Abandon: Let’s Talk About It

*Warning**If you’re reading this in google reader, the jump doesn’t show up for some reason. It does on the wordpress site, so if you don’t want to be spoiled for Abandon, I suggest you click on over to the site :) http://nerdgirltalking.wordpress.com/
Howdy y’all!

Being stuck in the middle of the cicada apocalypse has done wonders for my reading habits. By coating the outside world, the cicadas have pretty much ensured that I no longer go outside, which means that I have ample time for reading! Last night I read Abandon by Meg Cabot. I know, I know. It’s been out for like forever, but I finally just got around to reading it. It is really not like me to let a Meg Cabot book go unread for so long, but it happened.

This past weekend I was talking to fellow Nerdgirl Amber (in her new house!! YAY!) and she told me that our other fellow Nerdgirls, Jill and Jen, DIDN’T like Abandon! I realize that I have been very neglectful of Twitter lately and so I am v. v. sad to have missed out on this – I promise I will not let my Twitter checking lapse again! But anyways, after reading the book, I might just maybe be able to see why they didn’t like the book. I will go on the record as saying that I DID like the book. I mean, I didn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE it like The Princess Diaries or Teen Idol or anything, but I will probably reread it again and will totally be buying the rest of the series as it comes out (but then again, one of my personal goals is to own every single book written by Meg Cabot, sooooooo…).

I feel like this picture sums up why I want Meg as one of my BFFs.

So let’s see…I should probably give you a summary of what the book is about, right? You should know by now that Abandon is a retelling of the myth of Persephone. Or rather, not exactly a retelling, more like.. I don’t know? More like Abandon was inspired by the myth. Or at least that’s how I feel. I do remember reading the Persephone myth way back in the day, and even though I couldn’t tell you exact details, I could tell you a general overview that I feel would be pretty correct. As I read Abandon, I couldn’t help but feel that if it was a retelling, it wasn’t being super true to the original myth. For those of you who haven’t read the book, I’m not going to tell you why because that would be pretty spoilery. Let’s just say that I thought it was more like, oh yeah, I can see what part of the myth you used there.

But back to the summary – Persephone. Underworld. It’s not spoiling anything to tell you that when Pierce Oliviera was 15, she died. But she was brought back to life through CPR and those shocky thingies the EMTs use to restart a person’s heart. You know what I’m talking about. I’m having a total brain fart right now. Seriously, what are those thingies called? Jumpers? Whatever. So Pierce got another chance at life. Now she’s 17 and after an unfortunate event at her prestigious all-girl’s school in Connecticut, Pierce moves with her mother to Isle Huesos to start over again. However Isla Huesos is where Pierce met John for the first time. The second time she met him was in the Underworld after she died. I think we all can guess who John is in the “re-telling”.

Ok, that’s enough for the summary. I tend to get really spoilery if I let myself go on and on and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. So from here on out, I’m doing that linky thingy again that I did for Jen and I’s joint post about Anna and the French Kiss :). So if you’ve read Abandon already or your name is Amber and you like to ignore these warnings, go ahead and click on the

I’m still weary of actually making the post jump. Hello to all you Abandon readers or warning ignorers and Amber!

So let’s talk about Abandon. Jill, Jen (and anyone else), I want to know why you didn’t like the book. Also, even though you didn’t like it, are you going to read the rest of the series anyways? Did anyone like the book? You know, I will say this – even though I did like the book, I was annoyed at how it took a while to get to figure out what Pierce was talking about. I don’t understand why there was all this build up about how she died, or what the school incident was.

Oh! Another thing I didn’t really love – John and Pierce’s “love”. When exactly did John fall in love with Pierce? When she was 7 and asked him bring the bird back to life? When she was 15 and it was only the SECOND time he’d met her? The first time we meet John is like the fifth time Pierce has met him. Call me crazy, but I’m going to go ahead and say that that’s not love. Is it because the dude is super old? And if he’s so dang old, surely there had to have been at least one person who passed through his gateway that he could have imagined spending eternity with. I mean, I haven’t figured out why Pierce is just so amazing that she’s the one. Surely she’s not the only pure hearted girl in the area. Call me crazy again, but I almost think that Kayla would have been the more interesting girl to pick. But whatevs. This is not my book.

OK, so now it may seem to you that I actually DIDN’T like the book. Which I did. Pierce’s annoyingness aside, I did feel for her a teensy bit. Although no way in heck would I be trying to save a bird or a lizard. I’m pretty afraid of birds (do you remember that one time this bird was on my porch and I couldn’t get it to move so I sat outside for like a half hour waiting for it to leave? I do.) and I’d say that I’m even MORE afraid of lizards. Is there a kind of animal that I’d ever try to rescue? I don’t know. I would say a cat or dog, but unfamiliar cats and dogs tend to scratch and bite – hell, even familiar cats and dogs have scratched and bitten me. I know rabbits can bite you…fish are disgusting…turtles can bite..hmmm… I guess I could say that if I ever OWNED a pet, probably a dog since I am allergic to cats, I would save MY dog. So there you go. Guess I’m not going to be chosen as an Underworld consort.

