A review by book_hoarding_dragon
Abandon, by Meg Cabot

2.0

On paper Abandon looks like to be a great read with a re-imagining of the Hades and Persephone or Pluto and Proserpina (the Roman counterparts). Mysterious Heroine and Hero (you need there to be some form of secrets or mystery with any character). Plus, Meg Cabot I was really excited for this read. (I've devoured her 1-800-where-r-u and Mediator Series, and her Avalon High and Insatiable book. Though, I disliked the heroine in Mediator I still liked her hero in that one. But the 1-800 was great and the twist in Avalon High was genius!) However, Abandon... the disappointments just kept coming....

I like stories that have intrigue and mystery. However, this book had TOO MUCH mystery and intrigue. There was:
1. The "accident"
2. The "incident" (which happened after the "accident" and is not to be confused with the "incident" really?)
3. The necklace.
4. And why hell the necklace is like a mood stone for other people or maybe it's just for her. Remember black means you're angry or it's below zero outside.
5. Why the hell do all the popular kids have white shining teeth that you need to have sunglasses on to avoid the glare?
6. What is Coffin Night?
7. Why does Alex hate all of the Popular kids?
8. What crime did Alex's dad (heroine's) commit that landed him in prison?
9. Who is the mysterious man that heroine's father keeps talking about that the mother is crushing on?
10. Besides of the whole human version of Hades who is John?

I'm sure there is more, but look at all this... this is all within ONE book. Over a series I can understand, but one book? Nuh-uh. There were too much in this story to really care about the heroine's dilemma's. After about 100 pages of every little thing being a shroud of mystery, I just didn't give a damn. If it wasn't for my tenacity to finish books I start (Sunshine by Robin McKinley one day I shall prevail!) I would've put this one on my 'sell list' after 100 pages.

Usually, with Cabot I can empathize or at least understand her characters but Pierce (the heroine) I just wanted to shake her with her inconsistency (as a previous reviewer has pointed out). One second she's going on about how she cares for people she loves and just does things for THEM. Yeah, then why prey tell does she do things that she knows that'll hurt them? Things that seem to be in her own self interest. Like hanging out with the rich snobs cause they're in the shade when her cousin made it clear that he intensely dislikes them. Oh, wait it's to protect her loved ones by finding evil. Huh? Really? Yeah, cause that is what life is ALL about finding evil. I couldn't help but roll my eyes everytime the character said that. Also, how she was with regard to her father irritated me. At times she actually seemed to care about him other times she was a snob to him. Excuse me, but if one of my parents were paying off a civil suit I'd try to be a little bit nicer to them. She came off as if she felt entitled about everything which I find to be not a good trait in a person.

John the "hero" of the story. I guess, is a centuries old angsty teenager? If that's not asking for trouble I don't know what is. I think part of the problem was that we saw so little interaction with him or to really get to know him.

Oh, and the whole "furies" thing? That really hit my pet peeve button. The whole signing on humans to help out with the deciding where souls go to (Elysian Field or Tartarus), point for you Cabot. HOWEVER, spirits that are essentially so evil and so bad that they go out and possess people as a way to hurt John? I wanted to snap my fingers, do the head slide, and say "oh no, you didn'" at Cabot. I am a mythology junkie and completely rewriting mythological deities, no. Though, yes, Cabot did get it right that the Furies do torment the evildoers in Tartarus. However the Erinyes (Furies or the Dirae which is their Roman counterpart) were much more than that. They were also goddess' of retribution or vengeance. Not only if a law was broken but if ethics were also broken. The Erinyes could punish with disease or with cases with patricide or matricide drive the killer insane. *gets off soapbox*

If instead Cabot had called them something else that would have been fine. Or even just called them shades, that would be fine too.

Also, one thing that really bugged me about this book: the heroine had studied Greek mythology how could she not know who Homer was?

So, yes, I was severely disappointed with this book. I was hoping for so much better. I wanted to give this book a 1 but for Cabot's track record I'm giving it a 2.