I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Die For You by Amy Fellner Dominy
Published by Delacorte Press on November 8, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, tough issues
Format: Print ARC
Source: the publisher
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Theirs was the perfect love story.
After Emma Lorde’s parents’ divorce forces her to move halfway across the state of Arizona to live with her father, Emma must face her senior year in a new school knowing absolutely no one.
Then she meets Dillon Hobbs and something just clicks.
Dillon introduces Emma to friends she can call her own. He provides a refuge from the chaos of her past and the security of a commitment that he promises will last forever. And because circumstances of her messy life forced Emma to put aside her dream of pursuing archaeology, Dillon creates a blueprint for a future together.
He saves her, over and over, by loving her more than she thought anyone ever would.
But just when everything seems picture-perfect, Emma is offered an opportunity that will upend the future they’ve planned. Uncertainty grows, and fear spirals into something darker.
Now Dillon is the one who needs saving.
But how much do you sacrifice for the one you love? What if saving Dillon means losing herself?
“Cutting Room Floor”
It was the strangest thing.
Books never come to me in dreams or visions. They never come easily, either. Usually it’s a drawn-out process of imagining a character with a problem I can’t solve.
But not with Die for You. This book came to me in one sharply-clear scene. I can even remember the exact moment. It was July 2nd, 2014. I was at our cabin in the mountains, hoping for some inspiration. I’d been working for months on two separate novels and both I had to abandon because the stories just weren’t working. I was beginning to think I would never write another novel.
Then an image flashed in my head. A picture so real I felt like I was there.
A campfire at night. Out in the Arizona desert with the moon overhead and a group of friends sitting on blankets around the orange flames. Seven of them. Three couples and Jace. I knew his name. Knew he had a story to tell of why he was there…why he was alone.
There were two other couples who were together but not completely together, if you know what I mean.
And then there was Dillon and Emma.
Dillon had a log behind him as a backrest and Emma sat in the vee of his spread legs. I saw the shine of his black hair in the firelight and the kind of features that marked him as handsome at a time when other boys were awkward. And Emma—she’s pretty enough. Maybe shy with her face down or maybe just safe in Dillon’s arms. There’s something fragile about her. Or maybe it’s just that Dillon seems so strong. So certain.
The talk around the fire turns to the future. To graduation and the separate paths their lives will take. And then Dillon says he and Emma will never be apart. That he would rather die than lose her.
Emma feels his arms tighten around her and thinks it’s romantic. Sweet. She loves Dillon, too. But she doesn’t see the whiteness of his jaw. The look in his eyes that is part fear and part something else. Something not right.
Jace sees it.
At that point, I ran for my notebook and I actually sketched the scene out with stick people because that’s the limit of my abilities. But I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget. The scene felt so alive to me. So important. It was the scene that would provide the foundation for the whole book.
I wrote that scene immediately, getting the images down with words on page after page.
And when the first draft of the book was finally done, I cut it.
I had to. It just didn’t fit into the story that eventually developed. The other couples around the fire disappeared like the smoke. But Emma stayed. Dillon stayed. And Jace.
It was hard to cut that scene, but as writer’s often say, you have to be willing to kill your darlings. Even if it’s the scene that sparks the whole book.
Enter to win one of three finished copies of Die For You, thanks to the publisher! (US Only)