So where was I? Oh yes. Pierce can be annoying, but I mean, come on – she DID die, everybody thinks she’s crazy, she has this spooky guy, who is super hot, show up every time her well being is threatened and “saves” her but then she gets blamed for the things he does, she has to move to this creepy island in hurricane territory (I am SO sorry, girlfriend) that is named Island of Bones. I’m not superstitious or anything, but HELL to the NO would I ever even think about going on vacation to someplace named Island of Bones!

Can we talk about Uncle Chris now? I want to know why he went to jail. I’m sure we’ll find out in the next book. Also, he seems like maybe he’s got a mental illness? I don’t know. Did anybody else get that feeling? Or is suffering for PTSD? Maybe it was just how I read his lines in my head, but something was off about him to me. Maybe it was all that weather channel talk or the obsessive mountain dew drinking. P.S. I super hate mountain dew. I don’t know why. I mean, the taste of it is OK, but for some reason I always feel like I’m drinking cat pee or something equally disgusting. Does anyone else feel this way? Just me? What did you guys think of Uncle Chris?

And then there’s Alex. Poor kid. Your mother seems to be some kind of internet stripper? And your dad was in jail for most of his life. Then there’s the fact that you had to live with your Fury grandmother for your entire life… That must have sucked. I mean seriously, can a Fury nurture someone? And then we know that there’s a reason that he hates the popular kids. Poor Alex, what did they do to you? Again, I’m sure we’ll find out.

So my final verdict is that I did like this book. Sure, some things pissed me off, but what mainly pissed me off was the ending and how I shut the book and realized I now have to wait who knows how long to see how the story plays out. So well played, Meg Cabot. Well played.

Now get thee to the comments and let me know what you thought!

Magically deliciously yours,

Lindsay

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21 Responses to “Abandon: Let’s Talk About It”


  1. 1 Diana May 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Hey, Lindsay. I’m one of the people who did like Abandon. Then again, it’s by Meg Cabot, so even before reading it, there was a pretty good chance that I’d enjoy it. I like that one of your personal goals is to own every single book written by Meg Cabot. I think I own everything she’s ever written, but can’t be sure because my books are scattered everywhere. Anyway, back to Abandon.

    I didn’t mind that it took a while for things to be revealed. It forced me to pay attention more and try to figure out why certain things were the way they were. It was like putting together a puzzle, which I quite enjoyed. Pierce didn’t annoy me as much as she did you, but you bring up a good point of how quickly she and John shared a connection. I’m assuming that will be addressed in the subsequent books. I think the second book will be released in late April next year. About Uncle Chris: I think his going to jail may have had something to do with his mother’s true identity. I didn’t get the feeling that he has a mental illness. I’m looking forward to Pierce’s dad having more of a presence in the next two books. Even though his company was responsible for one of the worst environmental disasters in history and his ex-wife blamed him for their daughter’s accident, there’s something that I find intriguing and entertaining about him. The fact that Pierce’s grandma doesn’t like him means he’s a-ok in my book. I have this habit of peeking at the end of books, which usually doesn’t make my reading experience a bad one. However, I wish I hadn’t peeked at the ending of Abandon because I found out about Grandma before I actually got to that part. I totally didn’t see that coming, and it would’ve been cool to be surprised by her identity. Anyway, I’m excited about the rest of the books in the trilogy, especially because I suspect Pierce will do some major ass-kicking in the future books.

    Frequently asked questions on the Abandon page:

    http://www.megcabot.com/abandon/faq.php

  2. 2 ngtlindsay May 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    @Diana Yay! I’m glad you liked it too! It’s not that I didn’t like Pierce, you know? It’s just that I found some of her a little bit unbearable. Like, is saving animals what makes you good? She seemed a bit clueless, but then again, she did seem to be a little bit in her own world. So maybe that’s it. It’s just that something needled at me with her a bit more than the average Cabot heroine. And good point about Uncle Chris! And also Pierce’s dad!! That he might be actually good never really crossed my mind, but you’re totes magoats right!
    Also, I totally checked out the faq page and yeah…Abandon is not so much a retelling…so my bad there. :)

  3. 3 Diana May 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    The Greek god Zeus was a powerful ruler, and if Pierce’s dad is anything like Zeus, Grandma better watch out. I can’t wait for her to get her comeuppance.

  4. 4 ngtjennifer May 25, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    There were a lot of things I didn’t like about this book. I too found Pierce really annoying, so I didn’t really enjoy reading a book narrated by her.

