Monday, 2 May 2011

Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything. Suddenly, my sister, Georgia and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent. Mysterious, sexy and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen. Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies...immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

This book was kind of split for me. Ultimately I loved it, but it was a bit of a bumpy road along the way.

The first hundred pages or so was a complete turn off for me – the dialogue was awkward at best, and I found Kate pretty much unlikeable. I understood that she was grieving, but as a reader I should still be able to sympathise and find a way to like her, and to start with I really found it hard.
Combine that with the dialogue, which just felt stilted and weird and completely unnatural, I very nearly put the book down.

However, something magical happens after those first hundred pages. Our heroine finds out our hero’s secret, and everything magically becomes really really good…

The premise is genius I love it, it was a brilliant new take on the supernatural, and I am all for the new takes, because I love my supernatural but reading the same stories churned out in different forms gets boring after a while.
There were definite comparisons to Twilight – the immortal boy, the fabulous house, never been in love before, family of strangers that have grown to be family etc. etc. I know it’s probably harsh to compare it to Twilight, because I’m sure that concept has been used long before Twilight existed, but it still felt a little clichéd, which was frustrating because otherwise it was such a fresh idea.

That said, I love the family – it was a great touch, a solid basis of characters to bring Kate to meet, and they provide a great family backdrop.
And once Kate is brought into this world, everything (including the dialogue) get a hell of a lot better. There are still the odd stumbling points where I winced at how forced it sounded, but overall it was so much better.

I like how strong Kate is, I like that she refuses to just fall for Vincent, and she wants a normal life. (Three cheers for strong independent women in fiction with supernatural boyfriends!) I love that she even walks away from him because she doesn’t want to get hurt (and she sticks with it for a while!) All this made me forgive her for the first hundred pages, because suddenly I did like her, I could identify with her, and I actually cared.

Vincent was yummy, although I think she should have given the other boys a chance too… But then I think I may just have a soft spot for Jules.

I wasn’t convinced by the family dynamic between Kate and Georgia. At times it felt clichéd, at others perfectly natural, and at others completely what just happened? I didn’t really connect with Georgia at all which meant I found it hard to care about her at the end, or want to forgive her for her mood swings.
In all honesty it felt like I read two different books. A really pants beginning to one that I gave up on after a hundred pages, and a really awesome second one that had me hooked.

So, the awesomeness of the rest of the novel has tipped this book firmly back into the love pile, and I’m looking forward to seeing if there’s a sequel or anything, because whilst it was nice neat bow at the end, there were will plenty of loose ends that I would love to explore.

I would definitely recommend this book – whilst the first section was not my cup of tea, I realize other people may love it. And if it’s not your cup of tea either , I highly recommend pushing through to get to the awesome stuff on the other side. Because whilst ‘Die For Me’ didn’t thrill me to start, it was totally worth it by the end.

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