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ABANDON by Meg Cabot

ABANDON

By Meg Cabot

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 26th, 2011
ISBN: 970-0-545-28410-3
Publisher: Point/Scholastic

In the current game of one-upsmanship that is the teen paranormal romance market, how does one top vampires, faeries, angels (fallen and otherwise) and the like? Why, make your dark and brooding male lead the Lord of Death, of course. Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera and her mother have just moved to Isla Huesos (an alternative Key West) to start over after her near-death experience two years earlier (she drowned in the backyard swimming pool) and her parents' subsequent breakup. But Isla Huesos just happens to be a portal to the Underworld, making it very easy for tall, dark and handsome John to monitor the girl who ran away from him at 15. She wants to live, darn it, and bad things always happen when he shows up, so why is she so unhappy when he takes back the magical necklace he gave her when she was dead? Cabot's a pro; Pierce is a perfectly likable if almost preternaturally good protagonist; her relationships with her ex-con uncle, underachieving cousin and new buddy Kayla are genuinely endearing, and her interactions with John have the right mix of humor and sexual chemistry. A refreshingly offhandedly gay cemetery sexton rather testily helps Pierce along the way. Ultimately, though, the conventions of the form leach real suspense from the plot, making it feel more like a progress to the inevitable sequel (Underworld, coming in the indefinable soon) than any real reboot of the genre. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)