Waiting on Wednesday #6

Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight book releases we can’t wait for!

Title: Until I Die (Click for Goodreads)

Author: Amy Plum

Expected Publication Date: May 8th, 2012

Summary from Goodreads: Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.
As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.
In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.

Why I’m Waiting: I’m very cautiously excited for this book. I was mildly impressed and surprised by the first book, considering I was expecting it to be another Twilight repeat. It was very different in a lot of ways and very similar in others. I feel like this second book can take it either way. Die for Me was action packed with an awesome mythology and a great cast of overall characters. I’m genuinely curious if Until I Die will succumb to second-book-syndrome or manage to be even more awesome.

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Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die For Me by Amy Plum (click for Goodreads)

Four stars

MY LIFE HAD ALWAYS BEEN BLISSFULLY, WONDERFULLY NORMAL. BUT IT ONLY TOOK ONE MOMENT TO CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Suddenly , my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every da. He also has enemies … immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I’m fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart–as well as my life and my family’s–in jeopardy for a chance at love?

Right off the bat, I’m going to address the biggest stigma about this book: that it is a zombie version of Twilight. The unfortunate thing is that I can’t describe the plot in simple terms and convince you otherwise. Girl sees guy. Girl is instantly in love with guy. Guy is BASICALLY A STALKER (cue angry rant against stalkerish relationships in books being ‘okay’). Guy basically falls to pieces when they try to avoid each other. They get back together. They instantly consider each other soul mates. CUE THE ENTRANCE OF THE EVIL PEOPLE! Oh, and Guy is totally undead and sexy. Girl is described as “normal.” I have just described the basics behind both Twilight and Die for Me. But you may want to read on, because me–Madam Twilight Hater–has given this books four stars. Why?

Plum does it RIGHT.

Okay, okay, that sounds unbelievable, right? How can ANYONE do that RIGHT? Well, let’s discuss (with spoilers, so lookout!):

The main character, Kate, is NO Bella. When it comes right down to it, she makes her own choices and DOES SOMETHING. When she finds out what Vincent is, she breaks up with him because she isn’t sure she can take watching him die again and again after the death of her parents. When Evil Bad Dude breaks into the house at the end of the book (intentionally being vague, here), she pounces on him and tries to sword fight with him (even though she has no idea how to use a sword at all). Kate is very proactive throughout the book, which makes for a nice change.

The plot, also, keeps moving. THINGS HAPPEN. You’re hoping for a great battle scene at the end of the book, and you GET IT. The mythology here is also different enough to engage me. I’m not a person who likes zombie stories (at all), but I caught onto this book right quick. The ideas behind revenants is really cool, like zombie superheros. There is always something new on every page to learn, or some new ability. Yes, some of them feel contrived to make the plot work, but that’s only once or twice so I passed it off.

The other characters in the book are also really interesting. Even Kate’s party-girl sister, Georgia, comes off without being a tired cliché, but rather a round character. The other revenants are also cool, especially the twins. This book doesn’t feel like Kate/Vincent and the rest. Everyone else has an honest to goodness part to play in the book.

Lastly: Lack of love triangle. Some people may argue no, JULES! But really? Jules is a playboy who enjoys flirting and Kate isn’t into him. It’s innocent and cute.

Okay, yeah, there are SOME things you just can’t do better. For instance, love at first sight. Plum makes an attempt to work it into a real relationship–they go on a DATE, she turns him DOWN, gasp!–but the scene where she first sees Vincent is written like every other cliché love at first sight thing and after that I just can’t forgive. It also gets way too serious, way too fast. I understand that with the circumstances and all, there wasn’t really much else that COULD be done, but it still leaves jaded old me shaking my head.

Overall, though, this book really won me over. I was ready to hate it for its Twilight-ness, but I kept reading and I was glad I did. There’s a real plot here, and real characters. Kate and Vincent turned me to mush pretty quick too. I’m a sucker for adorable couples–and thankfully the stalking thing wasn’t mentioned all that often and only happened once or twice, or I never would have forgave him. Some bits of the plot felt like they were being forced forward, but everything flowed pretty well around them. I will most certainly be checking out the second book, Until I Die, due out May 8th.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, I have to face it, my to-be-read list is SKY HIGH. Picking ten for the spring is going to be … death defying. Let’s give it a try! (All links will go to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.)

1. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

In case you missed my Waiting on Wednesday post last week, I WANT THIS BOOK. If Amazon’s shipping department wasn’t the worst, I’D HAVE IT BY NOW. But I don’t. And the wait is KILLER.

2. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Really, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with this book. It’s historical fiction in the fact that it takes place in Russia circa 1888. It’s fantasy because the main character is both a Duchess and a necromancer. This book’s blurb caught me on the first look, and I can’t wait to read it.

3. Die for Me by Amy Plum

Okay, Anna and the French Kiss maaaay have made me have an instant love of books set in Paris, which I discovered at line 2 of the blurb. Then I read the REST of the blurb and went DUDE. Let’s see if the plotline is cool enough to overcome the star-crossed lovers thing! You can bet you’ll hear which way this one goes as soon as I get my hands on it.

4. Balthazar by Claudia Gray

I’ll admit, my interest in the Evernight series continued to wane as the books went on, but it seems that this one is completley unrelated to the Evernight books and characters except for Balthazar, so sign me up! I was a huge sucker for this guy, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Okay, this is one book where I read the blurb and I went I WANT NOW. NOW. I have no idea why, but I just fell in love right there. Plus, the CW is making it into a TV series so DUDE. I have to at least read the book so I can watch how much the series messes with the plot line. 😛

6. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

GUYS. GUYS. CASSANDRA CLARE. THAT IS ALL.

7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This is the sequel to Divergent, which I thought actually lived up to a lot of the hype it got. Enough is said.

8. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

MORE VAMPIRE ACADEMY WORLD. MORE ADRIAN. GIVE ME NOW. If you don’t believe the CAPS is pertinent, read my review of Bloodlines!

9. Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

Girl escapes arranged marriage, becomes assassin. Seriously, do I need to tell you anymore? Also, for the life of me I can’t get this cover to actually show up here, so you’re just going to have to click the link to check it out. 😛

10. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I am a horrible person who judges books by their cover–only literally, I swear! However, CHECK OUT THIS COVER. Then CHECK OUT THE BLURB. Really interested in getting my hands on this one!