Monday, June 27, 2011

Mythological Mondays: ABANDON by Meg Cabot


Mythological Mondays is a feature I created to spotlight books brimming with--you guessed it--mythology! I adore this sub-genre and can't wait to share my love with all of my fellow bookworms! This feature isn't just focused on novel reviews; it may also include interviews, looks at original mythological tales, etc. Please feel free to do this with me! If you guys ever do a mythological feature and want to join this and snag my lovely mermaid, I would LOVE to see the feature. I’ve even included a Linkbox for you. It doesn’t have to be Greek mythology, or even mythology per say. It can be mermaids, unicorns, or heck, even fairy tales (because I’m too lazy to do a separate fairy tale feature…). It doesn’t even have to be every Monday. I’m sure there will be Mondays when I skip, too. ^_^








Though she tries returning to the 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.


From Goodreads



I love Greek Mythology. Obviously, right? Why else would Mythological Mondays exist? I also love Meg Cabot, whether she’s writing for teens or adults. I’ve been reading her for years and always rejoice when I see a new book with her name slapped on it. (This isn’t to say I’ve read or enjoyed every single book written by her, but I can claim to own a good selection of her novels.) How excited was I when I heard that her latest novel was not only teen fiction, but based around the story of Persephone and Hades? You guessed it: I couldn’t contain myself.

While I enjoy Cabot’s work, the only series by her that had me salivating for the next book and the one after THAT was her teen series AIRHEAD. Her books are getting better and more adrenaline-filled. Is that possible? It must be. Sometimes, I miss the humor infused in her old books (we totally passed my [then new] copy of SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT around the Residence Life Office back when I was a Resident Assistant and were rolling in the aisles with laughter). But I can’t say that I dislike where she’s going. Especially if she’s writing about mythology.

That said, ABANDON starts out slow. It’s the first in a trilogy and Cabot is setting up the world for readers. There’s not as much interaction between the two main characters as readers would like in the first book. With Cabot’s wonderful way of writing romance, I was surprised at the lack of scenes the two main characters have together. At the same time, it leaves a lot of anticipation for books two and three. Things can only get better. Cabot is going to slam us with a one-two punch in the next go-round. I know that, so I forgive her for holding out on us right now. She has a vision and will make it worth our while. You just wait. Just don’t going into ABANDON expecting a full-blown romance. The decision to contain the romance and let it blossom is a smart one. Cabot is basing her retelling of Persephone and Hades on the original tale, where Persephone is in the Underworld against her will. Love won’t come immediately, but must take root and unfurl over time. Plus, it’s a refreshing change from all the teen romance novels cluttering the market full of insta-love right now. You know the ones. The couple meets and is instantly head over heels in TRUE LOVE. Yeah, no. Love isn’t like that. Lust, yes. Love, no. Cabot is going to take her time and develop the romance right. I can appreciate that.

ABANDON also relies on flashbacks to tell many important events. Over time, I wish there were fewer of these, but they are important for development and, again, books two and three will only move forward from here. The way Cabot modernizes the famous Greek myth and brings it into today’s world is the novel’s heart. Pierce is our Persephone character, and actually met John Hayden at her father’s funeral when she was still a child. He performed a magic trick and brought a bird back to life for her. He also shows up again when she’s older through events that are revealed through a series of flashbacks. He’s always there when something is going horribly wrong in Pierce’s life, though she was never really aware of him until the day she died. And no, that’s not a spoiler. Readers find out from the start that Pierce has had a NDE (Near-Death Experience). This connects her to the Underworld in a way she never thought possible—and now that she’s returned to life, Death wants her back. After something goes wrong and Pierce is kicked out of school, she moves to Isla Huesos (Island of Bones) where her mother grew up. The same island where she met the mysterious man who brought a bird back to life in the cemetery for as a child. Fate is forcing Pierce and John to once again cross paths—whether Pierce wants to see him again or not.

I, personally, can’t wait to read UNDERWORLD in 2012 and see the mythology really come to life. I have a feeling that the middle book in the trilogy will be meaty and fulfilling (and yeah, it will probably have a horrendous cliffhanger to boot). If you like mythology, you won’t want to miss the ABANDON trilogy.


COVER DESIGN

ABANDON is beautiful both inside and out. Elizabeth B. Parisi and Kristina Iulo put together one sharp-looking book. First, let’s look at the book’s exterior:


I love all the gold foil and the dotted pattern snaking around. On first glance, you think, “Oh, great, another book with a dead or sleeping girl in a pretty dress on the cover. Jump on the bandwagon much?” Upon closer inspection, there’s so much more at play. The hand splayed above the model’s head is caked in dirt, as is her dress. Look closely: That pure-white silk has been soiled. It’s impossible to see unless you’re really LOOKING. Same with her hand. The dirt is deftly added and brings atmosphere to the cover. Plus, all the luxurious gold surrounding her really pops against the dark background. I also like how the cover continues around the spine and back. The subtext on the front states, “She knows what it’s like to die” and when you flip to the back, the message continues with an ominous, “Now Death wants her back.” How cool and creepy is that?

But you know what my favorite thing about the cover is? The “A” in ABANDON:


How gorgeous is that? I love that it takes on a straight, dripping line, unlike the curves of the swirls everywhere else. It’s unique and it stands out.

Next, let’s remove the cover (Oh, kinky!):


I love that the gold embossing continues and that there is an engraved flourish that matches ones from the inside design.

The inner cover also has the flourish imprinted on both the front interior and back interior pages that look like this:


I love that the color is rich and blends well with all the exterior’s gold. It looks very lush, don’t you think? Almost like expensive wallpaper!

And the inside: Oh, the inside!

The title page is, once again, beautiful:


I like that this time, the background is black, reflecting all the black from the cover’s background.

Finally, the beginning of each and every chapter looks like this:


I love that the flourishes continue throughout the book. ABANDON has, in my opinion, one of the best overall designs of 2011. It still can’t beat WITHER by Lauren DeStefano (design gushing here and here), which has been touched on every. single. page.
...But it comes pretty darn close!

3 comments:

  1. I think I'd be a little frustrated with the love part if I didn't already know what to expect. Now that I know, though, I think it might actually be a nice thing. No insta love, you know? I'm going to try to wait until the next book is published before start this, so I can just read straight through them and maybe then the romance will just feel like a slow burn and not an absence of romance.

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  2. I'm excited for this one, because I love mythology! Hope I enjoy it! And WOW! What a gorgeous book! :D

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  3. @Small: I'm glad I mentioned all that, then! I was a little frustrated, but it also makes sense. I hate when authors draw out the romance and make you wait forever (Ally Carter, I'm totally looking at you!), but I understand it, too!

    @Ashley: Yay, mythology! SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover is still my favorite of the 2011 crop (and perhaps a favorite EVER), but ABANDON is still good, too! And isn't it beautiful? I cannot WAIT to see the design for the rest of the series!

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