This review can also be found on my blog
I haven’t read much by Meg Cabot, except the first few Princess Diaries book, but I always hear a lot about how great and fun her writing style is. She’s certainly written a LOT of books, and they always seem to get a LOT of attention, so I thought I’d try out one of her books. After having read Abandon, I can say that yes, her writing style is very entertaining to read. However, there were some things about the book that really irked me.
Abandon is a retelling of the story of Persephone from Greek mythological fame. In this book, Pierce (couldn’t help but think of Pierce from Community every time I saw her name) is a 15-year-old girl who, during a near-death experience, finds herself in the Underworld. Here she meets John, who is supposed to be the Hades of the novel. John attempts to keep Pierce in the Underworld with him, but she manages to escape (thus, coming back to life in the real world). John then manages to reappear in Pierce’s life whenever she is in trouble, and apparently they are in love or something.
I was really excited when I picked up this book at the library and saw that it was a retelling of the story of Persephone and Hades. However, Abandon never really seemed to pick up for me. The main character, Pierce, is kind of a whiny little thing, who has a rich daddy who seems to be able to solve most of her problems with money. John is the typical bad-boy-loner type character, who claims he fell in love with Pierce because she asked him how he was feeling one time. All of the rest of the minor characters in the book fill some sort of stereotypical role, and none of them are very interesting in the least bit.
Now, this is the first book in the trilogy, so maybe Cabot hasn’t gotten around to developing her characters as much as she could have. But I felt a lot of the book was spent with Pierce trying to be elusive about her past and moping, and not enough time with letting us get to know the people around her.
As I kind of hinted at already, I really didn’t buy the romance between Pierce and John. The only reasons I can see for Pierce to have a romantic inclination towards John is because he is supposedly very attractive and he gave her a very expensive diamond necklace. He also saved her life a couple of times, but Pierce seems more annoyed by that fact than anything else. John has an undying devotion towards Pierce, but for someone who is looking for a partner for ETERNITY, his decision seems like a rather rash one. He fell off his horse, she asked him if he was OK, true love? Mmm, no thanks.
I think the only reason I even made it through this book was because I do really enjoy Meg Cabot’s writing style. She made reading from the point of view of a whiny teenage girl a little more bearable because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. If there’s one thing that Meg Cabot can do fantastically well, it’s sucking in her audience.
I’d say if you were a fan of the Twilight series, or anything like that, you might enjoy this book. I, unfortunately, found it to be a bit lacking, and I don’t think I will attempt to finish the series.