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Envy and Arrogance and Avarice

Erin reviews Meg Cabot's Underworld, a book full of hot swoony action!  (Literally, hot.  They're in Hell, after all.)

Envy and Arrogance and Avarice

BOOK REPORT for Underworld (Abandon Book 2) by Meg Cabot

Cover Story: We Can Do Better
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 12
Talky Talk: Meg Cabot's The New Virgil?
Bonus Factors: Meg Cabot, Florida, Mr Smith The Sexy Sexton
Relationship Status: The Sex Is Great, But I'm A Little Concerned With Your Attitude

Cover Story: We Can Do Better

Come on, y'all.  COME ON.  And by y'all, know that I mean the entire publishing industry.  You're all being swept into my outrage.  This is MEG FREAKING CABOT, okay?  If she doesn't get a say in how her book covers look, WHO DOES?  And I refuse to believe that she was totally 100% cool with this cover, which looks like something Teen Harlequin would slap on to their book about a mysterious and magical woodland sprite.  I mean, it ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY PAINS me to say this, but that's just not a good cover.  Pierce has got quadra-boob from that bedsheet she's wearing as a dress and the whole John's-Arm-Clutching-Her-From-Below looks straight outta Compton Christopher Pike novels ca 1987.  Plus what's with the Hobby Lobby Wedding Craft Section flourishes all over the thing? 

I just . . .  man, I just don't know.

The Deal:

STOP!!!  WARNING!!  SPOILERS FOR ABANDON FROM HERE ON OUT!!  ABANDON ALL UNSPOILED-FOR-ABANDON MINDSETS YE WHO ENTER HERE!!

So.  You'll remember from Abandon that 17 year old Pierce Oliviera is dead.  Well, that's not exactly true.  She used to be dead, when she was 15, after her grandmother (who, oh yeah, is totally a Fury hellbent to make Pierce's life or lack thereof a living hell.  Between her and Grandmere, sometimes I wonder what Meg's own grandmothers were like.) killed her using a magical scarf and a conveniently nearby pool of freezing water.  But it was cool, because Pierce was only mostly dead.  And when she met John, keeper of the Underworld, on her shuffle to get on the right boat (or long commuter bus, as Defending Your Life has taught us), she totally to blave'd him and he fell in love with her and wanted to make her his bride.

Which is creepy, totally.  Not discounting the creep factor.  But he has really nice arms.

So, anyway, once she escaped the Underworld and moved to Florida (. . . same thing?), shit started going really wrong.  Her counselor, the awesomely tattooed Jade, is murdered.  Her uncle, just released from jail, knows something.  Her cousin Alex gets in trouble a lot.  Her grandmother tries to kill her (again).  And so, John whisks her back away to the Underworld.  But this time?  This time she's alive.

And that's where Underworld picks up!  Will Pierce ever be able to return home?  Is she trapped in the Underworld forever?  And is John her boyfriend or her captor?

BFF Charm: Yay!

Obvs, obvs, obvs Pierce still gets my BFF charm.  But along with my BFF charm, she also gets my BFF advice.  PIERCE.  HONEY.  Look at your life; look at your choices.  Have you even slept with this guy? You met him Sunday.  It's barely Thursday.  Slow down, honey.  Slow down.

Swoonworthy Scale: 12

I know.  I KNOW.  But ladies and Brian, there is S-E-X in this book.  HONEST TO GOD SEX WITH A HOT GUY.  In HELL, so BASICALLY it's not like you'd be violating your parents or your religion cause you've already been SENT to Hell.  And after the sex is over, people bring you delicious food to eat!  WHY IS THIS NOT MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?

And even though John is currently my least-likeable Meg Cabot hero (he ain't no Michael Moscovitz, is all I'm saying.  Or David, the President's son.) and I'm more than a little creeped out by him, there's no denying that he's AN ACTUAL GOD (well, like, demi-god, I think, but those are just details) WITH REALLY GREAT BICEPS.

I mean, whatever.  We're allowed to make mistakes in the interest of sexual gratification, right?

Talky Talk: Meg Cabot's The New Virgil?

I have to say, if anyone's going to take me on a tour of the Underworld, I'm so glad it's Meg Cabot.  I mean, she's WAY less pedantic and uppity than Virgil, plus she figured out a way to get iPhones to work in Hell, which is awesome, cause if I die I still want to keep up with my Draw Something games. 

I feel like Meg's trying something new in this series - a completely dysfunctional relationship starring a guy who isn't going to top the list of Potential Fictional Boyfriends and a girl much less pop culture-obsessed than usual.  And I'm not sure how it's all going to turn out, but I'm totally in for the ride.

Bonus Factor: Meg Cabot

Meg is always going to be her own bonus factor.  FACT.  MEG LET'S GO EAT ALL THE DESSERTS AGAIN!

Bonus Factor: Florida

Little joke about Florida being hell aside (sorry, but I'm from Texas AND Mississippi!  I gotta snark on other states when I can!), Meg makes Florida sound KIND OF SUPER AWESOME.  Probably cause she lives in Key West and gets to hang out with Hemingway's six-toed cats.  But man, I want to hang out on Isla Huesos!  (I call it Isla Huevos in my head, and pretend everyday is omelet day.)  So many pretty flowered trees and awesome festivals with yummy street food!  TAKE ME THERE IMMEDIATELY!

Bonus Factor: Mr Smith the Sexy Sexton

I want a spin off series about Mr Smith, the cemetary sexton.  In my head, he's sort of like Giles on Buffy.  I wouldn't mind him being my Watcher, if you know what I mean.  And he wouldn't, since he's gay.  But hey, a girl can dream.

Casting Call:

I cast everyone in the first book report!

Relationship Status: The Sex Is Great, But I'm A Little Concerned With Your Attitude

Listen, Book.  You know you've got it going on.  You're hot, you're sexy and you delight me with descriptions of scrumptious food.  You're basically my ideal Book, I ain't gonna lie.  And the sex?  Man, the sex is GREAT.  Phew!  It's been so long since a Book gave me any hot sexy times, so you are totally the tall glass of water on my endless odyssey through a parched, sexless desert of YA.

But we need to talk about your attitude.  Particularly yours, John.  What's with all the possessiveness?  And the whole asking Pierce questions and expecting her to be able to answer you when she has no idea what's going on?  I just . . . I'm not sure I like where you're heading, John.  Next thing I know, you'll be cutting my brake lines and watching me sleep.

So you need to wise up, or Pierce does, or you both do.  Or I'm going to be Very Concerned with the state of affairs.

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.
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