by Amy Plum
Plot Summary:In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.
When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.
Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.
Review:Initially I wasn't bowled over by this book. It's hard to put my finger on exactly why, but I suppose the progression of the plot seemed very typical of paranormal YA, especially with the romance between Kate and Vincent and how difficult it is for them to overcome their issues... or for Kate to overcome her issues. It all felt really familiar, though the new paranormals, the revenants, are definitely very unique and the rules detailing their existence are complex and detailed. It's a rather odd sort of paranormal and I hope there will be more explanation later in the series for why they exist. Because it was hard to find them believable. But there is the sense of the macabre about them, and that made the black humor jokes between Vincent and Kate really fun actually.
The setting of Paris definitely adds color to the story, and evokes a gorgeous sense of Gothic drama that occasionally felt overwrought, but I loved being able to glimpse the Parisian lifestyle. Yes, I would love to live there! Kate's family and her relationship with her sister also added some life to this story, especially because you don't see much of family relationships in YA. I think it was very realistic and touching.
The romance of Kate and Vincent seemed very all consuming very fast, which usually turns me off, but towards the end somehow it was so super romantic, it completely won me over. So Kate X Vincent OTP!! In particular Vincent writes a letter that is too perfect! And while the story moves quickly, my feeling that it was too repetitive left when it came to the exciting conclusion and battle! I was very much invested in the story about thirty pages to the end, so I guess better late than never? I think the romantic gestures, the Parisian setting, and the exciting conclusion makes this a book I would recommend, especially to people who are not overly saturated with the YA genre.