I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Amy Plum
Published May, 2011 by HarperTeen
Provided by: Netgalley
Genres: Immortality, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads
Die For Me is the first of three books about Kate, a sixteen-year-old American who moves to Paris after the death of her parents.
It introduces a new version of the undead with revenants, beings who are fated to sacrifice themselves over and over again to save others’ lives. Kate finds herself falling for Vincent, who she discovers is not the typical French teenager he appears: he is something else entirely.
Die For Me presents a new supernatural mythology presented in a city where dreams are sometimes the same as reality.
I wasn’t too impressed with Die For Me if I’m being honest. If it weren’t for the ending, which was only a little better than the body of the book, I would have given it a two-star rating. I felt way too familiar with everything, so much so that I couldn’t enjoy the story as much as I would have liked. Although Die For Me had original ideas and a take on the lore of immortals, it’s execution was lacking.
I felt like Die For Me was caught up in the swirl of generic YA novels. As I mentioned, there were some great ideas here within the pages, but the execution was dull and boring. I felt like I’ve read this novel a hundred times and ‘crushed’ on Vincent’s character so much in the past that I can’t bring myself to have feelings for him now.
The whole ‘I’m dangerous, stay away from me‘ is really tearing me up inside. I don’t think I can handle it anymore! If you’re a budding YA writer, let me say this to you: completely cut that portion out of your book right now! It’s been done to death and then done again! I don’t care what kind of hot/sexy monster you are – you make up your mind now before you go torturing poor girls about the pros and cons of being with you!
Phew. Now that that’s off my chest.
I will say that I enjoyed the inclusion of Kate’s sister in this story. It’s not often that family members are privy to the supernatural happenings of our leading girls. That was something refreshing that I noticed. The whole ‘reverent lore’ was also really interesting, if not confusing to begin with. I also really liked the character of Charlotte, despite the smaller role she had.
As for the other supporting characters; I was having major Twilight flashbacks. Big and goofy hulking guy as stand-in brother to our love interest? Check! Socially-withdrawn member of the ‘family’ who is an expert at fighting? Check! Vincent himself – he’s the love interest in case you’re wondering – was nothing really special in my opinion. Sure, if this was the first YA romance I was getting myself into I’d probably swoon all over him, but being a ‘seasoned’ reader of these paranormal YA’s I can’t help but crave a little diversity.
This book takes place in Paris, which was enough to reel me in to begin with. Unfortunately, despite my major obsession with the city (seriously, I’ll read anything with Paris in it) I felt like this one let me down. The city itself didn’t feel necessary to the plot. I mean, why Paris? There just didn’t seem to be a reason. Most of the characters WERE French, but they sure acted very American/British for the most part… Unlike in Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss, Paris didn’t ‘come to life’ for me and that was a major drawback of this story for me.
I took a few nights to really digest this one down. If a book is really good, and it grips me, I can read all night and ignore sleep. Unfortunately I struggled through about 4-5 chapters a night before turning off my e-reader and picking it up the next day.
Though, despite its flaws, I think Die For Me could become a good series now that the ‘getting-to-know-you’ is out of the way. It ended well and my curiosity to see what happens really picked up in the last few chapters. I will probably check out the next installment but I won’t peg my hopes so high like I did with this one. I’ll leave you to make up your own mind!
Recommended to: Those interested on a fresh take of immortal lore. Don’t get your hopes too high, though, if you’re hoping for a 100% original story.