by Amy Plum
After the death of her parents, Kate and her sister Georgia move to live with their grandparents in France. Kate swims in depression, struggling to fit into a world without her mother and father, but then one day she sees a boy who catches her attention. Vincent Delacroix is everything a girl could want, handsome, charming, sensitive, and doting. But when Kate finds out that Vincent isn’t a normal teenage boy, she isn’t sure she can stand to love him.
This novel has much in common with the Stephanie Meyer Twilight saga. Girl moves to a new place, Girl meets mysterious sexy guy, Girl meets guy’s entourage and becomes best friends with Charlotte, one of the crew, Girl finds out guy is Undead, and Girl discovers she cannot live without guy. Oh, and guy has seriously dangerous enemies who will target her if they know she loves Vincent. So, if you are a Twilight fan, you won’t be able to help loving this story. I like Twilight okay, but I’m sort of burned out on the whole vamp genre, so it was nice to see this tiresome formula have a little twist. In fact, I’ve already read the second book Until I Die and downloaded book three which just came out in May, If I Should Die. I seriously think this series will be opted for film. That being said, let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work outside of the obvious weakness, it’s a ringer for the Twilight formula. Perhaps best of all is the unique Undeadness that Vincent suffers. He is a Revenant. This means that he has a compulsion to save the lives of humans, and once he dies for someone else, three days later he is resurrected again (we’ll just leave Christian theology out of the discussion of this novel). Thus, he isn’t immune from death, which is why Kate isn’t sure she can love him, I mean who wants to endure the death of a loved one over and over again especially when they’ve recently lost their parents (I mean, if he’s coming back though, what’s the big deal?). I’m not sure I buy that obstacle to their love entirely, but whatever. A better hurdle is the fact that Revenants have sworn enemies, Numa, who would happily destroy Kate if they knew her importance to the clan, and the fact that her wonderful grandparents would not like her dating a Revenant. So those conflicts are well done. The characters in this novel are a huge plus. Kate isn’t especially interesting to me (perhaps because she’s a bookworm like me) but her sister Georgia is amazing and fun and quirky, and I adore the crew that Vincent rolls with. Kate’s grandparents are classy and cultured, and that’s pretty cool. And of course, the author has so many opportunities to elaborate on the history of each character layers and layers of interest are added to the already great mystery of the story line. I also admire the way the author deals with the age issue between Vincent and Kate. I was always bothered by the fact that Bella in Twilight is dating, essentially, an old man, which makes Edward sort of a pedophile. However, in this novel, Vincent returns to the age he was when he died, each time he rescues someone. So he is only a few years older than Kate. This is drilled into the reader by repeated pronouncements of Revenant’s ages. So, even if I might still be a tad skeptical, the author artfully brushes that concern aside, thus making the kissing scenes less, um, disturbing. Lastly, the novel is set in Paris, France. Who doesn’t want to know more about France? And if you listen to the book on audio like I did, even better. Then you get to hear the sexy French accents. So those of you YA paranormal romance lovers who like a little who-dun-it action in the mix, check this one out, you’ll be hooked!