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Lit Chicks Challenge pick: Abandon


 
When Pierce Oliviera drowns, she’s sure this is the end. But after reuniting with a strange man from her past and escaping the Underworld he rules, she quickly realizes that this is only the beginning. No one believes her far-fetched story until a man at a cemetery ‘fesses up that he’s died, too. And the dark and deadly John? Definitely not a figment of her imagination.

 

Meg Cabot’s latest novel, Abandon, reimagines the ancient Persephone myth. It’s a dark story that deals with death and rebirth, suicide and vengeful violence. And I loved it.

 

It came as a shock when I looked up at the clock a few days ago, book in hand, and realized it was way past my bedtime and I had torn through about 200 pages. Why? Because I’d never considered myself a paranormal romance enthusiast. Meg Cabot’s new book? Awesome. The genre? Eh, not so much.

 

But I found Abandon easy to love. From heroine Pierce, a high school senior telling her own crazy tale, to the slow unveiling of the mysterious John Hayden, the characters were ridiculously lifelike. Pierce’s overbearing father could have been my bestie’s dear ol’ dad. And Alex and Kayla? They could totally have attended my high school.

 

The story itself is gripping. While its timeline is frustratingly vague in the first few pages, once you resign yourself to finding out what’s going on later, you fall into the world Cabot creates. And what a world! Even with the paranormal, dreamlike elements of the Underworld, Furies and death deities, there’s a sense that this could all really be happening. A simple accident could land you in Pierce’s shoes and take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

What did I love most? As an ancient history buff, I adored how Cabot reimagined the myth of Persephone without completely rewriting. It remained a myth to the characters in the novel, too. This wasn’t just a fanciful retelling ala Beastly but more of a continuing story.

 

TALK BACK: Tell us what you think

Let’s get the conversation going with a few discussion questions. Feel free to address them (or not) in the comments!

 

1. What do you think the title, Abandon, means?

2. What did you think of Meg Cabot’s use of the Persephone myth and the Underworld?

3. Abandon is the first book in a trilogy. What do you think we can expect to happen in the next two books?

 

 

Word to the wise: If you haven’t read Abandon yet and don’t want your experience with the novel to be spoiled, do yourself a favor and don’t read the comments to this post ‘til you’ve read the last page of the book!
 
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 6/24/2011 8:00:00 AM

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