be a super handy writing tool. However, it ought to be used sparingly and carefully. Meg Cabot did not follow this rule in the creation of this novel. Almost every chapter ended with a dramatic bit of foreshadowing of the "had I known what would happen next..." variety. Sigh. Just put 'to be continued' at the end of each chapter and be done with it. There just was not any need for it. If you have to try to force people to keep going with a lure of future drama, clearly your book wasn't interesting enough. Really, I think this would keep the intended audience going without these constant, hackneyed warnings.
Another weakness here was the odd subplot wherein Pierce tries to befriend the popular kids at her school (who usually ignore the D-Wing, aka truobled kids) students of the school) so that she can make them leave her cousin, Alex, and his friend Kayla alone. These sections really do not seem to fit with the rest of the plot very well. I imagine the need for this might be clear later in the series, but, for now, they were rather obnoxious, largely because Pierce's behavior seemed both out of character and completely illogical.
So far, the romance in the series has been pretty much entirely uninspired. I do not ship anyone and I actually find Pierce and John's relationship to rather creepy and Stockholm Syndrome-ish. The ending is not a resolution, so much as a stop because this novel had reached the requisite number of pages.
Mostly, Abandon was not what I was hoping for, but I will still be reading the rest of the series for sure. If you need a beach read for this summer, Abandon will likely suffice.
I will be frank here and say I did not enjoy Abandon by Meg Cabot. This novel gave off the impression of being a retelling or spin on the Persephone/Hades myth (and it sort of is) but it definitely was not what I was expecting and lacked the romantic chemistry and intensity I thought this kind of story would give. In short, I found the main character to be irritating and thoughtless, the male love-interest barely there, and the writing style lacking in coherency.
Pierce, our main character, died at the age of fifteen, a year before the novel begins and ever since her near death experience, life for her has been difficult. She does poorly in school, is anti-social, and lands herself in trouble she can clearly avoid. It also doesn't help that her almost permanently dying led to her parents’ divorce and an incident at Pierce's old school leads to her being kicked out. Now Pierce is living in Isla Huesos (her mother's childhood home) and attending a new school and trying to make new friends but Isla Huesos was really where all of Pierce's problems began. Because here, years ago, in a cemetery when she was five year's old is where she met John. John who brought a dead bird back to life to appease a little girl, John who she met by a lake-shore in the Underworld when she died the year before, and John who she tricked and escaped from so she could come back to life. Now that sounds like the premise of story that should have you glued to the pages as it fills you to the brim with a heart-stopping scenes and out of this world story telling but in all honesty this story was a disappointing narrative.
Pierce has a tendency for getting herself into trouble whether it be by accidentally tripping on her scarf and falling into a pool or not quickly leaving a shop when the owner starts taking an unwanted interest in her necklace. She also has a tendency for picking on the male lead, John. I can't say too much without giving away spoilers but John does everything he can to protect Pierce and she constantly blames him for the outcome of what was initially her fault or something that wasn't his fault at all. She's not very nice to him to be honest and because of this I can't harp on him for his grumpy, mopy attitude whenever he's in a scene with her because I spent most of the book cursing her from my bed. Not to say that John makes up for Pierce's misgivings, he's not always very clear when he talks to her leaving her to jump to conclusions about his intentions and near the end of the book where he was having more of an actual presence he was becoming too controlling for my tastes.
Another thing that made it hard for me to read Abandon was the jarring transitions from present day to flash backs, it happens consistently throughout the book and without warning which would always pull me out of a scene as I tried to find my bearings and understand what was going on.
I will admit that Abandon has an interesting concept, retellings always need to have a unique spin and I think this one was distinctive enough to stand out but it just never had what it needed to take off.