Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I closed my eyes and wished nothing would ever change. That time would stop and we could stay like this forever.“
Until I Die is the second book in Ms. Plum’s luscious mythological world of revenants. Romantic and intriguing, this YA continues to capture the youthful voice of her characters without miring it down with over affected emo prose and the ‘woe is me’ that is sometimes present in a teen romance. Smooth writing and a steady pace made this easy to follow and relate to. I found myself at the end before I knew it. If I were to label this book, it would be a bridge between book one and book three- the final book. Arc and character development exist, but the majority of the book focuses on giving us needed information and setting up for the finale. It does make for slow passage at times.
Situated in Paris, Ms. Plum weaves her tale set among the grace and old world charm of one of the most romantic cities in the world. The strong world building in Die For Me continues, giving us more information and background into the history of the Revenants. Revenants are select individuals who are predisposed to give up their lives for others; only to be reborn again and again. We are reminded in here that they can indeed die and stay dead for eternity if the right methods are used. I enjoy the time and patience that Ms. Plum uses to produce a story all her own.
Kate and Vincent, our hero and heroine, are falling deeper in love, forming a soul binding of sorts that is both romantic and heartbreaking. The romance is stronger, with Kate and Vincent spending more time giving voice to their feelings for one another and drifting closer to the physical act of showing their love. Kate continues to straddle the line between life and death as she tries to exist in Vincent’s world and her own, and some people don’t like it. Kate continues to be a bright, intelligent, strong willed seventeen year old. I love that Ms. Plum doesn’t change Kate now that she has fallen in love. Her independence and straight forwardness remains an engaging part of her personality; especially when she goes head to head with Vincent and his old world charm and attitudes. She has stepped up her investigations of the revenants and the mythos behind it-looking for a way to keep Vincent safe by her side. She understands that it is painful for him to deny his basic instinct to save and looks to find away to help him stay “alive” without making him miserable. I did have problems with certain scenes involving this. Both she and Vincent have communication problems that results in neither of them being able to tell the other what they are up to. They do it to protect one another and it becomes a repeating mantra through the story.
While Vincent is an integral part of the story, we still aren’t getting as much of his POV beyond what he tells Kate or is relayed through others. Though you never doubt his feelings for Kate, there were times when I would have liked to see what his thoughts and feelings were concerning the storyline plot lines. I do like the fact that he tones down the “obsessed tortured hero” persona in here as he becomes more comfortable with his emerging emotions.
Our secondary characters remain equally strong and engaging, bringing both depth and humor to the story. Jules continues to flirt with Kate and you get the feeling that his feelings run deeper than he lets on. Georgia is a bright light in the story, with her flirting, her outrageous comments, and her love of Kate. She may not understand all that is going on, but I love that she stands by Kate one hundred percent. I enjoyed seeing Ambrose , Charlotte, Charlie, and the rest of the revenants. Two new characters are introduced that Ms. Plum uses to lull us into a sense of false security, never exactly knowing what they are up to till the very end.
The main conflict doesn’t really reveal itself strongly until the end though we are given numerous clues throughout the book. Ms. Plum makes a drastic decision for an author that leaves us with a major cliffhanger and sets the tone for the finale of this trilogy. While I was irritated with what she does, I also commend her for choosing to do what she needed to do and not worrying that she may alienate readers with this particular path she chose to follow.
Regardless of how Ms. Plum choose to end this particular installment, it still continues to be an enjoyable romantic YA with delicious and unique paranormal aspects. While I didn’t find myself wowed by this particular installment, I do look forward to the last book in the series, If I Should Die, slated for release May 2013.
Overall Rating: C+