Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon, published by Usborne on 1st May 2012
Renée Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Renée can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin.
Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul.
Just when Renée has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters--brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can't shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it.
One of my surprise favourite books of last year was 'Dead Beautiful' by Yvonne Woon and ever since I read it I've been eagerly anticipating the sequel. No surprises then for guessing that I curled up with this book as soon as it arrived and didn't move for the rest of the night.
Renee is now a monitor capable of sensing the Undead but has been changed forever by the kiss she received from Dante which gave her back her soul. When Gottfried Academy is closed to all by the Undead, she's transferred to Lycee St. Clement in Montreal. Separated from Dante and from her old life, she becomes determined to unravel the secret of the Nine Sisters which she believes may hold the key to her and Dante's future.
Having read the first book in the trilogy quite a long time ago, I was a bit worried that I wouldn't remember all the important plot points. Luckily there's a handy recap near the beginning and I very quickly picked up all the threads of the story and was soon engrossed in Renee's journey.
I enjoyed the change in setting from the confines of the Academy to a whole new school with lots of new faces. There's some interesting characters including Anya, who becomes a friend of Renee and has a secret talent, along with Clementine, who is immensely jealous of Renee's talents and not to forget the very cute Noah who she becomes close to.
Although the introduction of Noah made me initially groan slightly at yet another love triangle, he really did grow on me quickly and I found myself liking him more and more. As there aren't many Dante/Renee moments in this book, Woon choosing to focus the plot on the quest to find the secret of eternal life, I was pleased to see a friendship forming between Renee and Noah, even if he quite obviously seemed to want more than to be just friends.
The ending had me screaming in frustration and I can't believe I'll probably have to wait yet another year for the concluding part. I don't think I can hold out that long!
This book will definitely appeal to fans of paranormal romance and to those that enjoyed the first in the series. Life, death and love collide to create a fascinating and brilliant story from the talented Yvonne Woon. I can't wait to see how it is all going to end.