    I also really disliked the whole “I’m only going to reveal tiny tidbits at a time to be all cryptic.” It was confusing and frustrating and felt very forced to me. It was like the complete and total opposite of When You Reach Me, which did that perfectly.

    I also hated the relationship between Pierce and John. It wasn’t even a relationship, it was a cardboard cutout “love” that could have been copied and pasted out of any Twilight imitation on shelves right now.

    I expected so much more from our wonderful Meg. Such a disappointment for me.

    (Sorry if this sounds mean, but you know when I don’t like a book, I REALLY don’t like a book.)

  5. 5 ngtlindsay May 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    @Jen, Yeah, no I hear you. And I am so glad you said Twilight, because I have been wanting to say that it felt a little Twilighty to me too, what with Pierce being so self-sacrificing, ya know?
    I wonder if she was just in such a super rush to finish this book or something? I don’t know. But still, I liked it enough.
    @Diana OMG! I totally didn’t put Zeus and Mr. Oliviera together! Ah! I will deffo be rereading and putting more things together.

    Man, I love talking about books. I seriously seriously need to do that Jellicoe Road post.

  6. 6 Diana May 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Lindsay, what do you think of Seth Vector, the popular guy in Abandon? I don’t like him. I may be biased when it comes to jocks in books, but he’s too perfect-sounding. Also, his name reminds me of Josh Richter. Boo! I’m pretty sure his dad is the hometown dude whom Pierce’s mom was involved with years ago. Mr. Oliviera needs to come to Isla Huesos to claim his woman! :P

    Jen, are you planning to read the next two books? If so, maybe you’ll like them more.

    I bought Jellicoe Road a while ago because I’d heard good things about it. I can’t wait to read it.

  7. 7 ngtlindsay May 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    @Diana OMG I totally was thinking of Josh Richter too! I actually pictured him as Erik Von Detten! And yeah, I was totally expecting Seth to be a Fury or at least some of the popular girls. Or maybe Meg could throw a twist and have them be good. Who knows!
    Also, JELLICOE ROAD! READ READ READ! Jellicoe Road = one of my FAVORITEST BOOKS!

  8. 8 Diana May 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I used to watch the soap Days of Our Lives and still remember Erik von Detten on the show when he was a little kid. When I saw him in Princess Diaries years ago, I was like, “It’s the kid from Days of Our Lives!” Speaking of the PD movie, there’s a scene that was filmed on the roof of the school where I used to work. I think it was filmed one or two years before I’d started working there, but still, pretty cool.

    I’ve read comments by people about how when they first started Jellicoe Road, it was kind of confusing, but they were glad that they stuck with the book. Is the story non-linear? That doesn’t necessarily scare me, but I thought it was interesting that it came up so many times.

  9. 9 ngtlindsay May 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Erik Von Detten! Does anyone remember him from So Weird? I LOVED that show. At least I did before Fi left it.
    Anyways, Jellicoe Road! Yeah, the story is kind of two stories, and the book goes back and forth between them, but it’s not like random or anything. It’s really beautiful! See this is why I need to post! So I can talk it up!

  10. 10 Diana May 26, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I remember the show So Weird, but never really watched it. I do remember Erik, Blake Lively’s older brother Eric, and Mackenzie Phillips being on it.

    I have so many books in my TBR pile that I don’t know where to start sometimes. It’s overwhelming, but I guess there are worse problems to have. ;)

  11. 11 ngtjennifer May 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    @Lindsay I feel like with both of her new books (Abandon and the vampire one) she caved to pressure from her publishers. It’s almost like they said, paranormal is all the rage, you need to write about it NOW! I disliked both of them, so I am super nervous about any of her upcoming books.

  12. 12 Diana May 28, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Jen, have you read Meg’s two older paranormal series, The Mediator and 1-800 series? I’ve only read the first two Mediator books, but thought they were pretty good. A lot of people are pretty obsessed with that series. I read all five books in the 1-800 series and really, really liked those. Don’t know if Meg was pressured by publishers to write Abandon and Insatiable, but she definitely has a background in writing in this genre even when it wasn’t that popular. I read that when she posted her high school drawings of Persephone and Hades on her blog years ago, she received a lot of feedback from readers that she should write a book based on her drawings and the Persephone myth.

  13. 13 ngtlindsay May 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    @Diana So Weird! So good! Also, OMG, I totally LOVED the Mediator series! I mean, I liked the Missing series too, but LOOOOOVED the Mediator books. I remember picking those up back before the Princess Diaries! Back when they made her write under Jenny Carroll. Man, I am so old!
    And you’re totally right – I do remember her saying that stuff about the Persephone drawings. So she probably wasn’t pressured, but I still feel almost like the book was rushed.
    Although I DO have to say that I did like Insatiable! Although I will also say that I liked her other adult book better. Heather Wells! I actually think she’s going to put out another HW book, so YAY!
    I so cannot wait until July! Meg can’t get here soon enough!

