Abandon by Meg Cabot (Abandon Trilogy #1)
April 2011, Scholastic, Inc.
Young Adult fantasy
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
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.
Meg Cabot never fails to amaze me. Abandon is, in the vernacular of the peasantry, freakin’ awesome.
This book has everything you’d wish for in a YA fantasy: mystery, death and darkness, romance, and a fresh spin on old themes that never tire out. The Abandon Trilogy is, in the words of the publisher blurb, “The myth of Persephone…darkly reimagined.” So far, I can certainly see parallels between Persephone and Pierce, but the character of Death– his name is actually John– reminds me more of the macabre English Romantic tales of the likes of Edgar Allan Poe than of classic mythology’s Hades. I sense a spoiler coming on if I continue on this thread, so allow me to break off by saying that Abandon will appeal to both classics lovers and Poe fans.
I loved the descriptions of Isla Huesos (a Floridian island apparently based on Key West), the setting of Abandon. That cemetery was downright spooky! It makes me wish I’d read this book closer to Halloween, as it would have been quite appropriate– so if you’re reading this review and mentally adding Abandon to your To-Be-Read stack, I’d put it on hold until October. You’ll be glad you did, as the thrills and chills should go right along with the season.
I only have one teensy bone to pick with Abandon, and it should in no way be blamed on Meg Cabot: the cover. Why is Pierce just lying there, limp, waiting to be rescued? The only time she actually does that in the book is when she was more than half-dead at the bottom of the swimming pool, and I don’t see any water on the cover. Pierce is a strong heroine, and the cover makes her seem like a first-class damsel in distress.
Besides the cover issue, Abandon is basically flawless– a must-read.
Rating: 5 stars