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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.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published April 26, 2011

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About the author

Meg Cabot

271 books33.6k followers
Librarian note: AKA Jenny Carroll (1-800-Where-R-You series), AKA Patricia Cabot (historical romance novels).

Meg Cabot was born on February 1, 1967, 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 (in the middle of a sanitation worker strike) 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. She worked various jobs to pay the rent, including a decade-long stint as the assistant manager of a 700 bed freshmen dormitory at NYU, a position she still occasionally misses.

She is now the author of nearly fifty books for both adults and teens, selling fifteen million copies worldwide, many of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, most notably The Princess Diaries series, which is currently being published in over 38 countries, and was made into two hit movies by Disney. In addition, Meg wrote the Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-You? series (on which the television series, Missing, was based), two All-American Girl books, Teen Idol, Avalon High, How to Be Popular, Pants on Fire, Jinx, a series of novels written entirely in email format (Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy's Got One), a mystery series (Size 12 Is Not Fat/ Size 14 Is Not Fat Either/Big Boned), and a chick-lit series called Queen of Babble.

Meg is now writing a new children's series called Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls. Her new paranormal series, Abandon, debuts in Summer of 2011.

Meg currently divides her time between Key West, Indiana, and New York City with a primary cat (one-eyed Henrietta), various back-up cats, and her husband, who doesn't know he married a fire horse. Please don't tell him.

* Airhead
* The Princess Diaries
* Mediator

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Profile Image for Lamia.
58 reviews107 followers
December 22, 2015
This can also be seen at The Book Eater .

WARNING: This review contains mentions of wanting to throttle, strangle and maim book characters, and includes potentially traumatizing pictures.

Just look at this summary. Go ahead, read it.
It's amazing, isn't it? And the cover. It's gorgeous. The premise is mysterious, intriguing and lovely. I was SO excited for this book, you don't even know. I think my entire twitter feed knew the instant it was out.

This is why I'm going to be a little hard on it. Because my expectations were high, and there weren't met. At. All.

About the narrator:

This is what I wanted to do to her for half the book. UGH. What a vapid, idiotic, insensitive, shallow, boring person. She's everything I hate in a character. No backbone, changing loyalties, and just this carelessness that I HATE.

"Sure, I'd been kicked out of school. I couldn't seem to go more than an hour without craving a caffeinated beverage. And a guy I'd met while I was dead had popped by unexpectedly and caused me to be slapped with a seven-figure civil suit.
But I was feeling positive about the future."

... Excuse me???
LOL my daddy has to pay more than a million dollars to a guy but I don't care!

About the writing:

It draaaaaaaagged. She spent ages telling us about how she had been in the Underworld, and some bad "incident" had happened after she came back, but that the incident was different from the accident, and blablablablabla. My god, just get ON with it! The book is just so full of plot holes (like when Pierce loses her necklace, but somehow still has it around her neck?) and stilted, stretched out mock-obstacles.
Also, just like in The Goddess Test (which is also a retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth), the narrator keeps talking about "that"". Apparently, spelling out the word sex is a capital offense.

Oh, and by the way, Pierce hates Greek mythology, because it's "complicated and weird and had nothing to do with reality." How the hell do you want me to empathize with her? Seriously? SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHO HOMER IS.

*throttles narrator*

About the romance:

It was ridiculous. And the love interest? His name is John. I don't even know what to say to that. He's a one-dimensional, pseudo swoon worthy "dark" guy that we didn't get to know at all. He behaved all aloof-like and jerky and moody and suddenly bam! His lips came came down over mine etc etc. Of course, the rest of the world ~vanished instantly. Eye roll.

One thing I learned from this book: tassels?

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Needless to say, I would recommend this book to no one. I know it looks so good and you want to like it sooo bad, but... Yeah. No.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
July 15, 2012


I've heard a lot about Meg Cabot's books. And it may surprise people to know that this was actually my first Meg Cabot novel. I'm not completely unfamiliar with her works. One of my favorite movies of all time was adapted from one of her novels-- The Princess Diaries. All that being said, I think I made a huge mistake in having Abandon pop my Cabot novel "cherry".

Insta... love.

Guys, this book has INSTA LOVE!

Deep breaths, Stephanie. Deep. Breaths.

It took me till page 300 to realize why I felt like I wanted to give up reading Abandon several times. And really that's pathetic that I didn't see it. I mean, I really should have peeped that way earlier. But it's not my fault because Abandon was so hard to even follow thanks to Pierce's convoluted ramblings about her pathetic life and her intermittently reminding herself to check yourself before you wreck yourself. This book left me confused, angry and HIGHLY disturbed. Therefore, this review will have major spoilers. Deal with it and let's explore these emotions.

"What Just Happened?"

It's probably not a good sign for a reader to finish your novel and not have a single clue what the point was. Not even an inkling for what you were trying to accomplish. And believe me. I wanted so much to understand and like this book, but the narration ran circles around my wee little mind. The entire first half of the novel has Pierce alluding to several past scenes as if the reader knows what was going on. Pierce would say something like, "Oh and I don't want anything to happen like it did that one time."  And I'm sitting here thinking, "Oh yeah? What? What happened?! Tell me already!" I get what Cabot was trying to do, but it didn't work for me. And it definitely didn't need to go on for majority of the book. That was just cruel and wrong. It made me incredibly frustrated. Now, the parts that did manage to make some type of sense were cancelled out by Pierce's sheer stupidity. Saw dust for brains. I really don't want to say it, b-b-but.... BELLA! *gasp* And that, my friends, brings me to the anger.

"What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate!"

No, what we have here is just a failure. Pierce is one of the worst heroines I've read this year. Now, keep in mind I read both Starcrossed and Fifty Shades of Grey so far, so that's saying something. And not a good something. Moving on. Pierce meets John, a death deity, when she is a just seven-years-old. Later, when she dies at age fifteen, she sees him in the Underworld  and he recognizes her too. They have a brief conversation which goes a little something like this:

"Omg, it's so cold and wet here."

"Hey, you wanna get outta here?"

"Sure, whateves."


So what does her do? He whisks her away to his bedroom, dresses her in a white dress and gives her the biggest diamond he could steal find. Shit you not, that is exactly how it goes down. Pierce, realizing something is not right (Though I'm not sure what gave it away... maybe because he told her she could never leave. Possibly.), throws hot tea in John's face and runs down a staircase that magically transports her back to the living world. *slow blink*

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Meanwhile, a year and a half later...

They meet again... in a graveyard, where this poor, unfortunate soul seems to hang out. Of course, that doesn't stop our heroine from asking the all important, universal question: "Why me?" Are you kidding me? But I have to remember, the problem with Pierce is that she's so stupid, she doesn't realize how stupid she is. Instead of running away from the crazed stalker, she apologizes to him for throwing the tea in his face. You know, when she was busy escaping. Pop quiz: What do you get when you mix not-so-bright heroine with a gallon of selfless? Mary-Sue.

So, yeah, the graveyard. Here they are, in the rain, having a "lover's spat" over... well, I'm not exactly sure why they were fighting, but John ends up getting semi-violent, throwing her diamond and demolishing the cemetery gate. Lovely guy. Do you see why this book made me angry? Here we have yet another YA heroine with a controlling, violent male, trying to not be involved with him, and she's apologizing for getting away. Unbelievable. It was at that point where I really didn't think this novel could get any worse. Until, of course, I got to the disturbing part.

The Return of Pedobear (I wish I were joking):

Somehow the cemetery sexton gets involved and Pierce opens up and confides in him. She goes on and on about how he randomly has shown up in her life, how he scares her, how he's a nightmare, how bad things happen when he's around, etc. Do you know what he says to her after that?
"So if I might make a suggestion for all our sakes, why don't you try"--his brown eyes were pleading--"just being a little sweeter to that boy?"

Yes, that's right girls. When you are in an abusive relationship, trying to escape, it's not his fault. It's totally your fault for not being sweet enough to him. Because there is no such thing as personal accountability and it is your job to make sure he remains calm enough to not destroy you and everyone you love in a hurricane. But don't worry. He loves you. Gag me.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Excuse me while I rage across my living room.

Ohhhhh... but it gets better. I mentioned before how I didn't recognize the insta-love until page 300. That might seem really strange. And it is. It's mostly because Pierce and John spent so much time trying to "non-avoid" each other and argue that I completely didn't see it. Well, on page 300 John confesses his love to Pierce. His LOVE, people.


Love? What love? In all of their encounters (six by my count, including when she was seven), they probably spent no more than thirty minutes together at a given time. And I'm being generous. And then I remember Pierce's dear, sweet granny. The one that took her to the graveyard when she was seven, in hopes that John would run into Pierce and--I hope you're sitting down for this one--fall in love with her. At seven-years-old. That's why he kidnapped her, because he was in love with her. He stalked her because he was in love with her. He got violent when she ran away screaming from him because he was in love with her. He fell in love with her at seven-years-old.

