By: Amy Plum
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Genre/Age: YA Paranormal
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 – and 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.
Guess what everyone, it’s a paranormal romance about something other than vampires, werewolves, fairies, or fallen angels! Finally! That is probably my favorite thing about this book. The idea of revenants is such a refreshing change and it was really fun to read about. I like that we have no idea what is going on with Vincent until Kate finds out – we can tell something is up, obviously, but it’s fun to uncover the details with her. There were a few confusing things in the revenant mythology, but not enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the story.
I also love the setting – Paris is such a cool city and I’ve loved getting to read about it through various recent YA novels (Anna and the French Kiss being the obvious one, of course :P). It also really fits with the slightly creepy, gothic feel of the story. The characters are all well-developed and likeable for the most part, although sometimes Ambrose felt a bit like a caricature – just a little too dramatic and over-the-top. Kate also has waaaaayyy too many nicknames for one character.
I did have a couple of issues with Die For Me, one of which was the romance. It starts off great, and compared to many YA paranormals out there it’s done well, but it does tend to lean a little too much toward the dramatic star-crossed lovers-who-can’t-stay-away-from-each-other for my taste. Kate can be incredibly indecisive and angsty at times and I didn’t fully understand the motivation for all of her actions and decisions. The plot itself is also quite predictable. The idea and mythology of revenants is fantastic, but the execution of the storyline was fairly standard.
That said, Die For Me does have a great cast of characters, a wonderful setting, and a fresh take on the paranormal, all of which make it an enjoyable and entertaining debut novel. I can’t wait for the sequel.