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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, andI 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 engagewith 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 view spoiler The sexton of the cemetery explains to Pierce his theory that there are several different underworlds for people of different faiths He thinks that John is only one of several death deities governing the afterlife In fact, he goes on to mention how the Buddhists and the Muslims and the Jews have different afterlives In this case, why is Pierce s afterlife Greek Because in so far as I know, Christian beliefs don t involve a the river Styx or boatmen or Furies Why would the Greek Underworld be present in modern day America Shouldn t it be in I don t know Greece hide spoiler 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. DNF 24%I don t have the patience to sit around and find out how many types of blades Pierce can compare John s eyes to. 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 evenI 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 timesexciting 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.Overall 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 NilI wanted to give this book one star The extra star is because of how much I used to love the author s books. 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 retelling of the myth of Persephone, I was counting days to the release day As expected, she did it again She nailed it brilliantly.I understand why some people didn t like this book With its dark atmosphere, it s very different from everything Meg Cabot has written In her books, we are usually introduced to a strong and likeable main heroine with typical girly problems who has always a sarcastic remark in hand and makes us laugh a lot Pierce is definitely not one of them You can tell from the very start that she s been through a lot, she is quite an outsider despite being beautiful, not really stupid and having a famous and rich dad Since shewell, 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 doesn t really enjoy her life, she hides from it 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 most needs him and endangering everyone who lays a finger on her That leaves her torn between feelings of fear and some kind of affection for him, and she might be starting to feel something It s so hard to describe this book because so many things were happening there and yet, when I think about it, not really The half of the book was told in flashbacks I thought it would be focused on the love story but it wasn t The first book in the series was about getting to know Pierce, finding out what actually happened to her that made her the way she was about getting to know lots of interesting characters Pierce family, people from her previous life, people she encounters on Isla Huesos Pierce s famous father was one of my favourite characters, I found him incredibly funny with all his yelling and Do you know who I am attitude There may not have been many Pierce John scenes but when these two were together, my heart beat so fast Their chemistry was electrifying.I was very surprised at the direction this book took I consider Meg s books quite predictable it was never particularly difficult to guess who the villain was going to be Not in this case I had no idea who the bad guy was until it was revealed in the penultimate chapter.To sum things up, I NEED 2ND BOOK, LIKE, NOW I am very glad that bad reviews didn t influence my decision to read this novel I d say it s one of the best books Meg s ever written. 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 likeIt 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 TASSELS.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 ofcheck yourself before you wreck yourselfand 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. 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 introuble 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. NO STARS.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 poof 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 laterThey 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.Pause.Love What love In all of their encounters six by my count, including when she was seven , they probably spent nothan 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 toeThen 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 providealcohol 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. ^Download Book ⇰ Abandon ⇮ New FromNew York Times Bestselling Author Meg Cabot, A Dark, Fantastical Story About This World And The UnderworldThough 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 BackBut Now She S Moved To A New Town Maybe At Her New School, She Can Start Fresh Maybe She Can Stop Feeling So AfraidOnly 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 MostBut If She Lets Herself Fall Any Further, She May Just Find Herself Back In The One Place She Most Fears The Underworld