Shall I check myself before I wreck myself now too? HUH?!

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. Catch a kiddie by the toe...

Then in order to protect her from the Furies, he kidnaps her again (to the bedroom!), changes her clothes (AGAIN) and tells her she must stay there forever with him. But don't worry it's for her protection. Totally legit. And this time he even remembers to lock the door. She smiles. The end.

I know that this is a retelling of Persephone. I get that. But this is in no way, shape or form okay with me. Abandon had everything I hate in a book. Controlling, violent, abusive male. Check. Submissive, passive heroine with very little common sense. Check. Insta-love. check. Mary-sue. Check. Poor plot. Check.

Why? Why do I continue to see the same awful tropes over and over? Why are impressionable, young girls consistently being marketed these types of book? Please, please make it stop. Give them strong, independent heroines, loving love interests, safe and healthy relationships.

Dear Literary gods,
Hear my pleas. Can you do me a solid and provide more alcohol and chocolate if I continue to run into these books?

A finished copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Thank you!

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Bridget.
937 reviews86 followers
May 22, 2011
Oh man I hated this book. I only picked it up (well, downloaded it - audiobook) because when I was a little girl, my favorite character in Greek mythology was Persephone. I thought it would be fun to read a re-imagining of the old classic story.

NOT SO. Let me enumerate the ways I hated this book. There may be spoilers ahead.

1. All the present-tense narration happens over the span of about 36 hours. The rest of the book is chopped-up flashbacks sprinkled liberally and erratically throughout the story. It was confusing, jarring, and completely unnecessary.

2. The hero's name is John. JOHN.

3. The hero and heroine spend a combined total of about one hour in each other's company, and that's including the flashbacks. So remind me again why I'm supposed to be moved when they confess their love for each other?

4. This book loved the words "cemetery sexton" WAAAAAYYYYY too much. There is a cemetery sexton in the book, but there was no reason for the author to refer to him as "cemetery sexton Richard Smith" every. single. time. he came up in the story, sometimes multiple times within a paragraph. COME ON.

4a. In the same category as above: "death deity." Way overused.

5. Also, the audiobook reader mispronounced "bougainvillea." I realize that this is not the fault of the author, but still.

6. The story had so, so very little to do with the myth of Persephone. It was disappointing. Is it too late for Shannon Hale to try her hand at Greek mythology?

7. I hated all the characters in this book. I hated the hero because he was uncommunicative and wore steel-toed black combat boots. I hated the heroine because she was condescending and inconsistent. I even hated the peripheral characters because we were forced to listen to descriptions about their chest size, or the whiteness of their teeth, or their television-watching habits, and then they never showed up in the story again, at least not in a meaningful way. I wasted brain cells holding on to those details, and I will never get them back (the brain cells).

8. More than any other part of a trilogy I have EVER read, this book does not stand on its own. It has nothing even approximating a complete story arc contained as a whole within its pages.

In conclusion, this book tried to be too much all at once and yet, there wasn't enough going on to form a compelling, coherent whole. I compare this to Hush, Hush, which belongs to the same genre but pulled it off in marvelous fashion. Hush wasn't afraid to be a caricature of itself and as a result, I liked it. Abandon takes itself way too seriously.

I hated Abandon. Or did I already mention that? And now I'm stuck with a book called "Abandon" with a ridiculous cover in my 2011 Books Read list AND IT WASN'T EVEN WORTH IT.
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,341 followers
January 10, 2019

I just do not have an idea who I really want to kill. Most likely the girl but I cannot say that I would not stab John as well. And enjoy it.

Jen netuším koho zabíjím, ale spíš to vidím na tu holku, i když do Johna bych si taky bodla.
Profile Image for Inge.
347 reviews884 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
February 7, 2023
I don't have the patience to sit around and find out how many types of blades Pierce can compare John's eyes to.
Profile Image for Vinaya.
185 reviews2,078 followers
May 6, 2011
I stared at him. “I didn’t understand a single thing you just said. [...] Who’s Homer?”


This book was such a... mess. There is no other way to phrase it, it was a complete and utter mess. Now, here's the thing. I LOVE Meg Cabot. In fact, I'm practically a swooning fangirl. Even the books that most other people didn't like, like Jinx and Pants on Fire, I adored. I've always found that her heroines have a very unique voice — snarky, sassy and fun. Even when the world is going to hell in a handbasket, you can count on a Cabot heroine to make you laugh. Meg Cabot and Princess Mia were my introduction to the world of YA, and they'll always have a special place on my bookshelf.

That being said, Abandon is one of the biggest disappointments I've faced this year. (I'm not including CoFA here because it met my every expectation, and more!) I fear that Meg Cabot has fallen to the dark side, my friends... the YA PNR pod person has got her in its grasp. *swoons*

Abandon lacks the magic that Cabot has spun so effortlessly in the past. The writing is chaotic, at best, the heroine is lacklustre and, well, sort of stupid, and the world building is all over the place.

The good thing first - in case you were told, like me, that this is a re-imagining of the Hades-Persephone myth, that is only marginally true. In that there is a Lord of the Underworld who kidnaps and falls in love with a teen girl. But the circumstances are entirely different, and draw no inspiration from the original myth. So there is no mythology failure as there was in Starcrossed or The Goddess Test.

Here's the synopsis: Pierce Oliviera has just moved to Isla Huesos with her mother, after a mysterious incident that caused her fancy all-girls prep school to expel her. She has a mysterious past involving her death-by-drowning two years ago, at age fifteen, which caused a complete change in her personality. She keeps running into a mysterious stranger named John, whom she first encountered at age seven in a cemetery, and later runs into mysteriously on several occasions, including the short period of her afterlife before she was resuscitated by paramedics. She is in possession of a mysterious diamond pendant that reacts differently to different people. Oh, and she has a mysteriously adverse reaction to tassels.

Tassels — they iz eeevillll!

Yeah, so if you're wondering why I'm being so "mysterious" it's because this book was pretty much a foreshadowing of a warning of a portent.

The book swings back and forth between Pierce's present and past. This is, of course, a commonly used narrative style, and when done correctly, keeps the reader on the edge of her seat. Unfortunately, Cabot missed the bus on this one. The narration always, but always, stops at the exact point where some important information is about to be revealed. This means that actually piecing together a full picture of any particular incident is like pulling teeth. By the time the narrator deigns to drop you a crumb about what actually happened, you've lost interest and moved on to the next half-finished story. And when the entire book is composed of these bits and pieces, the overall effect is one of chaos and annoyance.

The characters are lacklustre. Pierce has an annoying fondness for the word "engage", as in she needs to 'engage' more with the world around her. She's also kind of stupid. Allow me to present to you some facts- you die. Then you get sent to a place with all the other dead people where a hot teenage guy in black who appears to be the boss of everyone, determines which boat you can get on. He also has several supernatural powers, including being able to shift you to different places in the blink of an eye. He is also possessed of super-strength and the ability to appear and disappear at will, while physically assaulting anybody who threatens your safety. He hangs out at a crypt in the cemetery. All of this happens over a period of two years, so it's not like you don't have time to process the information. What would your conclusion be?

If your answer was some variation of death deity, you win the prize! Unfortunately though, the pieces don't click for our heroine until the last part of the book, when someone actually puts it into words for her. Fail.

The romance is colder than a cold day in hell. Insta-love, thou hast made thy inevitable appearance! So Pierce first meets John when she's seven, and says about two sentences to him. She meets him again when she's freaking out about being dead, and throws hot tea in his face. Her next several encounters involve him appearing suddenly, causing physical harm to several people threatening Pierce, and vanishing. Then she runs into him when he's in a bad mood and kicks down a heavy iron gate to throw her out of the cemetery, warning her never to come back. However, all of these obviously romantic gestures are enough to melt her heart and make her fall for him. How... heart-warming.

The mythology, too, is confused.

One of the reviews I read mentioned that this book felt more like a prequel, and I cannot help but agree. Back story forms the major part of this book. Little to no resolution is provided for the story lines involving the present. There is a hastily cobbled-together conclusion that ends on an unconvincing cliffhanger.

While the story picked up pace and got kind-of interesting in the middle, overall, this book was pretty much a flop. It definitely lacks the magic of Meg Cabot's earlier books, and reads a little too much like Generic Paranormal YA Book 2011. My recommendation? Not worth the bother.
Profile Image for Ivana.
141 reviews39 followers
September 12, 2020
"I might look like a honey-eyed schoolgirl on the outside, in my skirt with its regulation four-inches-above-the-knee hem. But I'll rip those tassels off your shoes, old man. Just try Googling me."

