Monday, March 14, 2011

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die for Me by Amy Plum is the story of Kate, a sixteen-year-old American girl who moves to Paris with her older sister to live with their grandparents, following the death of their parents. Kate is a recluse, still dealing with the grief she feels and spending most of her time reading or visiting museums, when she first meets Vincent, a handsome and mysterious man. As she gets to know Vincent she learns he is not who he appears to be at all, but a Revenant, an immortal being who sacrifices themselves in order to save lives. Now that Kate knows who the Revenants are, is she willing to put her heart, and possibly her life, at risk for a boy that will keep dying?

I liked the concept of setting the novel in France, but initially I didn't see the point. There's a few references to Kate being good at the language and I guess "Vincent" qualifies as a French name, but at first there was nothing special about the book that indicated it had to be set in France. However, when the background of the characters is introduced to include various European wars and events it started make sense and over time the setting began to feel more believable.

My biggest problem with Die to Me was the romance aspect of the novel- and you'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now, but apparently not. I just want to know why are girls in paranormal novels always falling for these kind of guys- as Kate says, reflecting on her attraction to Vincent:
"I realized that whatever it was about him that made him seem a bit cold, almost dangerous, actually heightened my interest instead of scaring me off."
And of course, the main female character is always a pretty, but insecure, girl who can't believe the guy would ever want her:
"My heart caught in my throat as I wondered (not for the first time) why this too-gorgeous-to-be-true guy had any interest whatsoever in plain old... okay, maybe slightly pretty, but by no means beautiful on his"
Kate's insecurity and awkwardness is unsurprising, but Vincent seems even more eerily familiar to me. Here are some examples:
  • Immortal paranormal being much older than Kate but looks to be the same age
  • Lives with "family" to which he is not related but who are other similar beings
  • Does not sleep, but prefers to watch Kate outside her window without her knowing to make sure she is okay
  • Has never felt love since he became immortal and does the unacceptable thing by becoming attached to a human who learns the secret of who he really is
If you thought Edward Cullen, you're not alone. That said, if you loved Twilight, which I didn't, then Die for Me could be very well be your next favourite book. There are undeniable similarities which may not bother readers who loved Twilight, including a few chapters which are eerily reminiscent of New Moon.

Personally, I can put up with predictability on occasion when there is otherwise really good writing or tension in the story. Unfortunately, when Plum tries to be descriptive I didn't quite understand what she was going for. At one point, Kate describes Vincent as smelling "like oak and grass and wood fires. He smelled like memories. Like years and years of memories." when it's unclear why wood fires smell like years and years of memories. I just about gave up on the book immediately after reading this sentence:
"Georgia treats friends like outfits, happily trading one for another when it's convenient- not in a mean way, but she just doesn't get too attached."
I really think that it is impossible to "treat friends like outfits" not in a mean way, and overall the statement just felt really ridiculous and yet another example of the melodrama that plagues Die for Me. In terms of the storyline, the book just didn't work for me and I don't think it really adds anything new to the genre of paranormal romance. Overall, Die for Me enticed my interest with the idea of the Revenants, but everything else about the book was predictable and unoriginal- this is one trilogy I will not be continuing.

Release Date: May 5th, 2011
Pages: 352
: 1/5

Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review! At first when I read the description at it being in Paris I thought it would be an awesome book (I love books that take place in exotic locations) but after reading your review, I'm thinking the lack of setting, perhaps I won't like this book after all (especially because I also do NOT like Edward Cullen).


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