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. –Via Amazon
Die for Me is what I like to call a smart girl’s paranormal love story. I’ve been fan-girling over this book since I first heard another author mention it on twitter last Fall. It was one of my 11 Must Reads for 2011. I am so so glad I finally got to read it, and that it has totally lived up to the hype!
Die For Me begins with Kate, who has just lost her parents in a terrible car accident, moving to Paris to live with her Grandparents. Kate is nearly drowning in her grief, and finding it hard to live a normal life again. Her older sister Georgia busies herself with parties and dancing to take her mind off of her parents’ death. But Kate hides indoors, behind the covers of her favorite books.
The real story begins when Kate finally decides to live again, and get out of her house. Time spent outside of the city helps bring Kate back to life, and inspires her to set out and explore Paris. After a near death experience, she meets Vincent, a mysterious Frenchman she has seen around her neighborhood, at a local cafe. What she doesn’t know, is that he’s been watching her. And that Vincent is not exactly human.
If you’ve read the book’s summary, you know that Vincent is a Revenant, a sort of French zombie. Luckily for us readers, that doesn’t involve him doing unromantic things like eating brains, or killing people. There is so much more to this story.
I’m not going to spoil what exactly Vincent is, or what his purpose is. But I will tell you a bit more about his relationship with Kate. Naturally, as she gets to know him, she senses something is a bit “off” about Vincent. She is drawn to the aura of danger that seems to surround him, but is smart enough to realize that might not be 100% wise.
Their relationship develops slowly and organically. Kate and Vincent start as friends, before blossoming into something more. I found that to be very refreshing. As the plot moves along, Kate and Vincent’s love is challenged in more ways than one.
Kate is well aware that life with Vincent will never be normal, and struggles with the impact his close ties with death and dying have on her emotional state. She also realizes that some of his behavior, like mild stalking, is abnormal. Luckily that stalking verges more towards being cute and inquisitive (please, we’ve all spied on hot boys or girls, whether it’s around town, or on Facebook), than creepy or abusive.
Miraculously, Kate actually has a mind of her own, and questions the people around her. She never sits back and lets things just happen to her. Once she breaks out of her depression, she actually lives her life.
Things I loved:
* A very well thought out, original mythology.
* Kate is a strong female main character. She stands up for herself, and refuses to take no for an answer.
* A good, logical, and totally un-creepy explanation for why an “old dead dude” would want to date a teenager.
*Jules, and Vincent’s entire paranormal “family”.
* Parts of the story were slow, but not bad slow. More like good, lingering slow… like the three hour French dinners described in the book. Sometimes everything being in your face gets old!
* The story made me want to run off to Paris asap. Amy (who lives in France) captures a sense of place incredibly well. You can tell she has actually been to, and loves Paris.
*Vincent: He’s a hot guy, with flaws. And he’s not afraid to admit them, or let Kate take the lead.
The only thing I didn’t like:
The average reader wouldn’t even notice, but since I read deleted scenes first, I thought the beginning chapter or two seemed a bit rushed. I’d HIGHLY recommend checking out the extras page on Amy’s site, and reading the deleted prologue, and the clip from Vincent’s point of view. I thought both added a lot to the story, helping to explain both Kate’s grief, and Vincent’s attraction to Kate quite a bit. (Note: both features can be read before or after Die For Me. If you’ve read the summary, they won’t spoil you.)
Die For Me is an intricately written, engrossing, and haunting story that transports you right into the center or Paris as if you were there. I think due to its deeper underlying themes (death, depression, loneliness), it will be taken more seriously than a lot of teen paranormal novels out in the world. And Amy’s Revenants are by far the coolest monster/paranormal creature I’ve encountered in years.
This novel offers a realistic look at depression after a tragedy like losing both of your parents. As well as featuring the most swoon-worthy, yet slightly “weird” romantic relationship I’ve read about in a long time. I am, of course, eagerly awaiting book two. I shall be adding Die For Me to my (very small) “to re-read pile”, something now that I’m a busy blogger, I rarely do.
Learn more about Amy and the Revenants at her web site.
Die for Me is the first book in the Revenants trilogy, and will be released May 10th by Harper Teen.
E-galley provided for Review via Harper Teen and Net Galley.