BOOK REPORT for Awaken (Abandon Book 3) by Meg Cabot

Cover Story: At Least It Matches?

BFF Charm: Yay

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Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Talky Talk: Straight Up with a Twist

Bonus Factors: Scoobies, The Real World

Relationship Status: An Amicable Post-Graduation Breakup

 Awaken Cabot

Cover Story: At Least It Matches?

I'm not a huge fan of the previous covers in this series, but I can appreciate a unifying theme. I can also appreciate how John gradually creeps into the covers until ROLE REVERSAL SYMMETRY! he's the one who's playing possum. Plus, Pierce has yet another fancy white dress (or cream colored, in this case) that I'd love to wear. It could be worse, is what I'm saying.

The Deal:

This is the final book of the Abandon series. Herein lies spoilers for Abandon and Underworld.

WELL. Pierce is going to have some hella awkward family reunions in the future. Grandma? Still being possessed by a Fury, still wanting to kill Pierce dead. After being trapped in a coffin by some idiot classmates, Pierce's cousin Alex freaking died but then totally got revived. (One of the many—or few?—perks of dating a death god. The others mainly involving the eye candy that is John.) And, oh yeah—along with Frank, John's right hand man in life and in death, and Pierce's pal Kayla, they all totally got cornered by the po-po, so everyone hightailed it via teleportation to the Underworld.

And now! Pierce has fully embraced her relationship with John, as both girlfriend and death deity consort. But all is not well in the Underworld. Alex's revival has upset the balance between life and death, causing everything to go out of whack. And the only way to restore order? Someone has to die.

BFF Charm: Yay

Pierce is 3-for-3 for collecting BFF charms from FYA. Girlfriend is fluent in sarcasm (just the way I likes 'em!) and now she's also showing how amazingly well she's adapted to life in the Underworld. And the Fates cater to her every food and fashion whim! Can we say "makeover montage"!? BEST SLUMBER PARTIES EVAR. (You might even say they're to die for. *Rimshot!* OK, I'll shut up now.)

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

OK, so I don't think that swoon has to suffer once the main couple gets together—esp. for books like this, when there are so many other sources of tension. And after all they've been through, we finally get to see Pierce and John be together and function as a couple. But I'm totally That Person who's wistful for the early days of their electric enemistry. 

I'm glad there's no will they, won't they contrivance or any geometric ploys to keep them apart, but Pierce and John didn't really do it for me this time around. Even though she's a good influence on him (esp. for his demeanor and sense of humor), John's still one of the least likable Meg Cabot heroes. Coupled with his cluelessness about anything beyond the 19th century, what would they even do for all eternity? (Well, OK, they still need to take the occasional break from that.) 

Pierce, I'm happy that you're happy. But at the same time, I have no boy envy. No matter how good his backside looks.

Talky Talk: Straight Up with a Twist

I love when authors flex their writing muscles and go out of their comfort zones, so no duh that I'm still enjoying this darker side of Meg Cabot. (Also: IT'S MEG CABOT.) Though I could have done with more action (no, not that kind! Get your mind out of the gutter, hypothetical reader!), and more of a certain new player that I can't really be less vague about because SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERS. 

And I really have to applaud Meg Cabot for taking on a myth as steeped with inherent problems as Persephone and Hades; as previously outlined, theirs is NOT a romantic story.* Admittedly, this re-imagined romance didn't always work for me, but it's a VAST improvement on the original.

*Dear reader, if you truly think a tale of abduction, rape and trickery is romantic, WE NEED TO CONFAB.

Bonus Factor: Scoobies

Most of the supporting cast were introduced in the previous books, but it's here that they really get to shine. It's been The Pierce and John Show for so much of the series; while that's not necessarily a bad thing (esp. for le swoon) this is nevertheless a nice change.

Bonus Factor: The Real World

An extension of featuring more of these secondary characters is the array of reactions to this whole Underworld business that they provide, ranging from skepticism to pragmatism. I also love how Pierce shows concern for the comfort of the dead awaiting ferries in the Underworld. These touches of realism enrich character development while often infusing the story with that trademark Cabot humor.

Casting Call: 

Most of the characters have been cast already, so I only have a few suggestions of my own.

I'd like to re-cast Alex with a Shia LaBeouf type: initially innocuous, but now annoying and doesn't know when to shut up. Although at least Alex eventually improves, Shia.

And this is a minor role, but I instantly (and probably inaccurately) thought of this actor for Patrick, Mr. Smith's partner. I may have been influenced by the Underworld book report using a photo of Anthony Stewart Head (who is SO Mr. Smith).

There must be a ton of Giles/Wesley fan fic out there, right?

Relationship Status: An Amicable Post-Graduation Breakup

Now that this series is over, these books and I will be going our separate ways. We both knew that graduation was coming; when faced with that moment of truth, I realized that I was OK with us drifting apart. I'll always care about it, and I'm glad we stayed together until the very end. But we'll each have to continue roaming this world (or the next) for our respective soul mates.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Scholastic. Awaken is available now.

Mandy lives in Edmonton, AB, where she does science-y things for work, bloggish things for Forever Young Adult, and froyo things for always.