Oh dear, I loved this book so much. As a huge The Mediator fan, I have been looking forward to it since Meg Cabot announced she would be writing another paranormal series. And when she said it would be the retelling of the myth of Hades & Persephone, I was counting days to its the release day.

I understand why some people didn't like this book. If you don't like Meg Cabot's style, you will not enjoy this. Her writing is simple, the characters are not overly developed and the plot is never too intricate. On the other hand, it's quite different from Meg Cabot's usual, the atmosphere is darker, the heroine is not her usual happy-go-lucky witty girl. Pierce is more pensive, you can tell she's been through a lot, she's somewhat of an outsider despite having the looks, brains and having a famous rich dad. Since she, well, died, she lost the only friend she'd ever had and everyone thinks she's crazy. She looks at the world with these sad, tragic eyes and hides from her life. Then there's John, the hot and mysterious keeper of the Underworld she's trying to escape from. Too bad he keeps popping up when she needs him most and endangering everyone who lays a finger on her. That leaves her torn between feeling fear and some kind of affection for him.

It's hard to describe this book because it felt like so many things were happening and yet, not much really happened. The half of the book was told in flashbacks. I thought it would focus on the love story but it was more about getting to know Pierce and finding out what had actually happened to her, which I enjoyed, as well as about meeting other characters in Pierce's life - her family, people from her previous life, new ones she encounters on Isla Huesos... Pierce's famous father was a great comic relief and one of my favourite characters. There may not have been many Pierce & John scenes but when these two were together, their chemistry was electrifying. I was also quite surprised at the direction this book took and didn't find the villain and plot as predictable as in her other books.

To sum things up, I NEED 2ND BOOK, LIKE, NOW!!! I am very glad the negative reviews didn't affect my decision to read this novel. I'd say it's one of Meg's better ones though it my heart will always belong to the Mediator series.
Profile Image for Katya.
387 reviews49 followers
April 23, 2013
You guys, I was so excited about this book. I generally really like Cabot's work, and a retelling of the Persephone myth? Sold! Not to mention that the heroine is (arguably) a WOC. I was like, no way can this book fail!

I was wrong.

It was going pretty well until I was about two-thirds through the book. I had been hooked by the 'mystery' and wondering how it was all going to come together. And then it started coming together. And then I started wanting to throw the book across the room because I realized I didn't want it to come together after all. Throughout the last 15 pages, I just sat there like

It got that bad.

Brief synopsis: after 'the incident' (not to be confused with 'the accident') Pierce Oliviera and her mother move to the tiny island of Isla Huesos off the coast of Florida so that Pierce can get a fresh start and her mother can research spoonbills.

This is a spoonbill.

Just so we're clear.

Pierce starts school and tries to be a normal person, although she keeps reminding us how difficult that is because she'd DIED once. Well, color me unimpressed. Buffy died twice.

I wish I could say 'then some stuff happens' but I can't really because nothing happens. Pierce's mom has a party for her although she doesn't know anyone on the island yet, Pierce takes a bike ride to the cemetery, then Pierce has the requisite awkward first day of school, she goes to the cemetery again and then she goes to school the next day. That is literally the extent of the action in the plot.

Throughout the first half of the novel, Cabot drops mysterious hints about Pierce's past, which she eventually starts clearing up, specifically about 'the incident' and 'the accident' and 'him' aka John Hayden, the mysterious dude in combat boots that has been following Pierce around for the past year and a half, beating people up on her behalf. I wish I were joking, but John had actually nearly killed two people because they had evidently posed a threat to Pierce.

Remind you of anyone else we know?

Slowly, slooowlyyy, the 'mystery' unravels, and what we find is worse than the not-knowing. I'd like to re-ravel it back up and return it for a full refund, ie the hours I'd spent invested in the story. Cabot sure fooled me with the intriguing set-up of 'girl who died and may be on her way to being Queen of the Underworld'.

The actual present-day action takes place in the space of approximately two days. It seems like longer, though, because Cabot has a terrible habit of flashing back to random times in the past without rhyme or reason. She'd start out a chapter in the present, then backtrack to the previous year a page later, and then return to the present mid-chapter. Pierce had flashbacks in the middle of dialogue, then casually return to the dialogue several chapters later while I scrambled to remember what in the world had been going on before Pierce took a trip down memory lane.

Aside from the complete lack of action, the story is told through flashbacks on Pierce's behalf and a lengthy, drawn-out overture by the cemetery sexton. (If I had a dime for every time the phrase 'cemetery sexton' was used in this book, I'd have quite a few dimes.) Cabot tells instead of showing, and she tells and tells and tells as Pierce sits there while the finer points of the story are nicely laid out for her.

In general, the characterization was... off. I was a little irked by John and not terribly impressed with Pierce, but was willing to give them a pass for the sake of the story. Interestingly enough, it wasn't John or Pierce that made me snap, but Alex, Pierce's cousin. I'm not actually sure what role he plays in the story, except to be a built-in friend so that Pierce isn't a Weird Friendless Kid™. However, he was my first concern and my first hint that something in this book was amiss. Plainly put, he's horrible to Pierce.

"If you tell me you're going out with Seth Rector, I'm going to throw you out of this car."

"See you at lunch? Don't screw it up this time. At the flagpole in the middle of the Quad. It really couldn't be simpler, Pierce. I don't know how even you could have messed it up yesterday."

And he's like this throughout the entire book. He threatens Pierce, he insults her, he asks her if she 'forgot to take her pills' (because who cares about being sensitive about people's mental illnesses, amirite?) and she goes along with it, internalizes it and even agrees with him. It's absolutely awful.

But not as awful as Pierce's relationship with John. John who tricks her, kidnaps her while she's newly dead, terrified and crying and would force her to stay with him for all eternity if she hadn't been smart enough to throw a cup of tea in his face and get away (which is the single smart, self-preserving thing Pierce seems to have ever done). John who threatens her and gets violent when she rejects him, destroying the cemetery fence. John who gets murderously violent when she's threatened by outside forces. John who is the Love Interest.

I have had it UP TO HERE with unstable, abusive loose-cannons of male protagonists that are supposed to be romantic. It seems that Twilight started a troubling trend in YA literature, and YA authors now believe that they have to jump on that bandwagon in order to write a successful book. I am especially disappointed in Cabot, who used to write such strong, self-assured female characters.

Well, stop this Crazy Train because I want to get off.

What makes even less sense is that Pierce, who for the majority of the book had been smart enough to actually want to avoid John, suddenly does a 180 and decides that she's in love with him. She does this because she meets with the cemetery sexton, who tells her that she should be 'sweeter to that boy' and she obediently takes his advice even though she wants absolutely nothing to do with John and then? They're making out. Evidently John has been in love with her all along, which is ridiculous and creepy and gross because 1. they have met all of five times prior to that and 2. John first met her when she was seven and had apparently decided that she was his Underworld Queen right there and then and has been stalking her ever since.

We only find this out because evidently Pierce's grandma has been a Fury all along and she set up Pierce and John so she could ruin John's life because that's what Furies do. Somehow Pierce manages to put this all together at the very end of the book, even though she hadn't exactly demonstrated any shining intelligence in the previous 300 pages. And how does she put it all together?


Because her fake Fury grandma knits and she made her a scarf with tassels that had successfully killed her (did I mention Pierce's lack of shining intelligence and self-preservation?) and then Pierce saw her grandma wearing another scarf with tassels and somehow put it all together.

Wait. Never mind. Scratch that. Pierce must be some sort of genius to come to that conclusion from a scarf because I have no idea how she managed to make all those connections. Of course, Fury Grandma made it all easy by confessing the crime just like every inept villain in the history of Goodness Prevailing™.

The book also makes light of statutory rape and suicide, using them as plot points to further Pierce's agenda rather than treating them with the respect and gravity that sensitive subjects like that deserve.

So, to tally it all up - we have insta-love, an abusive romantic interest, implied pedophilia, statutory rape, suicide, assault, and classicism - all wrapped up in a 'retelling of the Persephone myth' package that works very hard to ensure the reader that it's really not a retelling of the Persephone myth because there are many Underworlds and Pierce doesn't even know who Homer is. (This seems to be a Child Left Behind.) We also have repeated instances of 'check yourself before you wreck yourself' and one of the side characters calling Pierce 'chickie'. Cabot, the 90s called, they want their slang back. There is also some vague attempt at environmentalism and relation to current events, as well as some high school Plastics that have absolutely zero bearing on the story. In total, we have one hot mess.
Profile Image for Misha.
378 reviews674 followers
June 2, 2011
Writing this review actually make me sad and guilty because I hate writing anything negative about a Meg Cabot book. I first discovered Princess Diaries when I was 11 years old and fell instantly in love with Meg Cabot's books. I loved the Princess Diaries series and the Mediator series even more! I haven't a read a Meg Cabot book since I was around 16, but I have happy memories of her books. Now I just wish I had not read Abandon, just so I could preserve those memories.

