May 30, 2011

Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

At First Sight: Once, Pierce was a slightly underachieving student of the Westport Academy for Girls, with a rich father, a dotting mother and a best friend. But then she died... and came back to life and nothing was ever the same.

After an 'incident' that got her expelled from Westport Academy, Pierce and her newly divorced mother Deb move to Isla Huesos, Florida- Deb's hometown - so they can have a fresh start, hoping things will be better there. And in some ways, things are a bit better as Pierce makes friends with her cousin Alex and Kayla, a girl in one of her classes.

But, on the other hand, being in Isla Huesos means she's in John Hayden's domain. John, the guy who meant to keep her in the underworld with him when she died, the one who always shows up when she most needs him... the guy who wants her back.

Second Glance: I have to say that I don't think the 'official' summary for Abandon captures it very well, it somehow doesn't really captures the essence of John or of Pierce.

Abandon is a re-telling of the Hades/Persephone myth, one of my favorites, so you'll understand that I'll be a bit hard on this one. In general terms, I really liked it but I somehow expected a bit more from Meg Cabot.  

Pierce isn't as engaging a narrator as I've come to expect from Meg's, part of it is what she has been through and the fact that she tends to disengage from the world around her as a result, but I liked her otherwise - I think that Meg does shows glimpses of what Pierce really is like in the way she cares for her mom and her uncle and for people in general.

And John is a big mystery,  but I liked him from the start - even if, and maybe because, he was so moody - he does play the tortured hero well and I liked him, truly liked him. And the parts where Pierce and John were together were awesome because that's when Pierce felt more alive to me, and because there is lots of tension between them. 

But, and here is where the buts start, they weren't together nearly enough, and when they were, for the most part, they just talked. Once they stop talking and start acting, things got better, but it happened late in the book. As I said, there was a lot of talking, a lot of exposition and though I do understand why - this being the first book of the series - I wanted a little bit more out of it.

Bottom Line: I really liked Abandon, John and Pierce even if I didn't fall in love with them as I sort of expected. The story does end in a very cliffhanger-y note, and I can't wait to read Underworld, mostly because I do hope there is more romance in that one. Do I recommend it? Yup, but be warned it might not be exactly what the 'official' summary says.

Favorite Quote: "I knew I couldn’t blame any of that on John. It’s only in fairy tales that princesses can afford to wait for the handsome prince to save them. In real life, they have to bust out of their own coffins and do the saving themselves."

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