Lacey Louwagie's Reviews > Abandon

Abandon by Meg Cabot
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Jul 03, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: youngadultfantasy, youngadult, paranormal, fantasy, retelling
Read from June 25 to July 02, 2012

I wasn't quite sure what to think about this book. In the beginning section, I found the narrator to be a little whiny and self-pitying, but not necessarily unbelievable -- there is a certain narcissism involved in being a teenager, and it may just be that my threshold for it is getting lower as I spend so much time with teen lit even as I get further from that age myself. Once I got deeper into the story, there were a few moments when I thought the underworld might serve beautifully as a metaphor for the repercussions of trauma in a teen's life, and the way such trauma can force someone to turn in on herself. But that thread wasn't followed through to its full potential.

Instead, this book felt a little "all-over-the-place," lots of threads that seemed only tangentially connected, although Meg Cabot tries hard to make it all "gel" at the end. But it still feels a little convoluted ... the Furies want Pierce dead because they want to torture John ... even though killing Pierce means John will get to have her with him? And yeah, I know one of the furies gave a bit of an "explanation" of this, but it still felt pretty contrived to me.

And I just wasn't sure which story thread I was supposed to care about most--Pierce adjusting to a new home and the aftermath of her parents' divorce? Pierce recovering from having almost died, from the death of a friend, from a near sexual assault? Or, of course, the Persephone "retelling" angle and the paranormal romance?

As far as that is concerned, I agree with a friend who claimed we don't see nearly enough of John, especially considering the turn the book takes at the end, which stretches believability a little bit because of lack of buildup. I do like some of the ideas this book lends to the genre, such as the idea that there are multiple "Underworlds" that serve as entry points to the Afterlife. And having recently been in the Florida Keys, I could appreciate Cabot's descriptions of Isla Huesos, which was based on Key West. The book was enjoyable enough, but it shows neither Meg Cabot nor retellings at their best.

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Jenna Ooh, I can't wait for your review on this one.

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