Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Pages: 304
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: April 26, 2011
Source: ARC from Kim at The Book Butterfly (Thank you!)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Pierce fell into her pool in the middle of winter and almost died.  She had a near death experience and a very unusual one at that.  She visited the Underworld and almost wasn't able to leave, thanks to the mysterious and captivating John Hayden.  After her accident, Pierce was never really the same and got into a lot of trouble at her old school.  Because of this, her mom moved Pierce back down to her mom's hometown, which is an island off Florida.  However, Pierce can't escape John and she can't deny her attraction to him as well.  He's always showing up at times she needs him the most.  Meg Cabot's Abandon, the first installment in her new young adult paranormal trilogy, is deliciously entertaining and fun.

Pierce is an unusual sort of heroine.  I was intrigued by her immediately and her near death experience.  John is also equally captivating, but it took me awhile to warm up to him as he is so dangerous. Let's just say he's truly a literary bad boy.  Abandon definitely set the readers up for some more interaction between Pierce and John in book two as Abandon mostly showed us the two through the use of flashbacks.  Most of their relationship is explained in flashbacks, which I thought would bother me and the story's continuity, but this technique definitely grew on me.

I loved the fact that this is a modern retelling of Persephone, one of my favorite myths.  I actually teach this myth to my 7th graders and it's always very popular. I look forward to sharing this book with them as a modern retelling.  Cabot does a great job of sticking to the basics, but adding a few fun twists. I loved her incorporation of the Furies--it was perfect! By the time the Furies were involved in Abandon, I was one the edge of my seat.

I will admit Abandon takes awhile to get going, but once Cabot gets started with the drama, it doesn't stop.  There's a lot of action in the second half of the book.  Although Cabot has been around for ages, she is a new-to-me author and I am really enjoying her writing style. It's easy, captivating, and perfect for the beach; needless to say, I'm a huge fan.

Abandon takes place on the island of Isla Huesos, which was inspired by Key West.  I kind of figured that out not too far into the book since I am obsessed with all things Key West. I loved the tropical weather, the creepy cemetery, the "Coffin Night," and the incredible thunderstorms.  An island like Key West is the perfect setting for a paranormal story; Abandon's atmosphere was sweltering, oppressive, and thick just like the air in southern Florida.

I can't wait for the second book, Underworld, which comes out in 2012. I really enjoyed Abandon's incorporation of mythology and am looking forward to seeing how Cabot is going to spin this classic tale.  

*Buy Abandon
*Read excerpts
*Watch the book trailer


  1. Lovely review, Christina. I must admit that I'm a bit reluctant to read this one because you say it takes some time getting into and because I disliked Insatiable by the same author.

  2. I've read lots of negative reviews of this one, so I'm really glad you liked it! Hopefully I will too! :)

  3. Like Leanna I also have read a lot of negative reviews for this book and it's one of the many reasons why I didn't get this one. But I'm glad to hear that you really liked this one. :) I should put it back on my tbrlist. ;)

  4. Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one too Christina, I thought I might be the only one:) I expected the continual flashbacks to bother me as well, but they didn't, I thought they worked in this context. I also liked how dark John was, he seemed like he could actually be Hades and I hope we get a lot more of him in Underworld!

  5. Mari- If you disliked Insatiable, I would still give this one a try unless you aren't a fan of Cabot's writing style. Thanks for stopping by!

    Leanna and Nina- I read a lot of negative reviews too--this one took me by surprise! Thanks for visiting!

    Jenny- I'm glad you liked Abandon as well. :) Can't wait to see where Underworld is going to take us. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. i usually don't read YA fiction, but i love Meg Cabot. this sounds really good, especially as it's based on Persephone.

  7. i just finished Abandon and all i can say is, wow! it did start slow, but still very interesting, and then becomes an avalanche of action. i cannot wait for the second book in the series. i really didn't think this was possible as i'm an older adult (50+), but Cabot spins a marvelous retelling of Persephone.


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