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Monday, May 30, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plumb


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (May 10, 2011)

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

Book Opening:

"Most sixteen-year olds I know would dream of living in a foreign city. But moving from Brooklyn to Paris after my parents' death was anything but a dream come true. It was more like a nightmare."
 Notable Scene: 

Die for Me "All of a sudden I felt that old me- the pre-car-wreck Brooklyn me- was outside looking in at the new me, the me that not even a year ago had been forced to instantly grow up. " Page 124- ARC 

Die for Me was a book with a creative premise and suspenseful storyline in an exotic setting. I loved the description of the book (and jaw-dropping cover too).  The synopsis revolving around a grief-stricken 16-year old girl who moves to Paris and meets Vincent, a boy with a few supernatural secrets of his own intrigued me right from the start. Having been to Paris not too long ago myself, I looked forward being whisked back to a place within which I have so many happy memories.  Upon reading Die For Me, it was obvious that the author Amy Plumb also has a great affection for the city herself. The way she captured all the things which make Paris uniquely beautiful—the historical landmarks, the bustling cafes, the thrill of art museums like the Louvre and the draw-dropping architecture of the city itself—it was all described perfectly, reminding me of a painter's artful brush drawn across a canvas. For me, Paris was the real pull of the book. I think if Die For Me had taken place in any other city the book wouldn't have come together with as much allure and drama as it did.  But when you mix in this romantic, mysterious city, the story takes on a whole new trajectory and life of its own. After all, who hasn't dreamed about moving to Paris and falling in love?

I thought Amy Plumb's new brand of supernatural creature entitled "the Revenants" was unique and plausible. This is a novel where the supernatural world shimmers below the surface but doesn't saturate the story.   I appreciated the fact that it was all realistic and never too "over-the-top" which when done poorly, can make a novel seem almost ridiculous. There's a very tricky line a writer must draw when deciding how much magic to incorporate into a story. I thought Plumb did a fantastic job creating her new brand of supernatural. However, I have to admit that once I uncovered some core secrets regarding the Revenants, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. I know not all of them were good, but I also wanted Vincent and his friends to be a little less "good" if you catch my drift—more of a dangerous sort of fallen angel than what they actually turned out to be. C'est la vie!

I also thought Kate fell in love with Vincent rather quickly. I have to say I've been there and done that so many times to really get swept away in YA romances anymore- but I know a lot of readers will appreciate the romantic aspect of their relationship and not be bothered by the quick progression of it. I did appreciate the construction of the other characters, particularly the minor ones like Kate's sister Georgia, their grandparents and the colorful members of Vincent's ragtag Revenants gang. I thought that Amy Plumb brought them all to life with great attention to detail- so much in fact, that I enjoyed their respective side stories more than the actual romance between Kate and Vincent themselves! All the characters felt extremely real to me and I could envision each one's appearance and personality to the letter. 

While I didn’t devour and fall in love with Die For Me the way I thought I would, I will say it's a series with a lot of potential. One with a creative mythology, breathtaking setting and well developed characters- I look forward to seeing what lies ahead in Kate's future.

Amy Plum grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she finally traded a tiny apartment in Brooklyn for a rambling farmhouse in a village of 1300 people in the French countryside. She lives there with her French husband, two young children and big red dog Ella, and spends her time writing in a tiny ancient stone house in her garden. To learn more about the book, visit Amy Plumb's Official Website. 


Tasha said...

I've got this on my tbr pile and it's good to hear some honest thoughts before reading it. Thanks for sharing.

Alison said...

I loved this book, mostly because the side stories of the revenant characters were so well developed. That's the type of thing I really enjoy in book. Plus Paris is great!

Wrighty said...

I really enjoyed your review. It was positive but also included constructive criticism. With so many books on the TBR pile, and so many more coming out, it's nice to hear honest opinions. It's also great to hear this new series has a lot of potential.

You do a terrific job! :)