Abandon is a new take on the Hades-Persephone myth. Pierce, the main protagonist, finds herself in the "Underworld" similar to that of Hades', after she nearly drowns. There she meets John, whom she had previously met at her grandfather's funeral when she was a little kid. She somehow manages to escape the Underworld, but John seems to appear everywhere she goes, especially when she's in trouble. She can't seem to escape from him. After an incident, she moves to an island where her mother's family lives. However, trouble seems to follow her there too..

When I first read the synopsis for the book, I nearly fainted from excitement. The premise seemed so enticing; and I was sure it was going to be as amazing as The Mediator series. The reality? The synopsis is actually hundred times more exciting than the book. I feel really deceived! Nothing actually happens throughout the book. Most of the book is about how Pierce landed in the Underworld and how she escaped from it; and her previous meetings with John. I kept waiting for something even remotely exciting to happen, but the book finished and nothing happened.

I would not have minded the lack of a plot, if the character development was well done. However, every character is one-dimensional. I cannot remember liking a single character. As for Pierce, I hated her! There is not one likable quality about her.The only words I can use for her is - Spoilt brat! She's selfish, shallow, hypocritical and appears to be lacking a brain. She is portrayed as being someone who is not materialistic, yet she does and says stuff which makes her exactly so. When she gets into trouble, she says things like "You want money? Fine! My father will give it to you" . (Please keep in mind that's not an actual quote from the book). Her father ends up with a seven figure lawsuit due to Pierce's actions, but her reaction to it is as if it's an amusing thing. As in - "Haha How funny that I caused my father to be sued for seven million!" Seriously! Througout the book, it's been repeated again and again how "caring" she is. I just don't see it! None of her actions make her look "caring".

I don't know what to say about John because I know nothing about him. He's just another one of those generic dark, "bad boy" love interests with a tragic past. I do not understand how Pierce falls for him, considering that she seems to hate him for the most part. John gets angry often, sometimes violently angry and aggressive. He even tries to keep Pierce in the underworld against her wishes. He creeped me out and frightened me, but didn't make me go weak at the knees (as I suppose I was expected to?)

I missed sweet, awkward Mia from Princess Diaries and snarky, kick-ass Susannah from The Mediator; I missed the humor that sets Meg Cabot's books apart; I missed Jesse (from The Mediator) and Michael (from Princess Diaries) who were truly swoon-worthy.

It saddens me to say so about a Meg Cabot book, but it has every element that annoys me in a YA PNR novel:
- Annoying main protagonist who makes me want to inflict some kind of violence on her (and believe me I am not a violent person!)
- Dark dangerous love interest (I guess he was supposed to make me swoon, but he only made me yawn - he was that boring!)
- Actual Plot = Nil

I wanted to give this book one star. The extra star is because of how much I used to love the author's books.

Profile Image for Kelly.
616 reviews148 followers
May 20, 2011
For much of her life, Pierce has been haunted by a mysterious young man. She first met him when she was a little girl, but was told he was a figment of her imagination. When she was fifteen, she had a near-death experience and met him again in a strange landscape. Several times since, when she was threatened, the man appeared and put the threatening party in a world of hurt. Now, Pierce and her mother have moved to Isla Huesos, Florida — Mom’s hometown — for a fresh start. Thus begins Abandon, Meg Cabot’s adaptation of the Hades/Persephone myth and the first in a projected trilogy.

I love the Hades/Persephone myth, but unfortunately I found this retelling a disappointment. One major reason is the pacing. Pierce spends much of the narrative jumping back and forth between the present and the aforementioned events of her past. I’ve seen this technique work, but here it’s frustrating, perhaps because so very little is happening in the present-day storyline. I wanted fewer flashbacks and more going on in Pierce’s present — or else I wanted more material about her earlier life. I’d have relished a big, thick, meaty book that followed her closely for many years. An added bonus of that approach is that Cabot would have had to flesh Pierce out more so that she could carry a long saga of a book.

Which brings me to the other major problem with Abandon, which is Pierce herself. Note that the girl on the cover appears to be asleep. This is all too accurate. Pierce frequently compares herself to Snow White: she tells us she’s as rich and pretty and tender-hearted as a princess, and that after her near-death experience, she went into a metaphorical glass coffin and drifted aimlessly through her days. Trouble is, Pierce is still in that glass coffin. She has little in the way of initiative or curiosity. Much of the book consists of Pierce being maneuvered around town by various characters and having information unloaded upon her. About the only thing she does on her own initiative is try to push her cousin and her new friend into eating with some bullies (she doesn’t know they’re bullies yet, but she has reason to suspect). As for curiosity, I’d have been vastly happier with Abandon if Pierce had spent more time looking into mythology and Isla Huesos history for herself instead of having to be told everything in one long expository scene.

For me, the setting of Isla Huesos was the most interesting aspect of the story. Isla Huesos (“bone island”) is based on the real-life Key West, which the Spanish called Cayo Hueso (“bone key”). I enjoyed the bits of history, the way Cabot worked the Coffin Night tradition into the plot, and the way hurricanes and the recent Gulf oil spill are shown as integral parts of the island’s life. Abandon piqued my curiosity about Key West history, which I looked up on the internet after reading.

Abandon ends on a cliffhanger but without much having happened (at least in the present timeline) to lead up to it. I don’t think I’ll continue on to the next book.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,892 followers
June 3, 2011
I love Meg Cabot. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE! (I am totally PSYCHED to finally meet her in person this month too!!) But that's beside the point! Now that I have that out of the way.... lets get to the review.

I love Meg's writing, her books are so easy to read and so entertaining. I never worry about picking up one of her books because I know that it's going to be wonderful and Abandon was no exception.

I will say that the story started out a little slow for me, but I really connected with Pierce as a character so it more than made up for that slow start.... I know the next book is going to be epic with everything that went down in those last few pages.... whew! This book was basically the set up for the series, but that didn't bother me, I like to know what's going. Most of the story was told in flash backs.... thing that had happened to Pierce before, getting her to the place that she is now.

I am loving all these YA novels with the spins on Greek mythology. I've been on a kick lately and read quite a few of them and I can honestly say that I've enjoyed everyone of them, though they've all been very different!

If you are a fan of Meg Cabot, I think that you are going to love this one. I can't wait to read the second book! Great characters, awesome story.... and one hot/dangerous/mysterious guy... oh, John, I'm hoping I get to see a lot more of you in book two!

And I just LOVE that cover, which doesn't really have much to do with anything except it is going to look AWESOME on my bookshelf!
Profile Image for Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile).
821 reviews121 followers
September 13, 2017
I remember a long, long time ago; I really enjoyed Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries so when I happened on the Abandon Series and saw it was a retelling of Persephone's tale I didn't hesitate to buy the entire trilogy. YES, i brought all tree.

Given my initial excitement about staring these books, I was sorely disappointed.
The Heroin - or should we call her the damsel in distress - is the most annoying, helpless, uncertain, little thing I've ever came across. She wants to fix everything, and as a spoiled little rich girl believes she's entitled to butt in and do just that. But she constantly ends up in more trouble than she - in her perfecticness - can handle. Then she wines about it.
So yes I didn't like her - and since the story is told form her perspective I end up not enjoying it as much.

But I am intrigued by John. I really want to know the why's and how's behind him.
So at a later stage - most probably when I've forgotten how annoying Pierce is - I will continue this series.
Profile Image for Lisa.
787 reviews51 followers
August 13, 2012
Things I NEVER Want to Hear Again After Listening to Abandon

- Westport Academy for Girls
- "Check yourself before you wreck yourself"
- Cementery Sexton
- Isla Huesos
- Chickee
- "Check yourself before you wreck yourself" (Oh, is it annoying when I repeat things?)

If your supposedly magical danger alert mood necklace is kept tucked beneath your shirt, how can you tell when it changes color?

Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
May 26, 2011

I've always struggled with Cabot's books. Besides her Mediator series, the rest of the books I've read from her were just okay, so I'm really very surprised I enjoyed Abandon as much as I did.

Actually, the only thing that really bothered me about this book, is what bothers me with all of Cabot's books. Her writing style. I think it's that she can never.just.say.it. Even in her dialog, she has to have a running thought attached to it and it feels like she draws everything out in long, long long explanations, and while one would call it being mysterious and dramatic, I would call it making the reader (me) dizzy and impatient. So why do I keep going back to her books? Simple, cause she knows how to deliver a good paranormal plot and provoke intense and complex characters. Which mind you, is exactly what I found with this book.
So while I might not ever be a fan of the way Cabot writes, I have to admit, she knows what she's doing.

