Title: Die For Me
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date Released: May 10, 2011

My mom gave me an Amazon certificate for my birthday, and this was one of the books I bought. I’ve been really looking forward to it for a while, especially after reading other reviews. The cover alone was enough to lure me in, it’s just gorgeous! But a cover does not make a book, and while I enjoyed Die for Me for what it was, it didn’t quite live up to my high expectations. It wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be.

Die for Me is a story about Kate, a 16-year-old New Yorker who, along with her sister, moves to Paris to live with her grandparents after her parents die in a car crash. She’s depressed and barely surviving until she meets Vincent, a gorgeous yet somewhat dangerous slightly older boy. Well, much older, depending on how you look at it. They fall in love, and bad things sort of happen way towards the end of the book, then it ends. I know it’s the first in a series, and the first book is a lot about setting up the mythical world, but I waited patiently for something major to happen, and the pay-off just wasn’t there.

There were some really good qualities about the book, so I’ll start with those. First, I was impressed with how Kate didn’t just jump into a potentially dangerous relationship without even giving it a second thought. A lot of reviewers are negatively comparing Die For Me to Twilight, but the fact that Kate wasn’t ready to give up everything and everyone the moment she met Vincent makes her infinitely different from Bella. Kate’s suffering over her parents death plays a major role in her decision to take things slow and even back off completely at one point, and I give her a lot of credit for that. Overall, Kate is a pretty likable character.

The mythology is interesting. To me, the Revenants are a new take on paranormal creatures. The jokingly compare themselves to zombies, but they’re not really, since they don’t eat brains or anything gross. They’re people who come back from the dead in a whole new way for a whole different reason. With so many vampire, werewolf, faery, angels, and ghost books out there, it’s hard to come up with a unique take on the paranormal creatures movement, and I think Amy Plum did a good job with that.

The part that disappointed me the most was the fact that, up until the end, nothing much really happened aside from the brewing romance. We learn about the bad undead guys midway through the book, but they don’t really do anything until the end, and even then, the whole showdown only takes up a few pages. I feel like the author could have solved this by adding a few more scenes of good guy vs. bad guy conflict throughout the book to help build a little tension. When the bad guy finally does show up, it was in an easily predicted way because the author gave away the whole scene a couple of chapters earlier.

I also had a hard time with some of the supporting characters. Some went from “you can’t be here, human!” to “hey, if this thing with Vincent doesn’t work out, I’d love to have a go with you!” While the flirty banter was cute in its own way, there was really no segue between the two very different attitudes towards Kate. Some of the other characters just weren’t there enough for me to remember them. While this would be fine usually, one plays a major role in the story, and I feel like I should have gotten to know him better before his part came into play.

Overall, the good points showed enough promise that I am interested in reading the second book when it comes out. I’m not saying I didn’t like this one, I think I just had much higher expectations for it.