Sunday, July 3, 2011

Die for Me - Amy Plum

Summary:  Kate Mercier's life changed in an instant when her parents died, and she's still picking up the shattered pieces.  She moves to Paris to live with her grandparents, desperate to start a new life free of heartbreaking memories.  But when she meets the mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome Vincent, he threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile.

As she begins to fall for Vincent, Kate discovers that he has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life in danger every day.  Still trying to rebuild the remnants of her life, Kate isn't sure she can risk losing her heart again.  (Summary from Book - Image from  - Book given free for review)

My Review:  First off, holy cover!  Gorgeous.  Kudos to the designer, Mark Ecob, and illustrator, Johanna Basford, for their amazing work.  Okay, down to business...

Die for Me is a young adult paranormal romance and the first book in the Revenant series written by Amy Plum, a former college professor who traded her life in Brooklyn for a farmhouse in the French countryside. Die for Me is her first novel and as first efforts go, she did pretty well.

The story revolves around a teenage girl, wrecked by the loss of her parents and looking for solace on the streets of Paris. There she meets a charismatic young man with a startling secret. Don’t worry. He’s not a vampire. Kate's sorrow at the death of her parents was palpable and convincing. It lent a great deal of depth to her character and made her doubts about becoming involved with a Vincent completely understandable. I loved that this book was set in Paris. It created a much more fascinating and romantic atmosphere than if it had been, say, set in a podunk town in Washington.

Unfortunately, things didn’t take off right away. At first, there was far more explanation than action – specifically Vincent and Kate’s frequent chats about the particulars of his big secret. I wanted Kate to find out the details as the story moved along, rather than Vincent just telling her. Once they stopped dishing, things got going, and then I was hooked.

While this book was romantic, it stayed smooch-filled but sex-free. The romance seemed a bit obsessive (par for the course in the YA genre), but I loved that Kate had doubts, expressed them, and actually considered her own well-being when making decisions about the relationship.

Overall, Die For Me was fun. It was good enough that it will likely garner a sizable teenage following, but it wasn’t knock-my-socks-off awesome. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it or that I wasn’t entertained. I was, but I wanted more. I wanted to sink into the story and be dragged kicking and screaming out of it. I wanted lush descriptions that sent me straight to Paris. I desperately wanted to be with Kate (okay, maybe Vincent), reading books at a local café or wandering aimlessly down the rue du Bac, and I just never felt like I was there.

Kate’s unique abilities, and a particular fight scene at the end of the novel, open the door to a world of possibilities in the sequel. There are so many places for the story to go and so much room for characters to develop (e.g. Charlotte, Ambrose, Jules). To be perfectly honest, I want to see Katie kick some butt and join the gang on a more permanent basis. If things go the way I hope they will, then it should be a fun ride.

If, however, the author decides to make Kate give birth to a horribly named revenant baby that grows at an alarming rate and ends up falling in love with Jules, I will never forgive her.  Do you hear me Amy Plum?!

My Rating: 3.75 Stars

For the sensitive reader: Amazingly, this book was really clean. It never went past kissing and the only thing you have to worry about was the occasional decapitation.

Sum it up: A promising (and clean) paranormal romance.

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