Original title: Abandon
Year published: 2011
Published by: Macmillan Children’s Books
Number of pages: 304
First sentence: “Anything can happen in the blink of an eye.”
Plot: Last year Pierce died, just for a moment. And when she was in the space between life and death, she met John: tall dark and terrifying. There’s a fierce attraction between them, but Pierce knows that if she allows herself to fall for John she will be doomed to a life of shadows and loneliness in the underworld.
My thoughts: I had such high hopes for this book. It sounded like it could be the next big thing, but I guess if it was it would’ve been more known by now right? It could have been amazing. I so wanted it to be amazing. But it wasn’t. The story itself is actually a good one. Seven year old Pierce meets a young man in the cemetery after he grandfather’s funeral, he brings a dead bird back to life. Eight years later Pierce drowns and ends up by a lake with a bunch of other people apparently waiting for boats to take them somewhere. There she sees this young man she met all those years ago at the cemetery. Thing is, he hasn’t aged, like at all, and he kind of seems to be running the place. He asks her if she’d rather go someplace warm, which she of course agrees to because she’s wet, cold, and scared. How was she supposed to know that this means that she must stay with him forever? How was she supposed to know she was dead? So what does she do? She throws hot tea in his face and runs. She wakes up in the hospital and finds out that hypothermia is what saved her. Two years later, Pierce is 17 and a lot of weird stuff has happened since she “came back”. She’s moved to Isla Huesos with her mother, to start over. So she’s not all that surprised when she runs into this young man –who by the way is named John- at the cemetery where they first met. They have met a couple of times between her death and now of course. John seems to always be around when she’s in danger. She finds out that the place with the lake was actually the Underworld and that John is some kind of death deity. Also, he’s chosen Pierce to be his consort. Kind of like Hades and Persephone. Wait, no, exactly like Hades and Persephone. This would freak anyone out, and it does freak Pierce out at first. Until she realizes that she’s in love with him. And despite him being such a jerk – but who wouldn’t be if you’d thrown hot tea in his face?- he’s in love with her too. So how does this end? Right back where we started, with Pierce back in the Underworld –although not dead this time- trying to figure out a way to get out. Stay away from the tea John!
I love the story. The writing however, not so much. It kind of reminds me of the way I first wrote back in 2008 when I started writing fanfictions. The whole “walking down memory lane” whilst in the middle of a conversation is annoying as hell. I mean sure, I want to know what happened to Pierce when she died and all that jazz. But does she need to have an inner monologue with herself in the middle of a conversation with her uncle, cousin, mom, creepy teacher, cemetery guy or John? No not really. You can dedicate entire chapters to that. You don’t have to go: ““Yes”, Uncle Chris said as I walked towards him. Kind of like I’d walked towards John the day I’d died. I wasn’t really sure what the hell I’d been thinking just walking up to him like that. Stepping out of the line, which we’d been specifically told not to do. But I couldn’t stop myself. I walked towards him and the next thing I knew hooves where descending, very close to my face. I thought I was going to die.” It’s just annoying. Yes I want to know what happened with John but please can you finish the damn conversation with uncle Chris first? God. Also, sometimes I felt that Pierce was so naïve and childish. Sure she was only seventeen but sometimes if felt more like twelve.
So yeah, it wasn’t really as pleasant of an experience as I thought it was going to be. I gave this 3 out 5 stars on Goodreads.
Do I recommend it? No, not really. The story is great but it was very poorly executed.