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Book Reviews

Review: “Abandon,” Meg Cabot

May 24, 2011

I received this book for free from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Abandon,” Meg CabotAbandon (Abandon Trilogy #1)
Written by Meg Cabot
Published May, 2011 by Pan Macmillan
256 pages
Provided by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Genres: Angels & Demons, Mythology
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two-stars

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.

It feels so wrong awarding a book by MEG CABOT a mere 2 stars – but, unfortunately, that’s all Abandon was for me. It lacked the certain ‘Meg-ness’ I’ve come to know and love in her books, as well as a gripping plot. The only redeeming points of the book (the interaction between Pierce and John) were too few and far between.

Let me stress this before I go any further – I am a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s other books; namely The Mediator series (which is an all-time favourite of mine in the YA genre) as well as Avalon High. So when I heard about Abandon, a new YA series by one of my favourite authors, I was beside myself. I was thankfully able to get my hands on a beautiful paperback copy thanks to Pan MacMillan AU and I started it as soon as I was able. Unfortunately, what was inside the pages didn’t live up to my high expectations.

A lot of the promotion for this book rests on the myth of Persephone and Hades, but I found that the myth itself takes a backseat. Looking back on the book I’m not entirely SURE what Abandon is really about. If you’re interested in the book for it’s myth-factor, I urge you to check out another Persephone/Hades re-telling in the form of The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter.

This book isn’t very well driven by plot. It’s really a mash-up of all different events with no evident seam. Sadly absent were the plot twists and clues evident in The Mediator – storylines that I hungrily ate up because they were just so damned intelligent. I also found myself having a hard time forging a relationship with any of the characters. Pierce is quite lackluster, as are the slew of supporting characters. A lot of the plot focuses on what is known on Isle Huesos as ‘Coffin Night’, yet nothing in THIS book (it may later in the sequels) comes to fruition regarding the event. It just seemed quite pointless.

I was also left scratching my head when the true nature of the people around Pierce was revealed. The whole Mr. Mueller thing, as well as Hannah Chang, was also lumped into the ‘pointless’ box for me.

As mentioned, the only thing that redeemed the series for me (in order for me to finish the book) was the relationship between Pierce and John. Meg knows how to write romances – I’ve seen evidence of this in her other books – but to my disappointment (although it claims to be the spine of the story) the love story was quite scarce. The few interactions we glimpsed between the couple were great, but I felt they were rushed, too.

I was constantly confused throughout the chapters. Pierce keeps hinting at things that have already happened, and how she ‘should have known’, but doesn’t tell us until a few chapters later. While it could have been craftily ambiguous, it just felt puzzling.

I wanted to like Abandon, I really did, but I couldn’t make myself. There are two more books in the series but I think I’m going to have to skip this one. I rarely point my readers to other reviews of the books I’m reading, but if you’d like to read another review that mirrors my thoughts pretty exactly, head on over to The Book Eater.

Recommended to: Check it out, I suppose, if you’re curious. If you’re dead-set on reading Meg Cabot (as I was) no review is going to dissuade you from doing so!

About Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot was born during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign. Fortunately she grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where few people were aware of the stigma of being a fire horse -- at least until Meg became a teenager, when she flunked freshman Algebra twice, then decided to cut her own bangs. After six years as an undergrad at Indiana University, Meg moved to New York City to pursue a career as an illustrator, at which she failed miserably, forcing her to turn to her favorite hobby--writing novels--for emotional succor.

10 Comments

  • Reply kate.o.d June 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    The “romance” was actually quite repulsive to me. I never felt as though Pierce liked or loved John, though she was definitely drawn to him and intrigued by him. He was frightening and predatory, kidnapping her and coming on to her aggressively, never actually telling her that he loved her…just that she had to live with him for eternity. This is NOT normal or healthy!

    Would love to know what your thoughts are on this.

  • Reply Lamia @ The Book Eater May 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi Brittany!

    Thank you so much for mentioning my review! Unsurprisingly, I agree with everything you said :)
    It’s my first Meg Cabot book (I know, blasphemy. I’m fixing that soon), so I don’t really know what to make of the writing. I really hope this series is just a glitch because I was looking forward to reading her books after seeing them recommended everywhere.

  • Reply Trish May 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I’m a little late on this convo but…

    I liked your review. I liked how you pointed out what you didn’t and did like and how you felt as a long time Meg Cabot fan. Unlike others, I liked this book, a lot. I think the main reason I liked it was because of the interaction between Pierce and John. I even liked the (confusing) flashbacks/flashforwards.

    so…um, I liked it, and I appreciated your “negative” review. (I put negative in “‘s because I didn’t think it was overly negative at all.)

    :) Trish

  • Reply Allison May 25, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Oh I am bummed to hear you did not like ABANDON. I had no idea it was a retelling (which I love Greek Mythology). I just recently read THE GODDESS TEST and I really liked that one! I am still going to check out ABANDON.. but mostly because I hear such conflicting reviews that I just need to check it out for myself.

    Great review, though! :)

  • Reply Alice [Small Town Book Blog] May 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, I loved this book, but I was disappointed that the REALLY good stuff happened on the last page! The actual ‘kidnapping’ and whatever follows that is what i really wanted to read about, but now I have to wait till the next book comes out!

    • Reply Brittany May 25, 2011 at 3:42 am

      I agree – it really began to pick up toward the end, and then it was over!!!

  • Reply Cialina May 24, 2011 at 11:25 am

    This was probably my least favorite of Meg Cabot’s books… which is saying much since I’ve read more than 20 of her stuff. :/ I agree that it was disappointing. I REALLY wanted to like it.

    • Reply Brittany May 25, 2011 at 3:43 am

      I know, right? I felt exactly the same way!

  • Reply Kylie1403 May 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

    firstly I just need to ask, how is it that you made the book info and plot kind of sit differently from the rest of the review (I am aiming to do that and cannot figure out how)

    Secondly great review. You were honest and clear. Its hard to dislike a book from a fave author… that I know :/

    – Kylie

    • Reply Brittany May 25, 2011 at 3:45 am

      I sent you an email with the basics :D

      I’m so glad you understand – I didn’t want to sound so harsh because it’s MEG CABOT but still :(

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