|There are only so many themes/plots to be found on the YA shelves. Werewolves, vampires, witches, psychics and the new favorite of the moment – near death experiences. I’ve just finished writing a review of Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, another near-death based novel, there are many more. Most of them focus on the nearly-dead having some superpower, or sudden clarity and then take the story from there. Not in Abandon.
Abandon is the story of Pierce (female), who dies way before the book happens (2 years to be exact). Dying didn’t give Pierce any super powers, in fact it royally screwed up her life. The reader meets Pierce as she is moving to a small island off in the Florida keys, the daughter of a high flying business mogul and a beautiful biologist, shes not your usual heroine. After her near-death experience(NDE) Pierce has accepted that what she saw whilst dead was not what NORMAL NDE’s see, she didn’t see a light but had an all together stranger experience (which is explained later on), and escaped, coming back to life. Whilst everyone thinks she was dreaming, Peirce has proof it was real – a necklace that she brought back with her. Bring in death deities, the furies and a tall, dark (but annoying) stranger and you’ve got the crux of the story.
I love Cabot’s catalog of work, there’s few pieces I don’t like. Abandon sits in the middle of the road (as far as cabots works are done). The story is good, Cabot has taken the near death theme and turned it around, and the two or three major twists at the end are totally unexpected. BUT, theres not much depth to the story – it feels like its written for tweens, not YA’s. Its a short book, and would have been better served with a bit of scene setting. Any one that follows my blog or reviews will know that I love to label characters as ‘human’ and despite Peirce’s privileged upbringing, she is very relatable, I suspect she may have been a bit of a bitch pre-NDE (although her kind nature is mentioned a bit) but thats not evident here and now. A few more faults would be good, she’s meant to be ‘messed up’ yet she seems fairly level headed through out. Not enough time is spent on her supporting cast, I would love to know more about her Uncle and new friends.
A good start to a promising series, however the series may struggle if the reader isn’t given more to digest and get involved in.