Tag Archives: Abandon

New Releases: May 8th

I hope you enjoyed my first “New Releases” post! This week there are two releases that I have been eagerly awaiting that I am going to discuss.

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2) by Meg Cabot

The Lowdown: This book is the second in the Abandon YA Trilogy by author Meg Cabot

From Goodreads.com

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

Why you should check it out: When I reviewed the first book in this trilogy–Abandon–I did not love it. I mentioned that I often found the book confusing due to its extensive use of of flashbacks to inform the reader of the main character’s back-story. A reread of the novel helped to clear up this confusion and left me with a more positive review of the book. As I am now familiar with the protagonist’s history, I doubt there will be much need for the author to travel back and forth in the narrative. This leaves me optimistic about the second book. I was also encouraged after reading the first two chapters on Cabot’s blog. (Note this link will contain spoilers for Abandon; the first book in the trilogy.) More importantly the author has released many of my favorite books and very rarely lets me down. I am choosing to be cautiously hopeful about this release and can’t wait to check it out.

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

The Lowdown: “COLS”–as it is often referred to by author Cassandra Clare–is the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series. This is the second to last book in this YA hexalogy.

From Goodreads.com

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Why you should check it out: If you have already read the first four books in this series, you are probably eager to get your hands on this one. The last installment ended on a HUGE cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next! If you have yet to read the series, I encourage you to check it out. The fast pacing makes for an addicting book that grabs your attention and won’t let you go. The alternate reality that Clare creates is so complex and interesting that you will tear through the pages to know what happens next.

Looking for an excerpt from this release? Check out this link here. Interested in checking out something from the first book? You can find a selection from the book here.

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Abandon by Meg Cabot

I mentioned Meg Cabot’s latest release Abandon in my “Most Anticipated Books of 2011” post. In that post I discussed how I felt a bit apprehensive about this release. Here are my thoughts on the story.

From Goodreads.com

Book cover of Abandon by Meg CabotNew from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

This book confused the crap out of me. The way in which Cabot wrote this book had me often wondering what was going on. I had to read it twice in order to follow the plot–this has never happened before! There were two reasons for this befuddlement: 1) There have been three times in Pierce’s life when this “mysterious figure” has made an appearance. The author doesn’t explain all three of them until the second half of the book. 2) The encounters are only vaguely referenced before they are detailed. This made me confused about which encounter Pierce was talking about at times.

The perplexed feeling was made worse by the author’s mixing of flashbacks into the story. The fact she frequently went from present to past with little warning left me lost. I often found myself several paragraphs into a memory before realizing I had gone into the past. I would then have to reread the last page or so to catch back up.

I did feel that the plot was a bit “Twilight-esque”. [Spoiler Alert] The novel centers around a dead young man in love with a young woman who can not get keep out of trouble. [/Spoiler Alert] I could not help notice the similarities between the main characters of this book and of Stephanie Meyer’s novels. That being said, Cabot tells a story around these characters that is entertaining, and I found her use of the underworld to be original. In the end found myself enjoying the story–once I understood it–despite being reminded of Meyer’s characters.

Review: After finishing my first read of this novel, I felt disoriented, thus making me feel disappointed with the book. It’s unfortunate as there was much to like about this story. After my second reread I found the plot was quite entertaining. Cabot created great suspense leaving me wondering what will happen in the next book in the series Underworld. I wished that I could have enjoyed these things the first time.

Most Anticipated Books of 2011

I have set my reading goals for 2011; now it’s time to start choosing the books! Below are seven books that I eagerly anticipate reading this year as I aim to complete my goal.

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia AhernFirst up for release is The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern. The January 25th release date is right around the corner. Ahern’s novels are a refreshing change from the ordinary, due to the setting of the books. Her plots seem to take place in a world very similar to our own, with an extra magical layer to them. This fantasy world has worked in all of her books except her last. I hope her newest release is more successful at maintaining the balance between reality and extraordinary.

Delirium by Lauren OliverI named Lauren Oliver’s debut release Before I Fall my favorite read of 2010. I was excited when Oliver announced her next book, Delirium. This book is the first in a trilogy scheduled to be released over the next three years. I usually wait until all of the books have been released to start a series. I plan on breaking this trend with Delirium. The first reason is the book’s description. It reminds me of one of my favorite books, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. The second reason is that my love for Before I Fall has me very eager to has me very eager to read more from Oliver.(Bad Pun Alert!) I am delirious to get my hands on a copy of this book!

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by matt logelinOver two years ago I started reading a blog by new dad Matt Logelin. The blog was very different than those by other new fathers. Matt lost his wife less than forty-eight hours after welcoming his daughter into the world. The words on his blog were honest and emotional. I was quickly enthralled by his story. Even though the man was a stranger, I found myself rooting for him as tried to move past the tragedy in his life. He is now telling his story in Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love. The memoir will be released April 14th. I plan to have a box of tissues available for this read; it’s going to be a real tearjerker.

Abandon by Meg CabotMeg Cabot has two books being released in 2011. The first up is Abandon, due out April 26th. This book is the first in a new series she is writing. Her second story–Overbite–is the follow up to her 2010 release Insatiable. I am a bit apprehensive about both stories. Insatiable started strong, but I felt that it got a bit “out there” at the end. I’m hoping this is not the case in Overbite. The description of Abandon gives me the same concern. This is upsetting because I have loved her earlier works. I hope to be able to enjoy her Supernatural releases as well.

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson Abandon is not the only story I’m excited about being released on the 26th of April. That is also the publication date of the long-awaited sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I have been eager to get my hands on The Last Little Blue Envelope since Maureen Johnson announced it over a year ago. The original is one of my favorite works by Johnson; I hope the same is true for its sequel. Johnson is also releasing The Name of the Star in September of this year. This book is the first in her “Shades of London” series. I loved her submission in Zombies vs. Unicorns because it was a bit darker than her usual work. I am hoping that this latest series is more of that darker tone. If so I feel it will be one of her more enjoyable novels.

There are two other notable releases I want to mention. On June 21st Ally Carter will release the second book in her Heist Society series. I can’t wait to find out what hi-jinks Kat and crew encounter in Uncommon Criminals. Jen Lancaster is releasing her first work of fiction on May 3rd of this year. I have found her previous memoirs to be hysterical and can’t wait to see what If You Were Here is about.