Another first book from an older already finished YA series :)
Author: Amy Plum
Title: Die for Me
Series: Revenants #1
Release date: 10th of May 2011
Published by: HarperCollins
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 341 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.
When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.
Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again. In this incandescent debut, newcomer Amy Plum has created a powerful paranormal mythology with immortal revenants. The Paris setting comes enchantingly alive as a relentless struggle between good and evil takes place in its streets. Rich with romance, atmosphere, and thrills, Die for Me will leave readers breathlessly awaiting its sequel.
I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but I was so excited to finally read this book (after postponing and postponing it for too long) because it sounded so awesome: Paris, charming European love interest, the undead (or something like it), etc, but unfortunately, in reality, the book was a bit of a letdown.
I think the main reason why I couldn’t enjoy it to the full extent was my issue with the romance and the hero. Insta love – what more can I say. I’m no fan of the trope, but it’s level of annoyingness can depend on how it’s created, meaning, sometimes it’s not too difficult to believe that two teenagers may feel extremely drawn to each other and develop deep feelings in a short amount of time. In this book, however, I couldn’t really fathom why Vincent would be so utterly enchanted by Kate (not that she was unattractive and boring), but nothing really made her shine on the lever I think she would have needed to be able to deserve such instant and unbreakable adoration, trust and desire. But that’s just me. She was a decent heroine and I liked her in general, but her relationship with Vincent came across forced because I just couldn’t grasp why they wanted each other so badly. Ok, enough about my inability to grasp true love.
My second con: Vincent. He was just so incredibly nice, polite, a gentleman, charming, handsome, always doing the noble things, etc, etc. I liked him as a character, because he was admirable with all his positive features and flawless personality, but that is also why he seemed so unreal and too prefect for my tastes.
Now for the brighter side of my reading experience with this book:
The setting did not disappoint. I actually felt that I was present in all the locations – small Parisian cafes, roaming the streets, visiting museums, etc – the way the author describes and captures the essence of this eternal city is amazing and vivid for the reader.
The paranormal factor/mythology was definitely original and something I haven’t come across or probably would never. It seems quite familiar at first glance, but it’s anything but with all the nuances, rules and characteristics making up the world of the revenants. It was refreshing and intriguing and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with the entire information onslaught regarding this new supernatural element, it was nicely provided in moderation.
Other characters aside the main couple were quite likable (except Georgia – oh, she irritated me heaps on several occasions). There were cute and funny guys to choose from who were all distinct and had their own charms. I also was fond of Kate’s grandparent, I appreciated that they were present and didn’t do the disappearing act like many other YA parents/guardians.
Kate wasn’t overly extraordinary and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. She was at least to me a simple introverted girl doing her own thing while trying to cope with a great loss. I found her quite relatable, thus sympathetic. I really appreciated that she didn’t go completely gaga over Vincent and kept some common sense and hesitation regarding how two such different people could ever be together (which HE didn’t in my opinion).
While I had issues with this book, there were aspects that made up for some of which it lacked. The setting, for example, and its depiction I repeat exceeded my expectations and brought so much more substance and soul to the story. I think I’ll give the second book a try to see if maybe the things bothering me in this book may be toned down or gone, because it has too much potential to just be given up on.