I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Abandon #1
Published by Point on April 26th 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
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”.
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?”
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!