I kind of knew going into Abandon I wasn't going to be crazy about it. But I figured it was written by Meg Cabot, who I've been reading since The Princess Diaries, so... I read it. I'm finding with reviewing it is hardest to write reviews for books that were "just okay." Here goes: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.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Point
(summary grabbed from GoodReads)
Abandon takes place on Isla Huesos (Island of Bones). Pierce and her mom have just moved to make a new start on the island of her mother’s birth. The island was a great choice for setting and Meg Cabot does a great job of world building.
However, there were quite a few issues with the book. First and foremost: there was a whole lot of build-up with very little actual story. It drives me crazy when a book has been written solely to be Book 1 in a trilogy. The book centers on Pierce over the course of a couple days, bouncing back and forth to events that happened before she arrived at the island. This wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been all set up for Underworld (aka Book 2).
Bouncing between then and now also suffered because Pierce’s inner monologue is messy. One minute, you’re on Isla Huesos getting ice cream with a new friend and then the next, FLASHBACK. There were no indications that a new section was starting, which made it jarring. It gave me “Wait, what just happened,” moments where I had to flip back a page out of confusion.
If you were hoping for a dark retelling of the Persephone myth (like the tagline on the inside cover promises), look elsewhere. There is very little that is “dark.” What is dark is John’s (Hades, essentially) personality. I’m not big on falling for stalker sociopaths, but maybe that is just me. What makes the romance more unbelievable is that they meet only five times before the “L word” comes out. These weren’t five meaningful meetings; he shows up to maim somebody for two of them. Another of those meetings, our heroine is seven years old. I felt absolutely no chemistry between the two. John also throws a defenseless lizard into Pierce’s pool to get her attention for meeting #6, and is therefore on my shit list.
That being said, Meg Cabot is a good writer. Even with these complications, I never wanted to not finish the book (or throw it). That said though, with there being several other interpretations of the Persephone myth out there, I would recommend a skip on this one.
Final Thought: 2 out of 5 “just okay” toadstools
This review is also available on GoodReads