Sunday, August 14, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum: Review
Posted by Tiffany at 5:29 AM

Title: Die For Me
Author: Amy Plum (site)
Published: May 10th, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 341
Rating: 2.5/5
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis: 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--an 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. (Goodreads)

Review: This is a difficult review to write. (Several of those lately.) I've put off writing this review for a while because I'm just not sure what to make of Die For Me. I adored the original cover (top left, final cover to the right) and the idea of a paranormal set in Paris, but it just didn't grab me. The main character was a bit dull. Her parents have died in an accident and she is living with her grandparents in France. She meets a guy and falls in love with him, then has to deal with him being an undead repeat-martyr. Other than what has happened to her, I never really got to know much about this character. She didn't seem to have much personality. Maybe that is why she also had no friends. No life at all, in fact, outside of Martyr Boy. She lives with her grandparents and sister, but there seems to be almost no interaction between them (other than episodes with her sister that are needed to move the plot along). I like my heroines to have lives of their own. I like for a love interest to have to be worked into an already full schedule. I understand that she's just moved there, but it just seemed a bit ridiculous to me. One of the main attractions for me was the setting: Paris! I am dying for some variety in YA settings. The only problem? I didn't really get a feel for Paris at all. Change the street names and call the cafe a coffee shop and it could have been set in America. I was hoping for more cultural observations. Other than it being normal for people to spend full days at a cafe with a book, not so much. Which brings me to another point: no (grand)parental presence. Do parents/grandparents in France let young girls new to the city disappear for days and nights at a time? Is this normal?
I know this is sounding really negative. It's not that I hated the book. The sad truth is that I can't remember what I liked about it. It was pretty good, but also pretty forgettable. The only things that I remember with any detail are the things that bugged me. (Like the house full of immortal friends/family overseen by a wise/cranky/kind older mentor. Why don't they just all get their own apartments?) I just wanted it to be so much more. I had really high expectations for this one and for it to be lukewarm.... it just felt a bit more disappointing than if I'd been expecting nothing much. In summary: if you go into this expecting nothing, you'll probably enjoy a nice little ride. It's a decent story with decent characters, but it's nothing I'm going to remember years from now.