UNTIL I DIE

From the Die for Me series , Vol. 2

Good thrills and intrigue.

Another human-undead romance produces some good entertainment in this second of a trilogy involving “revenants” in Paris.

These undead creatures have become mostly immortal by sacrificing their own lives to save others. Human Kate and revenant Vincent fell in love in the first book; here they fight the numa, similar but evil undead who plot to kill revenants. Alas, it actually looks like it’s fairly easy to kill revenants, despite their “immortality,” a bit of a flaw in the book’s premise. Kate lives with her French grandparents but spends much time training for combat with the revenants, who have accepted her. She knows that she will age and die as Vincent stays young, and the two seek different ways to overcome that difficulty. Worse, it seems that a spy has infiltrated the revenant community. Plum handles the intrigue and builds tension, ending with a major cliffhanger that should compel readers to the final book in the trilogy. The suspense takes precedence over the romance as Kate follows clues, first to find more information on revenants and then to uncover the spy in their midst. Several of the characters stand out as interesting individuals, enhancing the entertainment value in the story, along with a few good action scenes.

Good thrills and intrigue. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-200404-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Close Quickview