Author: Meg Cabot
Summary: Pierce knows what it's like to die. Because she's done it before. Though she tries returning tot he 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.
The Dish: A warm day in a field of flowers. The ground suddenly cracks. A chariot as dark as midnight and the dark lord behind it snatching a young girl before the earth swallows both of them up. Kind of dramatic, isn't it? Meg Cabot's Abandon isn't quite like the Greek myth people know, but she does create an amazing updated story with her own twist.
After having died and then been brought back to life, Pierce Oliviera just wants to have a normal life. But how can life truly return to "normal" with all that she has seen during the brief time that she was dead? I really grew to admire Pierce as the story progressed even when she was "trapped within her glass coffin" as she puts it. Originally, it was for her initial bravery of being able to come back from a place that most would fear. You can't fault her for running from a place like the Underworld especially when she had died so young. But it's when she chose to stop running and instead face her problems that I really began to like her.
Despite all of his angst and beating around the bush with Pierce, I really loved John Hayden. Readers only get to see Pierce's point of view, but Cabot also manages to show more of John through Pierce's observations and reactions to him. He did ask a great deal of her when she first died and I think anyone would be a bit freaked out if someone asked them to remain forever with a person they barely knew. But you have to feel for John's situation, too. Living alone within the bowels of the Underworld and having to direct souls to their final resting place would have to grate on a person over time. Yes, the guy does need to work on his communication skills, god of death or not, but John was always there for Pierce when she needed him even if she didn't want to admit it.
As I'd never read one of Meg Cabot's books before now, I was amazed at the pace Cabot set for the story. It progressed steadily, quickening where a major part of the plot was happening and then slowing down for a breather. I think that was partially due to the way Cabot switched between Pierce's present and gradually revealing more of what happened in her past. Going back and forth between past and present can sometimes be confusing and frustrating because the reader has to reorient themselves in where they are in the story. But Cabot pulls off this interchange flawlessly without breaking the story's flow.
Overall, this is an incredible start to a trilogy, and already I'm wanting the second book to come as soon as possible.