Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Awaken by Meg Cabot

Awaken
by Meg Cabot
Read: June 2 - 7, 2013
Published:  July 2, 2013 by Point (Scholastic) **UPCOMING**
Source: From publisher at BEA! 
Category: paranormal romance, myth retelling, YA
Series: Abandon trilogy, book 3 

NOTE: Awaken is the third book in a series. My thoughts on the first two books, Abandon and Underworld can be found on Goodreads. This review is safe if you've yet to start the series. 


Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die. (from Goodreads)
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Fates, Furies and ferry boats sum up Awaken. Oh and Death. Both the deity and actual bodies dropping, which make sense because a lot of it takes place in the Underworld. Awaken is the third book in the The Abandon trilogy, a modern day re-imagining of the Hades/Persephone myth, although none of these characters is actually Hades or Persephone. The mythology in this series is interesting and well written, especially as it connects to Isla Huesos (Island of Bones) where the story takes place. These three books are told as one continuing story arc, which means that each one felt a little incomplete without the others. Now that the third is about to release, it's the best time to read them. 

Awaken is definitely my favorite book of the series, mostly because I struggled a lot to connect with both Pierce and John in the first two books. John, because he sometimes read more like an over possessive stalker than a love interest, and Pierce because her mind bounces all over the place, making me nervous. Although I like that she is spunky and has a great sense of humor, I've had trouble following her at times. She and I just don't operate on the same wavelength*. Thankfully, I did like them both the best in this installment. I finally began to understand why Meg Cabot paired them up, and I saw more equality in their relationship, which is something that is very important for me when reading a love story. 

I think I struggled with John and Pierce's relationship at first because the beginning of their connection is told mostly in brief flash backs in the first book. This made the start their romance disjointed and rushed, without much of a build up between them. Then all of a sudden the were in love. There is a bit more to it than that, but it still read strangely to me. Also, John is more traditional in his perspective, and Pierce is a modern girl with ADHD, which explains much of both of their behaviors. However, the more time I've spent with them, the more I like them together. Cabot actually did a great job with their characterization, because who they are and how they behave actually makes a lot of sense. And despite their differences, or because of them, they are very good for each other. 

John especially became more relatable and less intense in this book, and he was even part of some amusing scenes. Pierce too steps it up even more and saves John this time around. She also knows exactly who John is and handles him well - while changing him in the process too. He can be very protective, which actually makes sense for where he comes from (I've really liked his progress from the first book), but Pierce is able to be her own person despite that. She rolls her eyes and does what she wants anyway, which I like a lot. Thankfully, John really appreciates and respects who she is. 

Like the other books in the Abandon trilogy, Awaken features an amusing secondary cast of characters, my favorite being Mr. Smith the cemetery sexton, but I also like his partner Patrick, Pierce's friend Kayla and her cousin Alex as well as John's 'co-workers.' John's horse Alastor is pretty awesome too. The southern Florida setting with the heat and the culture and hurricanes, all gives this book especially a great atmospheric feel.  

If you've enjoyed this series all along, I think you will be very happy with its conclusion. If like me, you've struggled with it, but stuck with the story for some unexplainable reason, I think you'll also be happy. Abandon is the only Meg Cabot series I've read, and while it's not my favorite, I can see why everyone likes her books. Despite her characters' flaws and annoying qualities, they are still endearing and fun. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Series Finale

Aren't these covers lovely together?
This is my second series finished for the Summer Series Challenge!

*On a very random side note, I felt like I understood Kiri from Hilary T. Smith's Wild Awake very well, despite the fact that her mind could also be a chaotic place. For some reason, Kiri made sense to me, but after 3 books with Pierce, her mind is still a stressful and confusing place for me to inhabit. 

8 comments:

  1. "John, because he sometimes read more like an over possessive stalker than a love interest, and Pierce because her mind bounces all over the place, making me nervous."

    YES! I've had that same feeling while reading the first two books, though I did really enjoy them. I just never fully connected to their relationship, but I'm really excited to hear you think this is the best of the three and you liked them both better:) Beautiful review Lauren!

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    1. WHen I read this one, I was like FINALLY i see why these two are together, though granted I think it should have been more obvious from the start. But thankfully, John tones himself down a bit. I'm not sure that Pierce changes much in the series, but he does a lot from the crazy person he seemed to be in the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, and I hope you are too!

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  2. I haven't read this series and though it seems good, I don't think I'd enjoy it too much. Also, possessive stalker? Not my type. :/ Still, I'm glad this did satisfy. Great review, Lauren! :)

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    1. HAHA! AWAKEN is definitely not for you, K. You would have DNF'd the first book in about 10 seconds. I'm still not sure why I kept going, except for my pathological inability to stop reading a book once I've started it. I kept wanting to figure this series out, because I honestly didn't get Pierce for much of it. But the thing is that this series DOES get better over time, though it won't be one that will be very memorable in the long run.

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  3. I have heard so-so things about this series and your review proves that I wouldn't have enjoyed this series as much even though I love mythology. Thanks for the lovely review, Lauren :)

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    1. I know how much you love mythology! But I'm not sure how you'd take the rest of this story. I think it gets better over time, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

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  4. I completely agree with you about Pierce—she and I are not on the same wavelength at all, and it's prevented me from connecting with her much (ps- I LOVE that you brought up Kiri from Wild Awake, because I'm also a million miles from her wavelength too, but I totally understood her, or maybe it's just that she's a more entertaining chaotic mind to be inside). This is not my favorite Cabot series, but she does always manage to suck me in somewhat, so I'm hopeful I'll enjoy the finale. Lovely review!

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  5. I wasn't sure whether I should read this one or not, but I really like her books. I'm on the fence about Awaken because some of my friends liked it, and some didn't. I'm glad you liked this; I think I'll try it out! Great review!

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