Die for Me, by Amy Plum, is romantic and intriguing with strong gothic elements: feuds and duels, museums, bridges over the Seine and mansions hidden by high walls. Combined with the modern touches of the Metro, little cafes and hot clubs, the book\’s setting of Paris forms a thrilling backdrop.
After the death of their parents, 16 year old Kate and her sister Georgia move from Brooklyn to live with their grandparents in their Paris apartment. Seventeen year old Georgia has always been popular and continues to throw herself into the social whirl of her new city: making friends, going to parties and getting invitations to the hottest night spots.
Kate stays close to home and cuts herself off from her old classmates. More interested in museums, art galleries, and antique shops than socialising, she wanders the city alone, trying to cope with her grief. When Kate meets Vincent Delacroix and his companions, she is drawn into a mysterious new supernatural world. I did think that the back of the book gave too much away about what the reader might expect, although it is clear that the book is going to be a passionate romance with a paranormal twist.
While the glamorous elements of the book are part of its appeal, they also render it a little unrealistic in places. Of course, the nature of the supernatural genre involves a certain suspension of belief, but some aspects here are just too perfect. Both Kate and Georgia are beautiful, intelligent and bilingual. Even through Kate\’s depression she is rarely angry, whiny or selfish. For the most part the girls\’ grandparents allow them to go out at night with minimal restrictions. Likewise, the handsome, brooding Vincent is without a flaw, selfless and understanding. Some anger to go with the angst could have appealed!
However, the plot of the book is exciting and develops well and consistently. I couldn\’t wait to find out what was behind the mysterious behaviour of a number of the characters. The author structures the book effectively with a strong pace, so with each new chapter comes both more information, as well as more questions. The author keeps us guessing and Vincent\’s story is revealed bit by bit. Although the novel has a satisfying conclusion with most aspects resolved there is room for a sequel. Fans of Twilight would enjoy this book, with its courageous suffering hero challenging the self-imposed loneliness of a sad yet lovely heroine.
Available now: Hachette RRP$17.99