Okay, for starters, I'm going to push aside the whole re-telling of Persephone and Hades. Yes, this is a re-telling of sorts, but it was more of an idea around them that Cabot used. The twist she's created for John and Pierce's story is not exactly different, but it's also not the same. John works for the Underworld and fell for a girl who rattled feeling back into his very dark life, and as for Pierce, besides the whole being kidnapped bit, actually returns her feeling for him as well. The plot-twist was believable and intriguing and I really enjoyed the necklace and the Furies added into the mix.

Funny enough, I didn't like a lot of the characters in this one. I did like our protag, Pierce, and thought she was very sweet. I liked how she cared for life and everything in it and that she can hold her own. For some reason her cousin, Alex, I liked in the beginning but then bothered me later on. Her parents weren't really in the story and I don't think she had any real friends. I did like Richard Smith though, and thought; finally an ally thrown into the mix! But if I'm being honest here, it was John who totally owned this book for me. I don't know why I find brooding characters so unbelievably sexy, but I do. Despite John's thunderous temper and the fact that he's frustrating and presumptuous, underneath it all it's not hard to recognize the tourtured soul and the potential for kindness. Call me a sucker, but he's the kind of character that will always have me swooning over. I wish the storyline was centered around him and the Underworld rather then the boring high school blah blah, but thankfully it didn't last to long and I have high hopes for the sequel. The flashback-chapters did a good job of letting the reader relive the past with Pierce and understand her dilemmas more, which also gives us a better understanding to where John fits into all of this.

The ending warped-up a bit to fast in my opinion, just when it was starting to get really interesting, so again, I have high hopes for the second book. Cabot really knows how to make her readers curious.
Basically, this book surprised me. I was all prepared to hate it and went in with zero expectations, but I ended up really enjoying myself and finally found a glitch when it comes to Cabot's books.
Skip her contemporary and stick with her paranormal.

Very much looking forward to seeing what she has planed next for Pierce and John in; Underworld!
Profile Image for Erin.
232 reviews103 followers
July 26, 2011
I was fooled by the exciting premise and pretty cover. Don't make the same mistake! Save yourselves!

I will try to summarize all the things I hated about Abandon.

The protagonist, Pierce, was truly the most awful thing about the book. She was such an idiot it caused me physical pain. Sometimes I'd read something so pricelessly terrible that I just HAD to mark the page. This happened a grand total of SEVENTEEN TIMES. She was so. Freaking. Awful. Some highlights:

He still seemed pretty mad. A good sign of this was when his chest started to rise and fall as if he'd been running, which it was doing now.

So... you can tell he is mad because he's breathing?? That's funny, because I can tell Pierce is being an idiot whenever she breathes. At least she's consistent!

Oh, and she has taken the written portion of the driver's test 42 times. And failed each time. If you had any lingering doubts about how stupid she is, do you feel them fading away right about now?

But here's the pinnacle of her wondrous awfulness:

Sure, I'd been kicked out of school. I couldn't seem to go more than an hour without craving a caffeinated beverage. And a guy I'd met while I was dead had popped by unexpectedly and caused me to be slapped with a seven-figure civil suit.

But I was feeling positive about the future.

That's great, Pierce! That is just so great that your daddy has to pay more than a million dollars for your BS. Seriously, your optimism is so endearing and just so freaking great.


Also, Meg Cabot's writing is terrible. The book didn't even make sense. When John, the lurrvee interest, is taken aback and surprised, his voice is described as being like thunder. I'm sorry, but wouldn't that be more appropriate for when he is ANGRY?

Oh whoops, I forgot. When he's angry, his chest rises and falls. How silly of me.

None of Pierce's thoughts make sense in response to what's happening. I couldn't even file that under Pierce's craposity, it was all Cabot's laziness. And what was with the weird, annoying repititions? Some chick had a tattoo that said "Check yourself before you wreck yourself" and Cabot, for some unfathomable reason, felt the need to toss that line in every couple pages. As its own paragraph, in italics, as if she had just said something very, very deep. It hardly ever made any sense in the context it was used, either.

The pacing was bad, too. She threw us into the story way late in the timeline, then tried to give tiny flashbacks to intrigue me about what had gone on before. It didn't work, I was not intrigued. I was confused and freaking bored.

Pretty much the only thing I enjoyed was the presence of Pierce's Uncle Chris and cousin Alex. If Pierce had just stayed dead the first time and the whole book had been about the life and times of her extended family, that would have been a decent book. Except for the fact that Cabot has a habit of destroying her protagonsists, so never mind, Alex would probably be a whiny child in that alternate book.

I probably don't even have to say this, but it's clear I will never be reading Cabot again*. She hurts me deep inside.

*as soon as I finish the Princess Diaries series. Then I'll be done, I swear**.

** okay fine, and probably this series too. I have an obsessive-compulsive need to finish everything I start.

Profile Image for Ardent Reader.
221 reviews213 followers
May 26, 2019
DNF 50%
At first I thought that this series will be fun as I have enjoyed the princess diaries series.
But alas, this was so boring.
And I felt that the content was not in order.
Most probably, this is the worst book that I read by this author.
High time to drop the whole series.
Profile Image for Auntb.
19 reviews30 followers
April 10, 2011
Abandon by Meg Cabot.
Reviewed at: http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/201...
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
Release Date: April 26th, 2011 (Get your Pre-Order on, kids)
The Sisters say: Spooky, Swoon-worthy, and Scintillating
EDIT: Currently giving away an ARC on the blog. Contest ends 4.13.11

Abandon all hope ye who enter here?

Try abandon those attempts at sleep and read this book in one sitting!

It’s hard to remember the first Young Adult book I read that captured me all those years ago, but I do remember the first YA paranormal romance I ever read, and that was The Mediator series by Meg Cabot. If you have a thing for ghosts, especially swoon-worthy Spanish ones, you should check it out. I feel a little bit as if Meg Cabot has come full circle with her latest book. The Mediator featured ghosts stuck in the world of the living, while Abandon features a young girl, who faces the prospect of being stuck in the Underworld.

Pierce’s story is told in pieces throughout the book with the past and present interwoven, but this much you glean early on—Pierce died, and in the Underworld she attracts the attention of John—the keeper of the Underworld. He’s not quite Hades, but rather has inherited this job. Pierce was determined to get back to her old life, and she succeeds, but John has to pay the price.

Things I loved about the book:
1. Once again… Greek Mythology. In case you can’t tell—we love the Greeks here at YA Sisterhood! When I heard that this book was a re-telling of the Persephone myth, I was a bit reluctant to dive right into it honestly. I’d just read the Goddess Test (See our previous review) and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read two books with the same plot within a two-week period. But they couldn’t be more different! I would say Abandon is only loosely inspired by the Persephone myth. This story is entirely it’s own.

2. John. I liked scary, keeper of the underworld John. I liked sweet “I talk to children” John. I liked strong, dangerous “I ride a giant horse, don’t mess with me” John. And I LOVED “I suffer endlessly because of you, but I don’t care” John. I just loved John. John. John. John. (I’m hoping he’ll be like Beetlejuice and suddenly appear when I say his name three times). John really made this book for me. Pierce was an interesting narrator, and I enjoyed her story, but John had all my attention. He is at once profoundly human and utterly inhuman. He gets the worst of both worlds. He experiences all the pain and suffering of the human world (more so, in fact), but has the detached, hardened emotions of someone who controls where you go in the afterlife. And he has the immortality of the gods, which only gives him longer to stew in his loneliness. I can’t wait for the next book to learn more about him—how he became the keeper of the Underworld and what he had to go through after Pierce left.

3. The setting in the Florida Keys. When I think Florida Keys—I think sunshine and summer and bikinis and fun. This book had all of that, but it also had a layer of darkness and danger. The setting was lush and decadent and fascinating. I never for a moment thought—why would the Florida Keys have anything to do with the Underworld? It all just clicks into place perfectly!

4. The twists! Oh, the twists!!! I can’t tell you much more except that it’s pretty… twisted. J

I’ve seen some people complain that the book takes too long to get going. And it’s true, that you don’t really get the full story of what exactly happened to Pierce until fairly late in the book, but I actually liked the mystery. It was like puzzle—Meg Cabot gives you these little patchwork pieces, and the intensity only builds as the pieces start to fall into place.

