Review: Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful #2) by Yvonne Woon

My rating: 3 out of 5

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.
Renée thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Renée. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short.
I can't remember the last time I read a sequel and was so underwhelmed. Which is a shame because I loved Dead Beautiful and the prospect of reading more about Renee and Dante made me buy this book as soon as it was out.
Firstly, it isn't until a good way into the book that Renee really figures out that she must find out the secret of the Nine Sisters and hopefully find a cure for Dante.
Now, Renee and Dante have both changed a great deal since the last book. If you remember, Renee saved Dante and gave back his soul. Then he kissed Renee and returned it back. This must explain (although its never confirmed) Renee no longer tastes food, has no sense of smell, and constantly has the window open. As far as Dante is concerned he's aged, but is still recognised as Undead. So my only opinion is that they have both experienced and changed due to both being a little bit Undead but have also both grown up due to the passing on of Renees live soul. Hmm. Quite complicated.
The writing of this book is as good as the first with the descriptions of the new school and Montreal really making you feel like you are there.. A new history is told to us about the beginnings and reasons why Montreal became as it is.
Apart from that Renees narration is just average and full of 'woe is me' moments, even when it comes to Dante (who doesn't feature much in the book anyway). She has no spark, and felt like she was just going through the motions rather than eagerly grasp this new chance for Dante and her to be together.
We have a new third wheel, Noah, but I didn't really feel a great deal of chemistry between him and Renee either.
When the treasure hunt started I really hoped the book would pick up a bit, but such random places were implanted into the story such as the house with all the undead children, that it gave the story a not-so-real element.
The only character I really would have wanted to learn more from was Anya, Renee's new Russian school friend, who has a few secrets of her own.
All in all, I felt that a lot of the story was ground work for the next installment, there was only a flicker about the Liberum so I'm sure we'll get more from them in book 3.
And the ending? Much too fast and over with loose ends left hanging...
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