Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Bella Notte by Jesse Kimmel-Freeman

Book description:

Vampires? Check. Werewolves? Check. Death prophecy to hang over your head? Double check.

Seventeen year old Emma Hutchinson struggles to find her place in the world she has been born to as she tries to decide whether she should be with Michael, the boy she has been dreaming about since she was three or if she belongs with Dominic, her betrothed.


Emma is haunted by the same dream every night. She enters the woods with him and then there is howling in the air.  She heads off to her senior year only to find that the boy from her dreams is sitting in class with her.  She does not know what to do but feels instant attraction to this young man.  Mike introduces himself to her and then spend the rest of the day together, and they fall into a fast track system of spending all their time together. They fall in love with each other at first sight.  The problems start for Emma when she is told that she betrothed to Dominic her long lost best friends older brother. She is frustrated and confused because she is learning that her family is keeping secrets from her that she just cant quite put her finger on. The more time she spends around Dominic, she begins to have different dreams as her and Mike are being pulled apart. They are both going through a “change” that he seems to understand and she does not as no one will tell her about it. But after two weeks in Italy with Dominic things are starting to get more out of her control. She finds out that Mike is also betrothed to someone.  When she gets back to school it is very difficult for her, and her change finally occurs. She is a vampire and Mike has changed to a werewolf.  Can their love find their way through the hatred that separates their families? Or will her growing fondness for Dominic replace Mike?  What is she going to do now
I thought that this book had a great story line. A vampire and werewolf that are in love with each other, neither really knowing what they are, or what the other one is becoming.  I think that it made for an interesting plot point that the main character Emma was completely in the dark about everything around her, including that her whole family were vampires and she was changing into one.  It was also made interesting by the fact that vampires and werewolves are not created, that sometime around age eighteen they change into what they are to become. 
My only concern in this book is that I did wish that the characters were more developed. I had this sense that Emma’s character could have had more depth and the character of Mike was not a part of the story at all, he rarely said anything except to profess his love for her and then to ask her what she wanted to do. He just seemed missing from the story.  I wanted more of a relationship built there.  I thought it was odd that Emma left for two weeks to hang out with Dominic and then it seemed as though she was still in love with Mike. She did not do much to pursue the relationship while she was gone either. When she got back it just seemed ho hum about being together instead of fighting to see him again. It was missing the longing.  I guess I just wanted more relationship building between the lovers that wanted to be together. I think that if these characters were more captivating it would have had more impact on the story. The way they were developed it was hard to believe that they really wanted to be together.  I had a hard time with this book because the characters just seemed blah to me and some story lines were not developed enough to make sense to the story, so it seemed strange and disjointed. 
I think that this is appropriate for any high school reader or older.  
Author website and blog:
Reviewed by Jenny for VampChix
This book was sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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