Meg Cabot's novel Abandon is the first in the Abandon series, which is a modern/teen retelling of the Persephone myth. It was the lure of a book using Greek mythology that drew me into the series, though I was a tad weary by the cheesy "romance"-style cover art. I do love the colour schemes and the flowery patterns, and the book cover fits well with the story.
A far cry from how Rick Riordan uses his mythology to both entertain and to teach kids about Greek mythology, this book does offer small insights into the mythology of the underworld, Hades realm, dying, the Fates, and the Furies. The Persephone myth is actually mentioned right at the beginning and continually crops up as Pierce tries to understand what has happened to her/how she might feel about John and her current predicament. Pierce is able to both identify and see herself as different from Persephone in many ways, and the comparison/contrast lets us explore the myth to see it as both a love story, but also as a dark tale of abduction.
John Hayden was a mortal who was given the job of lord of the Underworld, due to some mysterious crime he committed years ago. He falls in love with Pierce as a young teenager and she accidentally becomes his "consort." The way Pierce is "kidnapped" sets him apart from Hades and allows the reader to see him as 'good.' Personally, I don't think we see enough of John in Abandon. Fortunately, there are two books that offer plenty more of this mysterious, dark, dangerous, and certainly handsome male hero.
Pierce is a fiery heroine who tries to do right in the world and her heart and her head are constantly at odds with each other over John, who has an amazing habit of suddenly showing up to save her from mortal peril.
This supernatural love story is interwoven with themes of death and dying, dysfunctional families, and dangerous creatures called Furies. As someone who LOVES all things Greek and Roman, I enjoyed the book--more than I thought I would. The Abandon series is my newest guilty pleasure. It's a riveting tale of family, love, death, right and wrong, and good versus evil. Meg Cabot re-imagines the Persephone myth into an oddly sweet and addictive tale full of the supernatural, suspense, and an unexpected love story between people from two very different worlds.