Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1)
What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows...just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she cant' stay away from him either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most. And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that's exactly where John sweeps her: The Underworld.
I don't even know where to begin with this book. I absolutely loved it! I could not put it down, for anything. Meg Cabot is a master of writing, that's all I have to say.
This book is a modern day take on the Greek myth of Persephone. You might remember the story, Hades kidnaps her and makes her stay with him in the Underworld. In this story we have Pierce, a normal girl with a normal family. One night she tries to save a bird from her pool and accidentally falls in, and drowns. While she is 'dead' Pierce meets John and her "life" as she knows it will never be the same. Pierce escapes the Underworld and comes back to the "real" world but her life will never be the same. Her parents are divorcing, her mother wants to move and John keeps showing up.
I cannot give enough praise for this book. I wish I could go back and read it for the first time again, and again, and again. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, and I won't wait patiently. A strong 5/5 for this gem!
It was okay, but I will never pick up this book to read it again.
While the story was pretty good, the writing was down right horrible.
At one point she's talking about one thing then BAM it turns into something else and leaves you thinking "What the heck? Did I just miss something?" and it makes you check the book pages to make sure there aren't any pages missing. Then later you realize "OH! It's a memory!" Well why in the heck didn't you make that clear? Sheesh, put it in italic or something.
I'm just glad she made it clear it was based off the myth, so don't think hell is full of pretty boys wanting to dress you in white dresses and flowers ready to warm you up by a fireplace with a table of foods and water, because it isn't.
"Meg Cabot is the master of her genre." - Publisher Weekly"
"Meg Cabot is arguably the queen of contemporary teen novels...Her retelling of this old myth is smart, sassy, and of the moment. - New York Journal of Books
I wonder how much she had to pay them to print those lies. -_-
Even as a teenager, I could NOT stand her books. Now, I thought "Hey, maybe she's gotten better over the years, I'll try to read these and see how they go."
GoodNESS.. they are a waste.
Abandon has a very narrow time span. The first 100 pages all take place on one day. No, I’m not joking. This works for some books, but not for this one, since nothing happens. It was one very long, uneventful day. Well, there are some flashbacks, but still, a third of the book happens on the same day. I was super confused almost the whole time. I just did not get what was going on, and felt that the story was very strange. Why does Pierce keep apologizing to John? Why is John so pissed off? How did she get away from him the day she died? What’s the deal with the necklace? What are these “incidents” that John keeps saving her from? I felt like I was jumping into the middle of the series despite this being the first book!
I just have to wonder, why doesn’t Abandon start with Pierce’s accident, or even the events that led to her getting kicked out of school? There’s more than enough flashbacks that the author could have rearranged the chapters a bit and given us the story in chronological order. I normally don’t mind flashbacks, but there’s so many of them, and they’re mostly full chapters. Nearly the entire middle third is made up of flashbacks. It made the story feel disjointed and added to my confusion about the plot. Even by page 260ish, I still had no clue what the plot was. But it was also only the second day of the story. Another long, uneventful day. Things did start to pick up around that point though, thankfully.
Abandon was a weird one for me. Nothing happens at all for over 200 pages, and then everything just kind of happens all at once in the last few pages. I liked the twist on the mythology, but the plot was super boring, if you can even call two days of nothing a plot. I am curious about what the Underworld will bring for Pierce though.
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.
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/
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 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?
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.
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.