DIE FOR ME (Revenants #1)
Paranormal Young Adult
Kate is still reeling from the sudden deaths of her parents. She hoped moving to Paris with her sister to live with their grandparents would help her distance herself from the tragedy, but she finds she's in as dark a place as ever despite her new home in the City of Light.
It's not until she meets Vincent that she's finally able to feel something other than pain and misery. He piques her curiosity, especially when she and her sister seem him leap from a bridge in order to save a young woman who's jumped.
As it turns out, Vincent is more of a distraction than Kate could have ever imagined, introducing her to an unbelievable world where there are more questions than answers and more dangerous encounters than quiet romantic moments. The more she learns, the more she realizes a relationship with Vincent might prove to be impossible, because no matter how much he's brought her back to life, death will always be trying to keep them apart.
For a story that walks hand in hand with death, Die For Me radiates life and vitality, its characters full-bodied enough that we see them clearly through the printed ink and the paper pages, and they are as real and full of color as if we were making our way through a picture book instead of a novel. Though there are a few stereotypical young adult elements sprinkled in here and there, Ms. Plum impresses us with a plethora of unexpected details and mythologies and sets the romantic in us aflame with a relationship so enviable we can't help but glare at our own significant others across the room and chastise them for not being as sweet as Vincent. In the midst of a beautiful romance, she ingeniously threads the utterly intriguing world of revenants, dazzling us with the intricacies of their existence and ensuring we are gleefully anticipating the next installment by the time we close the back cover.
Kate is an extraordinarily ordinary heroine–truly genuine and not overdone in any way, she wins us over quickly with her grief and mourning for her lost parents. While she is understandably devastated, her despair isn't so dramatic that we can't find our way to the heart of her character through the miasma of melancholy and despondency. She's coping but yet keeps enough to herself that we feel as though we are her only friend and our bond, though one-sided, strengthens and solidifies the more we read. Her initial response to Vincent is nothing we haven't seen time and again, but happily for us a declaration of love is slower in coming and seems to be earned on both sides rather than given away freely and easily. She keeps a level head through some fairly spectacular emotional and physical turmoil, and even when that level head seeks to protect her heart by pushing Vincent away, we can appreciate the logical nature of her decision though we do speed our reading to reach the part where the needs of the heart overpower the choices of the mind.
Vincent, though of course devastatingly handsome and charming, proves himself to be a young man of substance–a pretty face backed up by an intelligence and infectious wit. He and his fellow revenants are a true highlight of the story, seeming so beautifully normal despite their very unique existence. Vincent doesn't use sarcasm and swagger to downplay his interest in Kate, rather he chooses to put everything on the table fully knowing his complete honesty will most likely be met with hesitancy and even fear. Theirs is a relationship we want to see succeed with every fiber of our being, and we carve out a portion of our hearts to make room for the two of them knowing Ms. Plum has pieces in place that will challenge and test us all in upcoming installments.
Overall, Die For Me is a highly recommended read that blends new and unfamiliar elements with the comfort and normalcy of young love, managing to create its own delicious recipe that leaves us positively salivating for more. We are left grinning from ear to ear even though we're acutely aware this book is humoring us with only the temporary illusion of happiness, but we consume the crumbs Ms. Plum tosses us eagerly, making sure we absorb enough to sustain us through all that's sure to come.