This is one of my favourite books on my bookshelf. It's one I can come back to and read again and again, never tiring of it. My only problem with it is that at time of writing the third book of the trilogy isn't out yet, and the second book, Until I Die, ends on a massive cliff-hanger.
Die for Me is a zombie love story. In a wonderful new take on the human/supernatural being romance, Plum has created revenants - people who died in exceptional circumstances and have come back to life, so that they can dedicate their existence to dying over and over again, in order to save others' lives. These are not the freaky, flesh-eating zombies that frequent horror films - they are soulful, brave, romantic beings who live to save humankind. What more could you want from a boyfriend?
Our heroine, Kate, has suffered tragic loss - her parents both died recently in a car crash. This back-story serves to give her the depth and sensitivity that most 16-year-olds are missing. So when we first meet Kate, she is grieving and vulnerable. She and her sister, Georgia, have moved from America to Paris, to live with their grandparents. I think the setting is one of the major things that makes this book so likeable - who doesn't want to fall in love in Paris, city of romance?
Kate is the quiet, artistic type. While her sister is out all night partying, Kate prefers to spend her time haunting galleries or lost in a book. Naturally, many of the girls reading this book will identify that. If they were the Georgia type, constantly socialising in a whirlwind of friends, they wouldn't be very likely to pick up the book in the first place. So the heroine is bookish and a little introverted, as well as sad and vulnerable. It's an irresistible hook. Kate is by no means a pathetic sap though - she has an inner strength that carries her through the bad times, and when she discovers that she can love and be happy again, she really comes into her own. The moping is kept to an essential minimum, as the story unfolds and there is soon plenty to distract our girl from the loss of her parents.
Kate falls in love with Vincent, the zombie with a heart, and what a guy he is. He's French for starters, so you can't help but imagine a sexy accent and hot Gallic looks. Add to that the fact that he was born back when guys were chivalrous gentlemen, and you've got the Edward Cullen factor and more. Though I must admit I have something of a soft spot for fun and flirty Jules, Vincent's artist friend.
Of course every supernatural has an arch-enemy, right? There has to be danger and excitement, and Die for Me certainly isn't lacking in that department. In fact my only complaint about this book is that it's not long enough! At 341 pages it's not exactly a pamphlet, but it's not a weighty tome like Twilight either. Although Plum's writing is such that it does take a little longer to read than the average YA romance - and I mean that as a compliment. There are tons of books out there that I can read in a couple of hours, leaving me feeling somewhat disappointed and unfulfilled. Die for Me has much more to it though, filled with wonderful descriptions of Parisien life, and the emotions that Kate goes through as she leaves her grief-stricken self behind and embarks on a relationship the depth of which she has never felt before.
I urge anyone who has had enough of vampires and werewolves to give Die for Me a go - or even if you're still enamoured of the classic supernaturals, give Vincent and his friends a chance to woo you!
Buy Die for Me on Amazon