Near death travails of a teenager
By Nidhi Mathur
Abandon, Meg Cabot, Macmillan, Pp 299, Rs 299
This is a story about 17-year old Pierce Oliviera who survives a near death experience. She knows what happens when one dies.
Pierce faces major problems at her old school and one day even notices a creepy guy named John Hayden pursuing her, when she is merely seven years old. Then it had not made much of an impact on her and she had forgotten about it. Soon she discovers that her parents are getting divorced. After the divorce, she and her mother go off to live on a small island, off the coast of Florida.
She is placed in a special section of her high school, the dreaded ‘D Wing’ which is just for students who are facing severe issues. In Pierce’s case, the issue is anger management. Here it needs to be said that the social dynamics in high school are realistically portrayed by the author.
Pierce thinks she has escaped John Hayden by studying in a new school in a whole new place, but it turns out that she is wrong. He finds her. She does however register that John Hayden is hot, smouldering and hunky whom she has been repeatedly encountering since her childhood. She doesn’t realise it then that she would have connections with him on and off. What does John want from her?
As an afterword, the author says that though many aspects of the story are rooted in fact, it is really a fiction. He adds that in general, of all the people who report a close encounter with death, 20 per cent report having had a near-death experience, which can encompass any number of sensations. Often merely having come so close to dying is reported as being much more distressing for people than the near-death experience itself.
(Macmillan Publishers Limited, 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR; www.panmacmillan.com)