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Don’t Abandon My Heart: Thoughts on Meg Cabot’s New Book

May 8, 2011

Today’s Fan Vid Sunday (still trying to think up a more original name) is being preempted for my review of Meg Cabot’s new book Abandoned which I’ve been meaning to post for a week. Fan Vid Sunday will resume next week.

First off, a brief word on how much I love Meg Cabot: A lot! She was my tween savior and has yet to abandon me. Seriously, I’m not sure where I’d be without her. I probably started reading her at too young of an age but look at me! I turned out ok. (Ok that’s debatable but on a good day I think I turned out all right.) Meg is kind of like the Judy Bloom of my generation and I shudder to think what the world would be like without her.

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Photo Source: here

The story: If you’ve managed to avoid hearing about the plot until this moment Abandon is the 1st in a trilogy that tells a modern version of the Persephone myth. Persephone caught the eye of Hades, Greek god of the Underworld and thinking there wasn’t a normal way for her to fall in love with him kidnapped her. (What a man thing to do.) While in hell Persephone ate 3 seeds which meant that when her mother rescued her she would have to return to hell for 3 months every year or die. This is why we have seasons. Fall is Persephone’s mother dreading her daughter’s return to hell, winter is Persephone’s 3 months in hell which makes her mother very sad, spring is Persephone’s return from hell and her mother’s renewed happiness and summer is 3 months of happiness for the mother-daughter pair. Or something like that. Only bits and pieces of the myth were used in the first book so it’s intriguing to see if later books will use more of the myth.

This story is about Pierce Oliveira who drowned in her pool at age 15. That was the second time she met death, not that it would be her last. 2 years later she’s trying to get a fresh start on what loosely translates as the Isle of Bones, aka her mom’s hometown. But you can’t run from death, your past or the evil that’s watching you. Pierce has to put some clues together to figure out the whole story of what’s unfolding right before her eyes, if she doesn’t she might end up trusting the very people she shouldn’t.

Initial reaction: The preface started off a bit differently than most of her other books and I wasn’t sure I was going to get into it. Then the first chapter had Pierce talking about NDEs and how scientists have managed to replicate the ‘light’ hallucinations they claim to have with drugs in true Meg Cabot fashion and my fear of not liking this book as much as some of her previous ones went away.

Main Character: Pierce is a character with a very rich background (in more ways than one) and needless to say a lot on her plate. Yet despite the fact that she’s died and death is haunting her she manages to be a somewhat normal and likable character you could see yourself being friends with. I didn’t always understand Pierce’s logic but I could understand her intents, it was just the execution that was off.

Love Interest: John Hayden is dark, broody and sexy in a dangerous way. Just the way we like our supernatural men. He’s got a lot of power and anger management issues to match but you kind of love him anyway. Ok the stalker similarities are there and the annoying habit of doing what he thinks is the right thing to do despite how it might affect the people around him. (This is a big issue when Pierce is in danger.) I’m leaning towards ‘in love’ when it comes to John despite his flaws because as the big smoochy scene shows, he really does love Pierce.

Supporting Characters: Cousin Alex was great. I really liked him and wish he’d been fleshed out a bit more as it feels like we barely got to know him at all. We know he has a few secrets but we have no clue what they are. Kayla also had potential, maybe as a love interest for Alex. Richard Smith really surprised me and that’s all I’m going to say on him as not to spoil it for you. Uncle Chris was another character with great potential who was little used but there’s still another 2 books for us to get to know them.

Likes: I love how Meg managed to work in parts of the original myth without directly copying it. She also managed to set the stage for a rich and interesting world for us to explore in the next books. (A.K.A. The Underworld.)

Frustrations: There are key points to Pierce’s background that we don’t learn about until the very end. There was a reason Meg didn’t give us all the information right at the beginning but the constant teasing about what happened was frustrating because I really wanted to know all about her backstory because it was a doozy of one.

Fun bits: The M.C. Hammer thing. You will know it when you read it and when you do you will laugh because it’s just…yeah.

Confused Moments: How does abandoning your cousin and your new friend for the rude popular crowd fit in with the whole ‘stop hurting the people you love thing?’ They obviously only like you for your dad’s money (and this other thing) but seriously you’d ditch two real friends for those idiots because it might make your mom happy? I think her mom would have been happy if Pierce and cousin Alex just managed to get along. That’s just my opinion. Real friends > fake friends.

Educational Moments: Pink Diamonds are a real legit thing. Trust me I googled. Up until now I had no idea diamonds could be almost any color of the rainbow. If my future fiancé refuses to buy me a fake diamond ring from Claire’s which is where I want my engagement ring bought he’d better buy me a pink diamond to make up for it. (Really it only has to be a little one. That should more than make up for his refusal to abide by my incredible simplistic and selfless initial wishes right?)

Easter Egg: Like Avalon High her other modern myth retelling each chapter begins with a quote from a famous piece of literature that fits in with both the myth and the story being told. This time around it was Dante’s Inferno.

Oddity: None of the chapters are numbered. Not essential but makes it difficult to tell what chapter you’re on if you want to discuss what’s currently going on with other people.

Cliffhanger for an ending: Yes but it’s not too painful. It had some closure to it but it felt like the action was just getting started.

Where it stands on the Cabot scale: In comparison with some of her latest releases (within the past year or so) it wasn’t as good as the Airhead trilogy, which I adored but I think it was a better paranormal book than Insatiable which I thought was alright. Not quite Mediator level but a tad higher up on the scale than 1-800-where-r-u. To sum up, a strong healthy middle standing.

Worth buying the day it came out: Oh yes!

Loanable to friends: Yes I would think so, now to find a friend who has time to read it.

Final thoughts: A very interesting story and I’m looking forward to the next book, Underworld. The more I read the more I liked it. There was a lot of history to the setting and the characters that made for an interesting read when being described. The myth that inspired this tale was also hinted at in a fun way. All in all it was a great read.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 3:56 am

    So… I should get it?
    I don’t know if it’s out in the UK yet, but I need more Meg in my life.

    • May 9, 2011 3:37 pm

      Lol I always need more Meg Cabot in my life. I want to say it comes out in October for the UK but I’m not 100% sure.

      • May 14, 2011 8:50 am

        Ack! I shall be in Australia by then… how annoying! x

      • May 14, 2011 10:52 am

        I have no clue about Australia. I think a trip to the nearest bookstore to do some investigating the minute you land will be in order.

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