Die For Me
What can I say about Die For Me? Well, I wanted to connect to this book, but it ended up going something like this:
50 pages in - not connected
100 pages in - not connected
150 pages in - still not connected
200 pages in - just...barely...connected.
246 pages - Phew, glad that slow exercise in futility is over.
In my brutally honest opinion, Die For Me made looking for split ends seem like loads of fun. No. Really. About 120 pages in, I got sidetracked for an hour (okay, it was really two, but don't tell my husband because he'll just say something like, "You're going to ruin your hair doing that!"). So here I am, a day later, writing this review with a two-inch swath of breakage on my left front side and a possible clogged sink drain (Damn split ends and sporadic OCD tendencies!) Anyway, moving on...I'm sorry, but this book just did not hold my interest (understatement).
After looking at all the positive reviews for this book on Amazon, I was like, "What is wrong with me? Am I the only person who just doesn't get this book?". But I've come to the foregone conclusion that you like what you like, and vice versa with dislikes. For example, take Fifty Shades of Grey. After reading it, I was that way, as well. More specifically, my inner dialogue went something like, "Am I the only one who wants to gouge my eyes out after reading this?". It made me want to rush to my keyboard with a gasp (and with my smart rucksack in tow-that I'm so keen on carrying), roll my eyes, cock my head to the side, and tap out a, jeez, really bad erotica, with a flourish of holy crap Britishims and see, oh my, if my own flushing/blushing/murmuring/muttering subconscious inner goddess can ensnare, oh crap, millions with a bite of her lip and a raise of her eyebrow. My lips purse and my breath hitches at the titillating thought of my all-consuming, body-shattering future, best-selling success. Maybe one day...
Personally, I don't think that Die For Me resonated with me for several particular reasons. For one, I think that Ms. Plum's writing style lacked the emotional intensity that I'm looking forward to in a YA book-we are talking about teenagers here. Surprisingly, there's just not a lot of emotional depth/tension/angst to the story. Rather, it's all more surface emotion, where things are touched on and then quickly moved on, assimilated, or resolved rather rapidly. This can probably be attributed to Ms. Plum's breezing writing style-which there's nothing wrong with that, it just lends itself to simplicity. What's puzzling is that the writing is not dumb-downed at all; it's just lacking substantial emotional depth. Additionally, it got a little bogged down in descriptions of the locale. The book takes places in beautiful Paris, so there are lots of descriptions of the city. This is nice to a point, but then at another point, I felt myself skimming over some of it to get back to the meat of the story.
Secondly, as fabulous as the cover is, and as interesting as the premise and the concept of Revenants was, I felt like I've read parts of this story before, as parallels can be drawn between this book and Twilight. I don't want to take the time to break them all down, however, I will say that Kate and Vincent felt an awful lot like Bella and Edward. Not to mention the strong similarities between Edward's family and Vincent's family (Charlote=Alice; Ambrose=Emmett; Jules=Jackson).
Thirdly, the romance was a little cliche, a little too saccharine sweet, and a little too, oh, you're dead...moving on; how very insta-accepting it all was. The potential for a strong romance was there, it was just right below the surface (which seemed to be the universal theme with this book), and it just needed a good pick ax to get to it. Maybe if the dialogue had not been off-at least in retrospect with the main characters being teenagers. Additionally, Kate was so whiny and argumentative with all her huffing, puffing, and walking/storming away. And can we please move away from YA books, already, where the heroine has major self-esteem issues? Or where they beat themselves up over their physical shortcomings like a weary drum. Hey, I have more split ends than Sasquatch has hair, but you don't see me obsessing over them (anymore;).
Verdict: Great premise and interesting concept but poor execution.
Short blurb: After their parents are killed in a car accident, sixteen-year-old Kate Mercier and her older sister Georgia, each grieving in her own way, move to Paris to live with their grandparents and Kate finds herself powerfully drawn to the handsome but elusive Vincent who seems to harbor a mysterious and dangerous secret.
Die For Me - 2.5 stars out of 5!
Reviewed by Susannah;)