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Radiant Shadows

Die for Me

Die for Me - Die For Me was vibrantly romantic and completely able to transport me into the European world of art history and museums; a place full of people reading while sipping on cappuccinos at cozy cafes, the smell of fresh croissants baking fills the air and the undead are beautiful creatures, risking their lives to save others.Plum's approach to the world of the paranormal was so refreshing and original! Reading about zombie-esque individuals who were able to keep both their minds and their youthful looks was so intriguing. I was constantly trying to wrap my mind around the mechanics, and eventually concluded that whatever forces allowed for Revenants to reanimate was also behind their ability to reanimate at the same age of their first death, rather than growing old. I would have liked a little more Revenant folklore - a little more detail as to the history of the Revenants - but from the conversations between Kate and the Revenants, when it comes to how a person is chosen to be a Revenant, an explanation doesn't seem to be something they have.I don't often talk about the setting of a book, but I truly feel that this story only works because it is set against the wonder and romance that is the city of lights. Plum obviously has a love for Paris; I was so easily transported into a city I have never visited that I could swear she was reading my memories instead of painting me a picture. Her descriptions of the streets, the cafes, the museums - even Kate's reaction to a painting that moved her! - all allowed for me to feel as if I was reaching in to the recesses of my mind for a memory of me frequenting those same streets, cafes and museums. (It was also a refreshing change from the typical high school setting!) It was wonderful and charming and created such an enjoyable reading experience that the entire story could have been garbage and I still would have walked away with a smile on my face. Fortunately, I'm smiling for more then one reason.The characters were fantastic. I loved that Kate was not just book smart, but that she had a rational head on her shoulders. Having been broken by the sudden death of her parents, Kate was guarded against opening her heart to potential heartache - something she knew seeing Vincent die over and over might bring about - and so she took time to think about the consequences before making any decision, and I usually agreed with her! It was a nice change from your typical heroine who rushes into everything, leaving you shaking your head or throwing the book down. I also loved that even though she knew her feelings for Vincent were strong, she knew she needed to take things slow so as to develop their relationship, rather then pronounce her undying love before knowing anything of his past. So while there was a sense of love-at-first-sight, it was followed by the awkwardness of the first couple dates, the nervous anticipation of the first few phone calls and the butterflies that accompany seeing your crush waiting for you after school.I love, love, LOVE that Plum made Vincent a nice guy! He was never anything but honest and sincere with Kate and we didn't have to question his motives - he genuinely wanted to get to know Kate better and see where it would take them. He promised her the truth, and instead of avoiding answering her questions, or giving her non-answers, he told her what he could, without holding back key details. He wasn't an asshole for no reason, and he only disappeared while he was dormant - something he prepared Kate for ahead of time. It was refreshing (there's that word again!) to have a heroine who didn't have to doubt whether her boyfriend cared for her, because Vincent did everything within his power to make Kate happy - including staying away when she said she couldn't handle being with him.There are definitely things I could take fault with (absent guardians, totally saw the ending coming) but I won't - because they're not things that managed to capture my attention long enough for me to mention. Later I may chalk it up to a guilty pleasure, but I loved Die For Me. The ending had me on the verge of crying happy tears and the lack of cliffhanger has me jumping for joy!Originally published on my blog, Radiant Shadows