Summary from Goodreads:
New 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.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, I was really taken with this book. The author hits the nail on the head in the Author's Note when she says "What happens to us after we die? That's a question every culture in the world has attempted to answer, from the ancient Aztecs to the Christians and Muslims of today. Each has developed their own mythology relating to an afterworld through which the souls of the newly dead must pass." That is entirely what this book is about - a possibility for what happens when we die centered around death deities such as Hades and Persephone.
I love the premise behind the story - Pierce (love that name for a girl main character) is trying to manage life in the "real" world with her knowledge of the underworld and those in it. It is because of this that she constantly finds herself in bad situations. The author very cleverly weaves the story into a novel that is really about something many teenagers today can identify with - not fitting in or finding their niche in life. Pierce is a good girl, with a bad reputation, but her good-nature definitely comes through to the reader.
If I could offer any critique, it would be that it takes a LONG time to get to the events that happened in Pierce's past...and in my opinion, the author takes too long to let the reader in on what happened that is important. I found myself saying, "enough already, just tell me what THE INCIDENT was!" I would like the story to have progressed a little more quickly.
I also kept taking notice of how much the author uses dashes in her writing. For me, it got a little distracting, especially when the dashes would turn a paragraph into a long (sometimes confusing) sentence. I usually don't have to go back and re-read a lot, so this was noticeable.
Despite those two things, I REALLY liked this story and am anxiously awaiting the next books in this trilogy! The author leaves you hanging for sure and I cannot wait to see what decisions Pierce makes in the future.
Book #2, Underworld, is expected out in 2012. Here is what Goodreads gives as a summary:
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