review: die for me by amy plum

Author: Amy Plum
Publication Date: 05/11/2011
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Pages: 341
Source: Library

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

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. 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. 
Note: I removed a very small portion of the synopsis from goodreads - the sentence that defined what a revenant is as this is something I feel should be discovered during reading.

When I saw this book was set in Paris I was immediately intrigued. Paris is such a historically rich location and I was curious to see how it as a backdrop would be used in the story. One of my favorite aspects of the book, probably because it's something I love to do, is Kate exploring her arrondissement by visiting cafés to find the perfect one for her. And when she does she sits in the corner with a good book and a cup of coffee and contentedly reads the hours away. You can tell Amy is intimately familiar with France by her subtle use of the language and references to places that fleshed out the reader's idea of Paris turning it into a realistic setting rather than an overly-described Google search. 

The one issue I had with it was the way that Kate and Vincent started their friendship. It would make sense that they first saw each other at the café as that's where Kate spent the majority of her time, but the subsequent meetings were bizarre and would have freaked me out if I were Kate - you can't get out of being creepy by telling a girl she's cute.
"And the girl I've seen you around the neighborhood with would be your..."
"Sister," I said slowly. "Have you been spying on me?"
"Two cute girls move to the area - what am I supposed to do?" (p 37)
Aside from the origins of their attraction I never felt that Kate was drawing away from everyone else due to her relationship with Vincent. In fact, she often spent time with Vincent's housemates and became good friends with them - and I loved them, too! Jules in particular was my favorite housemate with his flirtatious jokes yet when someone needed him he was right there. Kate's family was fun to visit and although we didn't see enough of them as I would have liked, the reasons for Kate not being home were entirely reasonable. (Going out after being depressed and staying in her room in a funk was a good sign for her them.) When Kate was at home it was easy to get a feel for just how close she and her sister, Georgia, were with her grandparents.

I don't want to give too much away by talking about what a revenant is - although if you know French you probably have an idea - or where they came from, but the idea of them was something pretty original as far as paranormal themes are concerned and played a large part in why the book was so intriguing for me. By the end of the book I was rooting for Vincent, Kate and all of her new friends. This is a book that is perfectly fine to read as a stand-alone, but there will be more coming. Hats off to Amy Plum for a great debut.

6 comments on "review: die for me by amy plum"

Jenny wrote: Mon Jun 13, 12:07:00 AM

I had to skim your review. Sometimes even when all I get is an opinion, it influences mine. Dumb, I know.

kaye (paper reader) wrote: Mon Jun 13, 08:26:00 AM

I was trying a different angle for this one. I know that usually I have a small summary of some things, but I've read in a few places that that's what the synopsis is for and so I thought I'd give this a go. Thanks for the input, though. It's definitely helpful!

Natalie wrote: Mon Jun 13, 11:53:00 AM

This sounds like a really good book! I'm going to add it to my to-read list and cross my fingers that the library has a copy! I think I know where this whole revenant thing is going too if it does in fact reflect the french meaning!

Hannah Mariska wrote: Mon Jun 13, 12:02:00 PM

i think you're review of this is spot on! the parisian setting is really well done but i agree that the relationship, particularly the start doesn't work as well.

(thanks for commenting on mine!)

Marla wrote: Mon Jun 13, 01:04:00 PM

Thanks for stopping by my It's Monday post. I simply adored Die for Me and enjoyed dissecting the word "revenant." It helps that I've been taking French classes and have come into frequent contact with the verb the word is related to. :D

Alison Can Read wrote: Fri Jun 17, 12:29:00 AM

I loved this book. I agree that there's lots to criticize if you think too hard about it, but it was such a fun read.
I adored Vincent's housemates.

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