Author: Meg Cabot
320 pages, published by Point
Buy The Book: Amazon
Abandon, book one in a new trilogy, is a retelling of the Persephone myth. I know you’re all thinking, Hmmm didn’t I just read a review somewhere about a different YA retelling of the Persephone myth? Yes, I recently reviewed Aimee Carter’s take on the Persephone myth, The Goddess Test. As you might remember, I loved Carter’s story of a young girl forced to endure a seemingly impossible set of challenges in order to spend more time with her ailing mother. Abandon might also be a retelling of the Persephone myth, but Cabot takes a much different angle on the classic tale making it all her own.
Abandon is told from the point of view of a teenage girl named Pierce. Pierce (I love that name!) is dealing with a lot. She recently survived a near death experience. She had major problems at her old school. And, to top it all off, her parents divorced. After the divorce, she moved with her mom to a small island community off the coast of Florida where she sees the creepy guy, John Hayden (hmm Hayden? Hades?) that she has encountered repeatedly since she was a child.
Pierce is placed in a special section of her high school, the dreaded “D Wing” that is just for students dealing with severe issues. In Pierce’s case the issue is anger management. I thought the scenes in the novel that take place within Pierce’s high school realistically portrayed the social dynamics between teens. Cabot did a great job of depicting the subtle and sometimes not so subtle social torture that the “cool” kids inflicted on the “D Wingers.”
John Hayden, first appears to Pierce when she’s a little girl. She doesn’t know it then, but she will have a connection on and off with him for years. John is sort of like the anti-guardian angel. He shows up when Pierce is in jeopardy and saves her while screwing things up at the same time. I hope that makes sense. It’s a wee bit hard to explain. I’m not going to go into all of her background with John, because that would give much of the book away. Suffice it to say that John is a smoldering, hot, hunky mess and by the end of the book , you will want to read the next book immediately just to read more scenes in which he appears!
I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling of the Persephone myth. I think the Persephone books –I hear there are still more retellings of the myth to come– are going to become a favorite new “genre” (or should I say subcategory?) for me. Sort of like how I love to read many of the different vampire series, I think I will probably read every Persephone retelling that comes out. Meg Cabot’s Abandon a standout among the many retellings of Greek myths that have popped up in YA recently. If you like books that combine teen angst, romance, and classic myths, then Abandon should be the next book you purchase.
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