Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Shorts: Die for Her

Set in the romantic and death-defying world of the international bestselling Die for Me trilogy, this digital original novella follows Jules, a brooding, immortal French artist who has fallen in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.Jules Marchenoir is a revenant-an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save human lives. He’s spent the better part of the last century flirting his way through Paris, but when he met Kate Mercier, the heroine from Amy Plum’s Die for Me trilogy, he knew his afterlife had changed forever and he had found the love of his life. Until Kate fell for his best friend, Vincent. Now Jules is faced with an impossible decision: choosing between his loyal friend and a love truly worth dying for. Quoted from Goodreads


Okay, I hate to be the one bad note among all the love and goodness, but I didn't actually love this novella.  It wasn't that it was badly written or that I don't love Jules as a character.  I do.  I think he's a great, swoon-worthy character, and I understand why so many people have literary crushes on him.  But.  Yes, here it comes.  This novella didn't have anything really new in it, and that's what really bugs me.  

Okay, yes, we learn that Jules is truly, madly in love with Kate.  We may have suspected it before, but here we have 60-some-odd pages of proof.  That's all fine and good.  But that's the only new thing we learn in this novel.  It's basically the first two books from his POV with very few extra details.  Sure, maybe we get a random kissing scene with a  girl who means absolutely nothing.  Maybe we get a few more paintings in his gallery and a lot of cool art references, but that's about it.  I don't really feel like I know Jules any better than I did before reading this.

To be honest, I was hoping for more.  Maybe we'd get a scene or two that didn't appear in the first two books in the series. After all, the books were from Kate's POV, and her main love focus was on Vincent.  Books skip over weeks at a time.  Why couldn't Kate and Jules have a moment that would be very significant to him but nothing special to her?  Why couldn't he have a bit of a side adventure we know nothing about?  There are so many possibilities, and I feel this book just wasted the chance.  Unfortunately it reminded me of one of those bad Pride and Prejudice retellings from Mr. Darcy's POV where you discover nothing important you didn't already know.

My other problem with this book is that we don't really get why Jules is in love with Kate.  Yes, she's pretty, she lights up/shakes up their slightly monotonous existence, but we never really get that moment of connection.  They don't bond over art or dancing or books or anything else.  Granted, Kate and Vincent also have a bit of an insta-love thing, so I shouldn't have expected Jules to have more concrete reasons or moments for his feelings.

Okay, enough on what I wished it would be.  It was fun to see things from Jules POV.  I liked seeing what he thought of Kate especially, because we only get Kate from the inside in the other books.  I enjoyed seeing how other people saw her.  I also enjoyed his relationship with Vincent, how absolutely loyal his is to his best friend. It's also a great way to prepare for book three.

All in all, this was only a 2.5 star book for me. If you're a rabid fan of the series, you should absolutely pick this up.  It's a fun, different take on the first two books.  If you simply like the first two books and haven't read them five times each, you could skip this.  It's a nice recap of what happened, so I'll be prepared for book three, but no much more.

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