I, for one, am ecstatic with Meg Cabot’s return to the Paranormal world. Count me in for the adventure! Add this to your to-read pile (and while you’re at it, throw The Mediator series on there too).
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews91 followers
June 2, 2011
Pierce died. She died and discovered that bright lights are not the only thing a person can encounter after they take their last breath. The thing though is that Pierce grabs her own second chance and when she wakes up she learns that not everything was a dream and that John is indeed real. Sounds intriguing right? Well I bought into it and I am sad to say that my description, as plain and short as it is, in my opinion is way more interesting than most of this book. I am really interested in Greek mythology so when I find a book, which seem to be more and more these days, I want to devour it and see what new spins and fun I can read about. I am so disappointed in this one because I can really see a great story in there somewhere, Ms.Cabot just fills the book with so many boring and mundane subplots that the real story gets left behind.
There were so many things that bothered me throughout this book. The first being the whole love fest. I know YA is known for its love at first sight and usually I can buy into it, but Pierce and John have very limited contact. I mean, at least my understanding, is that they have only had maybe 4 encounters and in all of them Pierce is the damsel in distress and John has to save the day then flee. So, I do not buy that they love each other, hell I don't even buy that they are lusting after each other.
Another pet peeve is that everything wrapped up way too quickly and Pierce figured the main plot out with no real evidence. It felt like the story was getting too long and the author decided to let Pierce in on her secret without having to work for it. Then the solution was just so simple I wanted to scream. I know that I am complaining that I didn't like the book and by my saying that it wasn't long enough seems weird but I wanted a real story. I devoted enough of my time that I felt like I deserved a true ending not a cop out.
The one person who I found interesting got very limited page time. I really want to know more about Richard and his life. He seems like a very interesting character and I hope that the author lets him pop up more in future installments, I might even read them if this happens.
Last thing the author had way too many subplots. I have so many questions! Why was Alex happy? Why did he detest the A-wings? What happened with Uncle Chris? What is the whole Coffin Night thing and will the seniors get caught? I think I was more wrapped up in the high school drama than the actual Underworld plot.
So, I know that my review isn't great but I want to say that I think Ms.Cabot has a great idea and I really hope that she fine tunes some things and makes the sequel tighter than its predecessor. I think if you are a fan of Meg Cabot then you might want to try this one just know that screaming at Pierce is acceptable.
Profile Image for S.A. Larsen.
Author 8 books141 followers
April 28, 2011
~ A timeless Greek myth brought to modern times with a unique slant that titillates the heart. Cabot has masterfully cast Death as one of many (thought of) death deities, who's been hardened by his circumstances. The reader slowly watches his heart open wide as he, like Hades, finds what he's lacking in a human girl. And in this case, she's just a little tweaked-side of normal. ~

On the outside, the story itself has typical teen nuances as well as struggles: the girl who doesn't quite fit it, a family that is all but normal, a move of location, and a secret--the girl has a near-death experience only she's not just near Death; she chats with Him. What's even more unique is that Death is a main character--and he's hot. Eventually, the reader even discovers that he's sensitive and has a conscious.

There's a bit of a historical twist threaded within the plot, giving it depth and a natural verve. The story simply isn't a modern remake of Hades (the reigning king of the underworld) and Persephone (his love interest). It's so much more.

Cabot does a wonderful job of taking that story from Greek mythology and implanting it in today's teen society. The MC, Pierce, is authentic, as she's not only trying to normal--with a death deity longing for your loins, that's not all that easy--but fit into a new school with the typical high school cliques and head games.

The initial element I always notices about a book is its cover. The first words are so important in a story, but in reality the initial impression is in the dressing--the cover. Abandon's artwork is beautiful, simple, and elegant. I usually make a mental note of the cover while I'm reading, trying to find the relation between the coating of the book and the story itself. And within this cover...here lies a message.

After I'd finished reading, I realized that the title does have a more symbolic meaning them anything else. Many people have felt Abandoned in some form or another and at some point in their life. Many of Cabot's characters in ABANDON have experienced the lost of being abandoned or at least the feeling of such emotion.

I would recommend this book to any paranormal and/or romance enthusiast, as well as those interested in Greek mythology.
Profile Image for Milly.
637 reviews23 followers
June 2, 2011
So this is supposed to be a retelling of the Greek mythology story of Hades and Persephone. I honestly don't know much about their story aside from what I read in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. But since I'm not well versed on this mythological story, I am unable to make accurate comparisons between the two. And I think being unfamiliar with this story actually helped this book for me because I found Abandon's plot refreshing and intriguing as I haven't read any books using this same plot.

The main protagonist of Abandon is Pierce Oliviera, a 17-year old girl who recently had a near death experience and in the process met John, who happened to be the ruler of the Underworld, while waiting for the boat that was to take her to heaven. Somehow John was able to trick Pierce to go with him to the Underworld but when Pierce realizes her mistake, she smartly escapes John and the Underworld, as well as escape death and returns back to life after being injected adrenaline straight to her heart. When Pierce wakes up from all of these, she's unsure whether John was for real or if she just dreamed it all until she realizes that the necklace John gave her while she was in the Underworld with him was still hanging around her necklace.

The necklace. According to John, the necklace is supposed to protect Pierce from evil. Apparently, this necklace was rich in history and was once owned by Marie Antoinette but was considered t o have brought bad luck to the bearer or wearer of it. As for Pierce, it appeared to have brought trouble for her as well but John always manages to find her and save her from the danger that awaited her.

Pierce. She's an only child and used to an affluent lifestyle but is unpretentious and very caring of other people's well-being. She almost died trying to save an injured bird and caught John's attention when she came to him worried that his horse almost trampled him. Pierce appears to find and attract trouble and we later find out why this is. Aside from being pretty and having ADD, Pierce doesn’t really stand out as a protagonist for me. She doesn’t seem to have the drive or knows what she wants to do with her life. I don’t know if this is because of her near death experience but I would think coming out of such a monumental experience would drive you to want to live your life and not just cruise along. Her character is much too two-dimensional.

John. John’s character is more intriguing and is more colorful. His story makes Abandon. There’s more to him that meets the eye. Pierce first meets John as a teenager when she was seven years old at the Isla Huesos Cemetery during her grandfather's funeral. John Hayden is now the ruler of the Underworld and is smitten with Pierce after meeting her for the second time, entranced by Pierce's pretty eyes and her big heart. John is described as this very tall, dark, and handsome teenager, dressed in black and leaves a trail of scarlet blossoms in his wake. There's something dark and scary about him but at the same time sexy and fascinating. Though he doesn't quite know how to express his feelings to Pierce, his constant presence when she's in danger is endearing to her and Pierce can't seem to stay away from him either even after she finds out that he's from the Underworld. And being with him could mean her staying in the Underworld for eternity. Yes, she’s afraid of him for obvious reasons but she still can’t deny him.

Despite the back and forth of present and past experiences of Pierce to build the story, I found this book a quick read. This book pretty much serves as the building block to the Abandon trilogy. I thought it was very clever of Cabot to tie up the history of Key West to John’s story and make Key West as the entrance to the Underworld. I didn’t go as far to research the truth about the skeletons of the dead surfacing on the ground after hurricanes and the reason why the dead in Key West are placed in crypts but my interest was definitely peaked. And what of the Coffin Night? How true was this as well? Cabot has certainly infused some interesting tidbits and plots into the story. It’s enough to keep me reading and waiting for the sequel to know more about John’s life and how he became the ruler of the Underworld, how to defeat the Furies, and what becomes of their pairing.

Profile Image for Sofea Eliana.
132 reviews2 followers
April 14, 2022
(2.5 stars)

this was one of those books I treat like a fanfic, like it's obviously not good in real book rating way, but I found it funny and entertaining a lot, the main character is so dumb but I can't hate her bcs she definitely carries the book w how unintentionally funny her dumbass is😭

there were definitely many parts where I was like omfg I can't believe this is in a real book, like the love interest's name being JOHN. for fucks sake. how white can man's name be.
thats not even his biggest red flag, no. his biggest red flag is he met her first when she was 7, no feelings or suspiciousness mentioned, good that's fine, and then he met her when she was 15 when she died, and he was READY to be w her forever????? um. and then she's 17, still not 18 but I'm going to ignore that since I'm too tired to play morality police and I'm just here for the shitty plot and romance since I've been feeling shitty.

so yea, besides that um idk, the banter is fucking hilarious, idk if it's meant to be. n by hilarious I meant it's rlly stupid that it's funny.

like she's so angry she calls him a jerk. really babe, is that your best insult?
he tells her they can write letters to her mom and tell her they ran away to get married n the first thing she responds is "letters??? what century do you live in"(while crying) (this really sent me) also this man was prepared to take her back to the underworld for 2 years after she left that when he does (without her consent but in his defense there were people trying to kill her), he had flowers n shit n got offended when she got mad over it n was like "how long have u been prepared for this??" then he just sits n starts reading A BOOK WHILE AHE FREAKS OUT N TRIES TO ESCAPE BUT EVERYTHING IS LOCKED😭😭😭

tell me this book doesn't belong in a comedy genre.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Temi Panayotova-Kendeva.
363 reviews69 followers
September 2, 2018

Съвсем наскоро приключих и тази книжка, прочита на която беше доста бърз и приятен. Книжката лесно се намира в книжарниците на доста ниска и достъпна цена.


