Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

Monday, June 17, 2013
If I Should Die - Amy Plum
*Warning: If you have not read the previous two books, this review may include spoilers for the Revenants series.*
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Revenants #3
Source: Library
If I Should Die delivers a stunning, deeply satisfying conclusion to the international bestselling Die for Me trilogy by Amy Plum.   Kate is devastated. Her boyfriend Vincent is a revenant who waited lifetimes to find her. But once he did their future together was shattered almost immediately. They were betrayed by a trusted ally who killed Vincent and destroyed his body so that he could not be reanimated.   Now Vincent is doomed to roam the earth as a spirit. But Kate isn't willing to accept life without her true love. She'll risk anything to save him, even as their friend-turned-enemy begins to wage a war to rule over France's immortals.   Amy Plum created an intricate, original mythology for her YA paranormal series. The books, set in Paris, the City of Lights, introduce readers to revenants, undead beings who must sacrifice themselves again and again to save the lives of strangers.
Summary from Riffle. 
The Revenants series has been a ride of emotions, more than I ever imagined when I read the first book. After the emotional precipice of Until I Die, I had high hopes for If I Should Die. Unfortunately, I didn't love this one as much as the first two installments.

It's not that the romance isn't just as great, because even in volant form, Vincent is still completely dreamy. His absence even allows Kate to take a more active role. But that doesn't change the fact that her development is predictable; the major twist, the crux of the whole novel (and debatably the series) is something I guessed would happen during the first book. There's also a strange plot line that develops with Jules because of Vincent's condition. I know that this series' e-novella delves into Jules' feelings for Kate, but I feel this whole arc is unnecessary and a distraction from the actual story. Although I am thankful that Plum avoids a love triangle. (Thank goodness.)

On the upside, other characters are great, especially Kate's grandparents. It's rare that the protagonist's family is involved in the paranormal world, but it's really refreshing. Both grandparents handle the news realistically and reasonably, which definitely earns a few points in my book. Ambrose made me laugh multiple times and Bran's development is the best by far. By the end of the novel, he was one of my favorite characters due to his quirkiness and surprising amount of heart.

However, characters' actions don't take away from the awkward dialogue. And there was an abundance, although less so after the first one hundred pages. Conversations, especially in the beginning, are stilted to the point that they disrupt the story's rhythm. From what I can recall, this isn't a problem in the preceding books.

*Spoiler* If I Should Die also dabbles in some tropes particular to paranormal romance, the most offending being the "We'll spend eternity together!" idea. At seventeen, it's a big deal for a couple to get engaged, let alone pledge to spend all of eternity together. *End Spoiler*

I will say that the setting is as beautiful as ever. The reader gets to see parts of Plum's Paris that are both exquisite and haunting; as always, when I finished, I wanted to visit Paris ASAP. Another attribute of this novel is the themes of good and evil, life and death, that are explored. It's a layer of depth that really adds meaning to Kate's adventures.

If I Should Die is, ultimately, an enjoyable read, but disappointing when compared to the first two books. Other fans of the series may completely love it and it may just be that my expectations were too high, but I can't help but think that this story had more to offer.
*2.8 stars*
Other books in the series: Die for Me, Until I Die, Die for Her
Has a last book in a series ever disappointed you?


  1. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first book so I didn't continue on with the series but I'm sorry it didn't end as well as it started for you! Stilted dialogue is a difficult thing to over come -- but I wonder what happened, because it didn't feel stilted, even in the first book.

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