  14. 14 Diana May 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I totally need to read the rest of the books in the Mediator series.

    I totally felt old when I was at the Forever Princess event in New York in 2009 because most of the people there were teenagers and kids.

    Whom do you want Meena to end up with in Overbite? I’m leaning more towards Alaric at the moment.

    I love the Heather Wells books! She has two more HW books planned. I think Meg said that the next HW book will be released sometime in 2012. I can’t wait to read them, especially since Heather and Cooper are finally together. I love Cooper!

    You’ll have to report back about seeing Meg in TN. She’ll be here with Libba Bray and Maggie Stiefvater next month. Can’t wait!

  15. 15 ngtlindsay May 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    COPPER!
    Wait, Libba is coming to TN??? I just checked her blog and I didn’t see any TN dates :( :(
    HOWEVER! I do know Maggie will be coming to the public library later on in July!
    YAY!!! I will totally be live tweeting the event. I super hope the Salon 615 people at the library (who are hosting her) will let me pick Meg up from the airport!

    Also, I am firmly on the non-vampire side, so I am totally in favor of Alaric!

    Also, did I say COOPER! COOOOOOP!

  16. 16 Diana May 29, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Cooper is probably my favorite male character from Meg’s adult books (Michael Moscovitz being my all-time favorite Meg dude :P).

    Sorry for the confusion. Meg, Libba, and Maggie will be in San Francisco next month for a This is Teen event. My sister and I are planning to go. My sister doesn’t read YA books, but I didn’t want to go by myself, so I got her a ticket to accompany me.

    OMG, it would be awesome if you got to pick Meg up from the airport! Did you ever read about the Forever Young Adult gals having lunch with Meg a while ago? So cool!

  17. 17 ngtjennifer May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I haven’t read her other paranormal books. I had forgotten that she did those. I just thought it was very “interesting” that she came out with a vampire book right in the middle of all the vampire stuff.

    P.S. I LOVE Cooper!!

  18. 18 ngtlindsay May 29, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    @Jen You should totes magoats read the Missing (1-800…) and Mediator books (I LOVE SUZE!) I think you’d enjoy them! Also, YAY COOPER!
    @Diana OMG If I got to pick up Meg I would do it wearing a tiara and holding a sign that said Princess Meg or something like that. I SO HOPE THEY NEED SOMEONE TO PICK HER UP!! I most definitely did read about the lunch adventure with FYA and went jealous all the way to my toes! The FYA ladies are SO AWESOME!
    Also, I am way jealous that you get to go see Meg, Maggie AND Libba all at the same time! I seriously need to move to a more book friendly place like SF or Chicago or NYC. UGH! Stupid Nashville killing off all my bookstores!

  19. 19 ngtjill June 3, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    OF COURSE Meg Cabot would come to Chicago when I have to work! The same goes for Maureen Johnson & Veronica Roth (author of Divergent). :(

  20. 20 Amber June 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    hahahahaha soooo I DID actually wait to read these posts until after I finished! (I know, totally weird for me) And I have to see I giggled at the zillion side conversation you all had in these comments. Love it. especially that so weird was brought up.

    I will just make a couple quick comments:

    1. I liked it. I liked it more than the Airhead series by far.
    2. I didn’t really find this narrator annoying at all–granted, I read this book pretty leisurely so I had lots of time to grow with Pierce. I wasn’t slammed with her all at once.
    3. I agree that I really really hope her Dad ends up being a good guy. I have a soft spot in my heart for capitalists who are always portrayed negatively. And I feel horrible that her mom blames him for Pierce’s accident–although I can’t blame her mom for that either…
    4. Now, I am always known for defending the things that everyone else hates, so lets talk about the “weird love” between Pierce and John. Two words= greek myth. This is a play on the romance in myths, legends, and fairy tales that we LOVE! Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip fell in love in their dreams, remember? To me, Meg Cabot is playing on how we totally accept the concept of instant love in stories, but not in real life. When she does put it in a contemporary setting, then it feels weird! Not just to us, but also to Pierce! In fact, love never occurred to her until the very end of the book–it never even crossed her mind until he kissed her. All she knew was that she was connected to him. And I positively MELTED when he kissed her. OMG I was on my lunch break at work, and I totally went back the desk all flustered and blushing.
    5. Sadly, I think the teacher-student thing is something a lot of kids have to deal with (I can think of several examples from my high school) so I don’t really find that trend overplayed.


  1. 1 Abandon: The Negative « NerdGirlBlogging Trackback on May 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

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