Пиърс се опитва да се върне към познатия й живот отпреди инцидента, но й е много трудно и се чувства едновременно част от този свят и отделена от него. Все пак тя никога не е сама, защото някой постоянно я наблюдава. Невъзможно е да избягаш от царството на мъртвите, когато някой там те иска обратно.
Сега тя се премества в друг град. Може би ще успее да започне на чисто в новото си училище. Може би ще престане да се страхува толкова много.
Но не може. Защото дори тук той я открива. Отчаяно иска да я върне обратно. Пиърс знае, че той не е ангел-хранител и тъмният му свят не е раят, но тя не може да остане настрана. Особено след като той се появява винаги когато най-малко го очакваш, но винаги когато Пиърс има най-голяма нужда от него.
Ако тя си позволи да продължи нататък, може да се озове обратно на мястото, от което се бои най-много – в подземния свят.
Издателство: Enthusiast
Goodreads линк: Сюжет

Читателско преживяване: 5/5 звезди

Това е първата книга от трилогията „Царството на Хадес“, но за жалост май няма да видим останалите части издадени при нас. В историята се разка��ва за тинейджърката Пиърс, преминала прага на смъртта и отново завърнала се при живите.

Тъй като имам книгата на Дан Браун „Ад“, в която се разказва за Данте, ада и едноименната картина – много силно исках да прочета книгата на Мег Габът след нея. Стана така, че „Ад“ не ми хареса и даже още не мога да я избутам до края. Затова не ми се чакаше повече и си грабнах смело „Пленница на смъртта“. Най-грабващи за мен в книгата бяха цитатите в началото на главите извадени от Дантевия „Ад”. Определено препоръчвам книгата на тези, които са влюбени в митологията.

„Любовта, приятелството, страхът да приемеш различните, мисълта да опитомиш смъртта въпреки липсата на мъдрост и дълъг жизнен път – Мег Кабът е успяла да превърне своя роман в завладяващо четиво, което те кара да се замислиш за важните неща в живота… и отвъд него.“

И нещо което намерих в интернет в интервю с писателката:

„Това е въпрос, на който се е опитвала да намери отго��ор всяка религия по света – от тази на древните ацтеки до съвременните християни и мюсюлмани. Всяка от тях е създала своя собствена митология, свързана с отвъден свят, през който трябва да преминат душите на всички починали. Именно докато изучавах тези отвъдни светове (когато бях в гимназията), аз за пръв път се заинтересувах от божествата на смъртта и по-конкретно от мита за Хадес и Персефона. Точно така започна да се разгръща и историята, която по-късно щеше да се превърне в тази книга.” – казва авторката.
Останалите книги от поредицата лесно мога да се намерят на английски език, за който желае да разбере, какво се случва по нататък в трилогията.


Лично за мен, книгата беше много интересна и приятна за четене. Заслужени 5 звезди.
Profile Image for Adi Rocks Socks.
232 reviews50 followers
October 7, 2018
I think the library I'm a member of specialises in stocking books like this one. Books which make me go:


For starters, why did I even pick up the book? It's not like the cover is enticing, so honestly, why?

Answer: Because the cover of the third book caught my eye, and when I realised it was a whole new series I hadn't read already, I got super excited, and checked out the first one.

The main character, the protagonist, is super shallow, super whiny, and very frustrating. Worse narrators have not existed. (I'm not kidding, she makes Bella Swan appear interesting.)

Bella says thanks

She loves referencing to things that have happened in her past, but she never really gets to the point. She is petty, selfish, and unrealistic, but that's apparently okay, because she has neurological issues. This entire book makes light of people who actually have real psychological issues.

And getting her dad slapped with a seven figure lawsuit because she's a spoilt brat is apparently all right, because he's a multi-billionaire, and that excuses how she has little value for money. Or let me be more specific. She openly states multiple times that her dad throws money around, but she's not the same, because according to her boooooyfriend she always cares for the people and living beings around her.

Do I spy a Mary Sue?


Let's talk about that boy man male thing, shall we? His name is John, and he exists only to tell Pierce how perfect, innocent, and pretty she is. Yet, he's also mercurial enough to yell at her tons. He has a disposition towards being violent, but that's okay, because he's just sad! And also, he gave her this huuuuuge diamond to protect her from evil, so wow, he's awesome, and no matter what an asshole he is, Pierce will just forgive him.

[IMO, he’s abusive, and that’s romanticised.]

And in the end, Pierce agrees to stay with John, in his underworld whatever (despite his bringing her there without heeding her protests), because he tells her he loves her. They've met only seven fucking times, including the last time where he tells her he loves her. Here’s a quick summary of how their seven(!) meetings go:

—The first time John saw Pierce, she's seven and John's immortal and has been around forever. (I'll let that speak for itself.)
—The second time, he tries to hold her hostage.
—The third and fourth times, he almost kills people.
—The fifth time, he yells at her, throws a tantrum, and vandalises property.
—The sixth time, he lures her out of her house under false pretenses and kisses her when she tries to leave.
—The seventh time, he low-key abducts her.

But all that's okay, because he wuvs her!

(I never thought I'd find Trump useful in any form, haha.)

This book gets a one star rating, because Goodreads doesn't have negative ratings. Sigh.

[Update: Subsequent to reading this book, I’ve come across worse books. So if those are one star reads, then this has to be two.]

Will I be reading the sequel?

You know the answer.

Profile Image for Kristi.
829 reviews199 followers
April 13, 2012
Meg Cabot's Abandon was a gripping dark tale that had me at page one. As YA PNR Fictional Mythology is becoming more and more popular, it's becoming increasingly difficult to maintain originality. Being a lover of mythology, I am overjoyed with books that are imaginative and creative yet still stick to the original concept. Abandon was one of those books.

Abandon is not only extraordinary but extremely entertaining with a creative twist intertwining modern day times with age old mythology but the thrills, chills and suspense factor is what kept me reading well into the night. There wasn’t as much outward romance as I was expecting but the undercurrent was there and it was powerful! I’m so thankful this is a trilogy because I think Ms. Cabot has only scratched the surface of her incredibly imaginative and creative version of the Underworld mythology. Personally, I can’t wait to read more about John and Pierce but I am also interested in the secondary characters, which played a critical part in the book. A One-Sit-Read for this reviewer!

Abandon tells the tale of Pierce, a teenager who is incredibly empathetic and born to privilege. Life was good for Pierce until she died. Pierce escapes the keeper of the Underworld, John, in what I can only describe as a truly fantastical mythical way. Afterwards, Pierce seems to be troubled and from others perspectives, violent as opposed to seeing this as a second chance at life or a miracle, as most think she should feel. But, they don’t know the truth; they don’t know about John, keeper of the Underworld and apparently, keeper of Pierce. When violence occurs every time Pierce is threatened she is blamed for the violence that occurs until finally her mother takes her to a small island off the Florida Keys where she grew up and where her family still resides. It’s there that Pierce starts to get answers to questions, questions about things she didn’t even know existed until she moved there. Things that just may land her in the last place she wants to go back to: The Underworld.

Profile Image for Melannie :).
344 reviews197 followers
Want to read
June 24, 2011
It looks awesome
and it IS gonna be AWESOME

I mean, Meg? Paranormal again?
that can only lead to awesomeness


*update February 22.
Just read chapter 1, and ohmygod,
it is so good, misterious and dark,
why aren't you coming faster April?!? oh why?!?

*I'm sooo buying like 2 more copies of this book!!!
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews546 followers
July 13, 2014
Quick & Dirty: Unfortunately, Abandon starts out slow and continues to drag. The narrative is stilted and confusing, and the character development is minimal. Many elements of the story fail to satisfy.

Opening Sentence: Anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

The Review:

Pierce Oliviera had a near death experience. Her parent’s relationship completely fell apart and her life is in utter turmoil. She moves to Isla Huesos, the Island of Bones, with her mother. Pierce’s near death experience is pretty strange, even for a near death experience. John Hayden, her Underworld captor, tells her that she must remain with him. Even though Pierce was able to escape the Underworld, she can’t seem to get rid of John Hayden, who wants to take her back to the Underworld. Pierce struggles with her new surroundings, attending a new school and making new friends, all the while wondering why she’s so important to John Hayden.

Abandon is the first book in a new trilogy based on the Hades and Persephone myth. Unfortunately, Abandon isn’t the dark reimagining that I expected. I love Greek Mythology, so I had high expectations. Abandon has an interesting premise, but the story never lives up to its potential. It’s repetitive, slow, and somewhat uneven in developing its characters’ motivations.

