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Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum

28 Jun

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)

Hardcover
341 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by HarperTeen (first published May 5th 2011)
ISBN 0062004018 (ISBN13: 9780062004017)
RATING: 5/5
Description:
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.

Review:
Die for Me will definitely be going on my “favourites” shelf. I absolutely ADORED this book!! This addictive story had all the elements that I look for in a favourite novel: smart and relatable protagonist, very-near-perfect *cough* HOT love interest, wonderfully executed story, great supporting characters, awesome setting (PARIS!!), and a new and interesting mythology, which was very refreshing. It had it all!Die for Me introduces us to a seldom written about paranormal UNDEAD creature called a revenant, and despite the traditional brain-eating, disgusting zombie stereotype… there is nothing icky about these revenants… not when they look (and act) like Vincent, Jules and Ambrose.The lore on revenants in this book was clearly explained and it worked so well. These selfless revenants were once human–their first true death was the result of sacrificing themselves in place of someone else, and for whatever reason, some of those selfless people were chosen to come back from the dead and continue saving human lives by purposely putting themselves in place of the person about to die. Their purpose is so noble and one that they are very passionate about… it is part of who they are. They cannot deny their compulsion to save a human from certain death, which sometimes means their own death–from which they do come back from over and over.

Die for Me takes place in Paris, France. Kate, and her older sister Georgia, have moved to Paris to stay with their grandparents, Mamie and Papy, after their parents died in a car accident. Coping with this loss and trying to rejoin the living has proven very difficult for Kate especially; it’s almost ironic who helps her heal… an UNDEAD 19-year-old boy, Vincent.

Kate was easy to connect with and a great protagonist. She was REAL and honest. Her inner dialogue was relatable and understandable. I thought she had a good head on her shoulders and a great sense of humour. Her mother always believed she was a ‘old soul’… and that is clear in Kate’s personality and maturity level. Her reactions to most situations were realistic and believable. The following excerpt is one of my favourite snippets from Kate’s inner dialogue:

“I love him. I had been keeping those three words stuffed deep inside of me, for my own protection. But I was done with self-preservation and my heart was open. I had feared that love would make me vulnerable. Instead I felt empowered.” (pg. 340)

Kate’s relationship with the gorgeous, incredibly charming, chivalrous and enigmatic Vincent progressed beautifully and at a believable pace. Their romance had my heart melting left and right. Vincent is a very charming 19-year-old (in revenant years — how they age is explained in the book) who first catches Kate’s eye at a café, and they continually run into each other afterwards. (They later joke about stalking each other.) He was so very sweet and passionate. However, at first, I wasn’t sure about Vincent as he seemed too good to be true, but I think I fell for him right along with Kate.

Kate & Vincent’s love story was all about risk. Was Kate willing to risk her heart falling in love with a supernatural being who lives a dangerous life and was going to die over and over again in someone else’s place? Of course, she questions whether she can handle such a life with him. Her feelings were still so raw so soon after her parent’s death. But is Vincent worth it all? (view spoiler) I think when Jeanne (their endearing servant) told Kate he was worth it… that sealed it up for me.

For Vincent, he was taking a very big risk in bringing a ‘human lover’ into their lives. He also hadn’t opened up his heart to anyone since Helene — the girl he loved before he died his first death and became a revenant so many years ago.

Vincent’s ‘kin’ added more than their share of richness to the story… from the flirty Jules who seems to have more than a friendly interest in Kate, to the adorable and brawny Ambrose. Little Charlotte, the lone female in this clan of revenants, is just incredibly sweet but also a bit lonely, and her twin brother Charles, who is a little messed up. Kate and Georgia’s grandparents Mamie & Papy were just lovable and very progressive by traditional grandparent‘s standards. Gaspard–the nervous poet and capable advisor and mentor. And Jean-Baptiste (JB) served as the patriarch of this family of revenants… a cautious and more elderly revenant with reserved charm. The camaraderie between the household of revenants was wonderful… they are each others’ friends and family.

I also loved the relationships between the human characters… especially Kate and her polar-opposite older sister, Georgia. They are each others best friend–they argue but they also have the others back. I liked that we saw a very real sisterly relationship between them.

And what is a story without some bad-guys, huh? In this story, the bad guys are evil revenants called the numa. They are bent on destroying lives… not saving them like Vincent’s kin.

As an aside… I have to make a point about the book’s cover… it’s simply stunning! And I was further thrilled that the pages inside definitely lived up to this gorgeous cover.

Die for Me ended on a lovely note–ending so nicely without a major cliffhanger. Amy Plum’s great writing made me want to read the next book, well before I was even finished, without being dependent on an unresolved plot. I did not want to throw this book against the wall… in fact, I hugged this book. It made me happy!

P.S. This book was even better the second time around! Spectacular and I’m still hugging it!

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