Wednesday, 8 February 2012

11. "Die for Me" by Amy Plum

Page count: 352 pages
Date begun: January 30th, 2012
Date finished: February 2nd, 2012

When Kate's parents die in a car accident, she and her sister Georgia move to Paris to live with their grandparents. Kate is numb with grief for a long time, and unlike her sister, who's extrovert and a social butterfly, Kate stays inside a lot, and buries herself in books. When she finally starts going outside, she quickly meets the striking and mysterious Vincent, who along with his friends is clearly more than a normal student. When she discovers the truth about Vincent and his kin, she is forced to make a difficult choice. Unable to risk losing anyone else, how can she let herself get close to, even fall in love with, someone who literally risks his life for others?

Die for Me has certain surface similarities with Twilight. It's a young adult paranormal fantasy with a striking cover (sadly the cover image has little to do with anything in the actual book, with the exception of the book being set in Paris). Kate is a young woman who loves to read, and the story is told from her point of view. There's a mysterious and handsome young man, who turns out to be immortal. He lives with his "family" who are also immortals, and the truth about them must never be revealed to outsiders. There's obviously a romance. But that's really where the similarities end. For one thing, Kate is a much stronger heroine than Bella Swan, not a bland and anonymous presence whose only characteristic seems to be that she's clumsy. Vincent and his kin are not vampires, but Revenants, a wholly new supernatural being that Plum has made up, and the mythology behind them, and their evil counterparts, the Numa, is fascinating. The Revenants are people who died to save someone else, and who stay young and immortal by continuing to die to save others.

The setting of Paris also adds to the story. Having visited Paris for a week last year, it's a great place to set a mysterious and romantic story. The author lives in France, and clearly knows the city well. As far as I can tell from her website, this is the first book in a planned trilogy, with the second book coming out later in the spring. I shall look forward to reading it.

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