Title: Die for Me
Author: Amy Plum
Series: Revenants, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 3 / 5
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--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.
-- As seen on Goodreads
Straight off, I suspect my general indifference toward Die for Me is down to timing. Before I get into the review, I’ve already ordered the second book in the series, and yes I plan on reading it! Ok, back to the review. Everything was either just ok or good. Nothing really blew me away, and I don’t know if I’m becoming more nit-picky, or if some books are becoming very repetitive, but little things bothered me more than they really should!
Kate’s parents died in a car accident and her sister decides that both of them should move to Paris to live with their grandparents. Kate takes a long time to settle in, even though she is fluent in the language and familiar with the country. Since both sisters are fluent, I don’t understand why they were signed up to an American and not a French school. At Kate’s age, she should be just starting lycée for her bac’s, so I don’t fully buy the reason that was given in the story.
Everything involving school and education was cut out of the book, and this just seems very strange to me. At sixteen, school is a pretty big part of a teen’s life, so I feel at least a little emphasis should be put on it to make the characters believable. Kate showed no effort to integrate only when it comes to Vincent and the other revenants.
I couldn’t fully empathise with Kate or connect with her. I’m very character focused, and it’s a bit weird when I connect with the secondary characters more than the main characters. Jules was much more interesting and we didn’t get to see much of him. I thought Kate was a little too self-absorbed and full of self-praise. She congratulates herself on her decisions quite often which I found a little weird. I understand what she is going through, but I felt it was a little overdone and that ended up pushing me away rather than helping me feel any emotion toward her.
Something that bothered me, and I couldn't shake it off: Kate was locked in a room in a strange house, yet she falls asleep?! My reaction would not be along the lines of ‘Ohh lookie, a nice comfy pillow, I’ll just have a nap instead of screaming my guts out or trying to break down the door to escape! Such a good idea! I’m glad I thought of it, mmkay?’ It’s these things that didn’t help me connect with her at all. I can deal with far-fetched! But this was a stretch too far even for me.
Vincent wasn’t much better, he felt like a shadow character and I didn’t see much depth to him at all. The romance between him and Kate was a bit dull and lacklustre. I love when a romance feels organic and grows naturally, but I didn’t get that sense here. I didn’t feel much of a connection between the two, and I think I need more convincing of their real intentions and feelings. It’s great to be told about their love, but it’s a complete other thing to believe it and feel it!
Die for Me is set in Paris but I didn’t get any sense of the city or country at all. I could change any of the streets or building names and it could turn into any other European city. It doesn’t have that French vibe I was hoping to see. The characters that are French didn’t seem very authentically French either.
The Revenants. So, I think I have this straight: they are resurrecting-zombie-guardian angel-ghosts? Well, I can honestly say I have never read anything quite like them before! On the other hand, it feels like too much is crammed into one creature. I don’t understand why a zombie would want to repeatedly kill themselves to save a humans life. It’s describes like a compulsion to do it, but I had one of those “Huh?” moments when I read it.
I’m conflicted. I like spacing similar sounding books out as much as I can. I just read Life Eternal before I started Die for Me. Both books have versions of zombies, and French-speaking characters. One is set in Montreal and the other is set in Paris. So I feel a little Frenched-out at the minute in honesty! This was totally my fault, as I expected Life Eternal to be set in Maine like the first book in the series, not Canada, and I’d already committed to reading Die for Me next.
I’m trying to come up with the things I loved or adored about the book, and I’m struggling a little. Everything that happens sort of falls into the same framework that we see constantly in the YA paranormal genre. The book has that wonderful addictive quality that makes you keep reading, and it did spark my curiosity. I hope the second book turns out better, just like Life Eternal did, and I’ll use it as a better guide if I actually will love the series after all.