Pierce Oliviera, our narrator, doesn’t tell a compelling story. The narrative voice is confusing, distracting, and many of the characters fail to make you care about them. I think the story suffers largely because of its structure and its execution fails to deliver. The story is told out of sequence, alternating between past and present events. The bevy of flashbacks are hard to follow. You never get a sense that you have a grasp on the timeline of events or their importance. The flashbacks never seem to have a real ending or resolution, yet they move onto the next bit of sparse details. Pierce isn’t a particularly bright, likable, resourceful or practical heroine. She was always a day late and a dollar short in arriving to the correct conclusions.

Abandon also lacks real action. I found myself wondering when something truly exciting or relevant was going to happen. I was hoping for anything to move the plot forward, anything to keep the reader engaged. The worldbuilding and mythology never quite gets off the ground. There isn’t any real connection or romance between Pierce and John. He has very little real presence in this book and what little exposure he did get in the book didn’t leave a lasting impression. John feels somewhat tacked on and underdeveloped.

Overall, Abandon isn’t a dark journey into or out of the Underworld. Some readers might have a hard time establishing a connection with the characters, and this story is all build-up with no pay-off. Many important plot elements are simply revealed too late to be effective. As far as retellings go, Abandon departs so much from its source material that it ends up having little to do with the Hades and Persephone myth, leaving the reader feeling abandoned.

Notable Scene:

All I said was “Hey” in an attempt to get the rider’s attention…just as he was shouting at everyone in the other line to stay where they were — an order they seemed cowed by the harshness of his tone into obeying.

I had no idea such a brutal tone could come from the sweet man I remembered — the one who’d made a bird come back alive — from my grandfather’s funeral. I stood there paralyzed with fright…

…until the next thing I knew, charcoal black hooves were slashing the air just inches from my head as the horse reared, snorting in outrage.

Then I ducked, afraid for my life, throwing my hands over my face to protect my eyes. A second later, those enormous hooves came exploding down again, spraying bits of sand everywhere, and I was diving for safety.

That’s when a noise like the loudest thunderclap I’d ever heard filled the cavern. I wasn’t sure if it was a real thunderclap or the sound of the horse’s body as it crashed onto the beach, one of its back legs having slipped in the sand beneath it.

A male voice shouted something. When I looked up from where I’d crouched in an effort not to be killed, I realized the shout came from the rider. He’d cried out the horse’s name — Alastor, as near as I could tell — and was kicking his boots from the stirrups as the horse scrambled back to its feet.

It was only then that I realized — with a physical shock that jolted me nearly as much as the horse’s violent reaction had — that this was no nightmare. If it had been, I’d have woken by now. I wouldn’t be tasting sand in my mouth.

And the man I’d met the day of my grandfather’s funeral wouldn’t have suddenly been standing over me, staring down at me with silver eyes that held not the slightest hint of recognition…or humanity.

The Abandon Trilogy:

1. Abandon

2. Underworld

FTC Advisory: Scholastic provided me with a copy of Abandon. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
July 28, 2011
Apparently, unbeknownst to me, this was a retelling of the story of Persephone, but I won't be able to really compare or critique on that point because I haven't read the classic story (I know I'm lame); I only know the very basic -queen of the underworld- myth and as I read a few of the reviews I've noticed those who have read the classic tale don't like it as much. Nevertheless, I thought it was fresh and original - a fun read with a hint of mystery and a few twists.

This is going to be a trilogy so the first book is mostly the setup to initiate us to her world and characters. It wasn't full of fluff, though. There is definite plot and interesting story line developments. Of course, there is also Greek mythology involved which is interesting in of itself.

Let's start with the characters. The protagonist, Pierce, is a bit skittish, but likable nonetheless. I could easily relate to her and understand her emotions. The secondary characters weren't especially developed but due to the advancement of the story, I imagine we will get to know them more in the following books. This one was primarily about Pierce and her relationship with John - which is very love/hate. John is… I haven't quite figured him out really. He's like a charming jerk - but that may simply be perception since his motives weren't all disclosed. So we'll see where it goes.

The writing was good. We're told Pierce's story with the past and present interwoven. So we get snippets of what happened in the past that helps keep the story intriguing and mysterious. It does take a while to get all the pieces into place, but I liked the slow pace. The author took time to build up the intensity and details in the story; It was never boring. The ending though seemed a bit abrupt; just when things started to get real interesting, it ends. But I will forgive this since it's the first in a trilogy, so it's obviously not really over.

Oh… and what's with all these men wearing tasseled shoes? Ick!

As a solitary book, since nothing much happened I would have felt underwhelmed, but I know it's only the beginning of a story and I still found the plot and characters very intriguing. It kept my interest and I really hope the sequel won't disappoint.
Profile Image for Mimi.
265 reviews358 followers
September 24, 2013
Meg Cabot will always continue to be one of the wittiest authors on my watch, and that doesn't change with this sweet re-telling of the Hades and Persephone myth!

Although Abandon was a little slow to start, it was such an easy book to fly through in one sitting. I loved how you could never tell exactly where it was going. You just had to sit back and enjoy the ride, which was really refreshing! The only thing I found hard to swallow was how many flashbacks were incorporated in the story because it slowed down the pace.

Our heroine, Pierce, was such a kind, caring, and considerate girl, but I felt like she was made from a mold I'd seen so many times before: shy and a little too selfless. The story was very well-written but I never felt like Pierce's voice shone through and that made it really hard to connect with her. I wanted to see more of the strength that the author implied was there!

But John — complete with his dark and broodiness that made him a totally swoon-worthy character — was the perfect love interest for Pierce! ♥ Their whole relationship was so incredibly sweet, and near the end, I found myself smiling at their interactions. This may have been a Hades/Persephone re-telling, but they put their own captivating spin on it.

Thoughtful and sweet, Abandon may not have been a favourite, but it was a beautiful start to a bound-to-be enticing trilogy. You should definitely give it a shot! I'm really excited to see where Meg Cabot will take this story with the future installments! :)

BUY or BORROW?: This was more of a borrow read for me, but if you're a Meg Cabot fan or a huge Greek mythology lover, then you might want to look into investing in this book!

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
Profile Image for Read with Sandee ・❥・.
645 reviews1,298 followers
January 20, 2012
We all wonder what it would be like in the afterlife.
Will be taken to heaven, hell or will we remain in the in between.
Pierce had a glimpse of what lies after we die.

Pierce died.
She caught a glimpse of what it was like in the Underworld.
She was supposed to stay there until she successfully escaped.
She thought everything would be back to normal.
But she was wrong.
She hasn’t been normal since.
Pierce and her mother moved to Isla Huesos where they thought they’d get a new start.
But the more Pierce tried to run away, the more she gets pulled towards the world that she has escaped.
The man that she was avoiding.
The man who she thinks she maybe falling in love with.

This book was definitely better than the other book I read.
I decided to read two myth-inspired books last week and was extremely disappointed with the other book. (Fury by Elizabeth Miles).
Anyways, what do I think about this book?
Definitely better than the other but not best, not outstanding, it was just okay.

This is a YA-Paranormal Romance novel right? Because if it is, the romance part was kind of lacking for me.
It was good that Pierce and John were not all lovey-dovey because that was getting old.
But a little more spark between them would have been good.
It was lacking something.
Chemistry maybe?
Pierce was I dunno a little dull for me.
So was John.

This would be my first Meg Cabot book.
It was good.
Not really really good that you’ll never forget this book.
It was a bit boring for most part.
A bit dragging.
There were loads of flashbacks but I thought the transitioning was good.
It wasn’t confusing which was good because most of this book was about the flashbacks.
Anyways, I am giving this book a 3.5.
Profile Image for Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic) .
1,010 reviews113 followers
August 12, 2018
Published: 1/09/2011
Author: Meg Cabot

I first started reading this book as I loved Meg Cabot's other series ' The Mediator' and 'The Princess Diaries' , so I thought that I would try this series and see if she could write this genre just as brilliantly.
This book features the character of Pierce and John, unfortunately I found it very hard to not compare the characters to Bella and Edward from Twilight as there are a lot of similarities. While reading this book it could have easily been any book from the Twilight series. I was hoping that even with this being the same genre, that the author would be able to put her own unique twist on it.
Even though I didn't enjoy reading this book and managed to finish it quickly but I couldn't help thinking that I would have preferred it to be a little more original.It also had a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes through out the novel which put me off and frustrated me a little bit. I definitely wouldn't say it is my favorite book that she has written, the story line doesn't really seem to go anywhere, I understand that authors sometimes do that so that you buy the next book, but there wasn't really a story line to follow on to the next book just continuous flashbacks to what has already happened, the characters don't really develop and just mainly about whether Pierce loves John or not. It gets quite tedious after awhile!
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