Abandoned was one of those books that we all knew we wanted to read and talk about. Unfortunately, it came at a time when not all of us had the time for reading, and we certainly didn’t have the time to gush about it as a group. So Caitlin and I decided we’d just each do a little individual gushing. Because we couldn’t wait to tell y’all how much we loved Abandoned and Meg Cabot.
Kate: Meg Cabot is a goddess. She writes fantasy books that don’t feel like fantasy books. Like Avalon High. Oh, so the King Arthur myth is all real and we’re living it? Ok, cool, no big deal. And she carried that same sense of normalcy to Abandoned. The premise of this book is crazy and fantastical, but it never felt that way reading it because Pierce is amazingly grounded. She is so rational and calm, even at the times of the most crazy, and I really appreciated that about her. It also really fit in with what an outsider she felt like – how it was so hard for her to relate to her peers. It made this book so very human – Pierce wants to be able to relate to everyone like she used to (especially her Mother), but she just can’t, and the consequences of it follow her everywhere. It’s so smart and metaphorical and deeply impressing. And I liked John, too. I felt like I shouldn’t like him for a lot of the book. He was flawed and broken and so deeply unsure about everything and so saddled with this task that it was pretty clear made him miserable. But…I liked him anyway. I liked him because Pierce liked him. She really carried this book and its plot, which was so well written and the perfect balance of a little bit tragic, a little bit mysterious, a little bit funny, and a lot bit good to read. I figure that, unlike so many YA heroines lately, I could trust Pierce to be smart. I could trust her to step away when she needed to and to fix things. For me, the fantasy in this book (though both important and excellent) was secondary to her and her story. I didn’t realize until I was about fifteen pages from the end that this had to be the opening of a sequel and I was on the one hand disappointed that I’d have to wait around for the end and on the other so stoked that it wasn’t the end.
Caitlin: I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t love about Abandon. It has fantastic characters, a suspenseful plot, smooth writing, and a good story. Pierce’s relationships with the people around her are so tangible through the writing I feel as I lived in this world and gotten to know everyone. Her awkward long distance relationship with her dad, the too-close relationship with her mom, and (my favourite) the confusing relationship she has with John. Every time the two of them were together I could feel their inability to communicate with each other. Their shy, halting conversations hiding a deeper caring for one another that’s gotten lost in all the missteps in their interactions. My favourite thing about Pierce was that she wasn’t immediately ready to give up her life for the mysterious, handsome guy. And the idea of spending eternity with him frightens her. This made her seem all the more real to me. And gave John this double sided-ness. On one hand, he was offering so much to Pierce, and he clearly cared for her a great deal. But on the other hand, he was prepared to take so much from her, with or without her permission. It was nice to see the love interest of YA paranormal romance be so flawed. I cannot wait for the rest of this series to see where and Pierce grow, together or apart.