Title: Die For Me (Die For Me #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2009
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
I was hesitant to read this series…was it another vampire story? A Twilight reimagined? A regurgitation or amalgam of the most popular books and flavors of the month? I’m glad to say it wasn’t…and yet, it kind of was. Let me explain…
Katie and Georgia are orphaned after their parents are killed in a car accident (is it just me, or do a lot of people’s parents seem to die in books that way?), and the sisters are whisked off to France to stay with their grandparents. Fortunately for them, they’ve summered in Paris all their lives so they speak the language. Georgia, the oldest, seeks solace in the company of new friends and a lower drinking age. Katie, on the other hand, withdraws into books (sounds like me!) and museums to escape her pain. A chance encounter with a handsome (of course!) French boy with mysterious comings and goings turns into a date…but how can Vincent possibly like plain old Kate? (Yep, it’s one of those “I’m not pretty, but every boy seems to think differently” kind of books) When Kate, while doing homework for History class, comes across an obituary photo of Vincent and his friends in a decades old newspaper, she learns that Vincent is a revenant: essentially he cannot die because he’s already dead. Oh, and to complicate dating even more, he has the mission to save others from death’s door and sacrifice himself…because he can die over and over again. Kate wants to run screaming in the opposite direction, but ever since she’s met Vincent she feels alive again. Can Kate make it work, or should humans and zombies just not mix?
I am a sucker for these kind of books. I’d love to say, “Oh my gosh, it’s the Plain Jane insta-love story again!” But I can’t. I think I have a guilty pleasure. Some people have a secret obsession with traditional Harlequin-type romance novels, or just love John Green books…I apparently love this kind of story. I know, I’m pathetic.
Is it Classroom-Appropriate?
Yes, but there’s not much academic value to the book. It’s a trilogy, and you can bet your sweet bippy I’m going to read the rest, but this book is purely for recreational purposes only. It would literally be like trying to use Twilight in the classroom. “Ok students, today we are going to talk about the significance of Edward’s sparkling skin when he’s in sunlight…what’s the message Meyer is conveying here?” Yeah, that’s not gonna fly. Just say guilty pleasure and move on. This is free time only, folks.
I’d say 13 and up. It’s very PG, because Vincent is a “gentleman,” which is another amazing phenomenon in these types of books, but I actually think it coveys a good message for teens to wait on the adult activities. No sex. No swearing. Just passionate kisses and some sword action (and I mean an actual sword!). Let the teens read it: it’s harmless.
I can’t give it the full five stars, because it’s a little predictable. But I can honestly give it ★★★★☆. Probably on an accurate scale, 3.75/5 stars. But I round up. So the four stays. I’d recommend it to fans of Twilight obviously, but also fans of books like the Hush, Hush series by Fitzpatrick or maybe Vampire Academy (I’m just guessing because I’ve never read those, but they seem like paranormal romance to me). If you’re totally just burned out on Mary Sue + untouchable God man = “insta-lurve” as my friends call it, then skip it. Plum’s After the End is a lot better, and fits more into a fantasy/dystopian story with no insta-anything. It’s quite good, and I’ve checked out the sequel at the library. So that’s my two cents. Do with it what you will…
Gotta admit though: this is one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. I’m telling you right now, people DO judge a book by its cover…it’s what drew me to it.