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)
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.