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. (Goodreads)
Awaken is the third and final installment in the Abandon trilogy. Sweet lordy, these books have me swooning like crazy. I love them. I love John. I love Pierce. I love the story. And John. Wait, did I already say that?
A couple of years ago, Pierce had a near death experience. For a span of time she was clinically dead–and in the Underworld– until revived. Over time, Pierce slowly remembers her experience down under and her harrowing escape from John, the Lord of the Underworld. John became quite smitten with Pierce and tried to keep her as his captive. While she managed to escape, he was still drawn to her, intent on seeking her out. As creepy as that sounds, John was awfully sexy. He had this grumpy way of being overprotective and hot all at once. And believe it or not, Pierce fell for him. But since this is a retelling of the myth of Persephone there are all sorts of evil Furies and wicked things trying to keep them apart. Not to mention the fact that, hello, Pierce is a human and still in high school. John isn’t exactly the answer to her family’s prayers. When we leave these two at the conclusion of Underworld, Pierce has battled her Grandmother, a Fury (and you thought you had family drama), and run off with John in an effort to be safe. Her family is extremely upset because they think she’s been kidnapped by–you guessed it–John.
Things in the Underworld have gone completely crazy. The boats that take those dearly departed to their final destinations aren’t coming in, the lines of people are backing up, there are crazy, Hitchcockian birds flying all over the place and, oh yeah, it’s raining blood. Something happens to John and Pierce must decide what to do to set things right. Clearly, the Furies have a hand in this and Pierce, being the girl she is, makes the decision to return to Isla Huesos in the hopes of rescuing John and setting things right again. She takes with her Alex, the cousin brought back to life by John after being murdered by Seth Rector, as well as a few of her other Underworld friends and together they return to the island–which is currently being ravaged by a hurricane–in search of some Furies in need of a serious butt kicking.
I absolutely love this series. Meg Cabot is fabulously talented, whip-smart, and she writes with such great humor. I love that she takes on any issue, any setting (in this case, mythology) and while she creates an engaging, fun world with a fabulous story, she never takes herself too, too seriously. She can poke fun at her own characters, she can make you swoon (and she does!) and make you sit on the edge of your seat. And while not every story is one you or I may have lived (I mean, I’ve never personally known any Furies), she gives you dialogue and people who feel so authentic that they seem real, as though they’re living the same experiences you or I have had.
Let’s talk about John for a minute. He evolves so much in this series. Make no mistake, I really liked him in the first book. He was scary and dark and quite the little mystery. I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first, but I knew that for some reason this made him super-hot. In Underworld, John’s feelings for Pierce are so obviously genuine and so much more about his past, about who he is and the horrors he’s experienced, is revealed. All of this served to make him more human in my eyes. And the love Pierce has for him is evident because I think that is where they truly bond. In this final book, John isn’t perfect–and that’s what I love about him. He’s gruff and a little cranky at times (can someone tell me why this is so annoying in real life but so attractive in books? I can’t explain it). He is fiercely passionate about Pierce and quite direct about his feelings. He will do anything for her. I feel like he came full circle in this series and as a result, that boy just got better as time went on.
I love all of the relationships here, but there are two that truly stand out to me. Obviously, I love the romance between Pierce and John. These two have such hot chemistry I thought my face would melt off. Good lord, I’m not exaggerating. They are such a good couple. Throughout this series I’ve also had great affection for Mr. Smith, the cemetery sexton. He has so much insight, he’s such a friend to Pierce and I appreciate how she turns to him in times of need because he’s the only trustworthy adult who knows what’s really happening on and around the island.
Awaken wraps up this series with a powerful punch. It has a good balance of romance and action and it’s everything we’ve come to expect from Cabot, the reigning goddess of YA. Personally, I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters. As a huge Cabot fan, I had no doubts I would enjoy these books but I had no idea how addictive they’d be. With each installment I could barely turn the pages fast enough.
Crush Intensity: 4.75/5 Read this series and fall in love with it like I did! It’s in stores July 2.
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me a copy of Awaken in exchange for an honest review!