Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: Bella by Steve Piacente

Photo taken from Goodreads

 Book Info

Title:  Bella 
Author:  Steve Piacente
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Language: English
Format:  Paperback
Pages:  266 pages
ISBN-10:  1451571615
ISBN-13:  978-1451571615
Source:  Won from the author

From Goodreads:

"A striking widow intent on proving the military lied about her husband's death lures a Washington journalist into the investigation. Working together, they discover the power of temptation, the futility of revenge, and the consequences of yielding to either."

This book is my first-ever book giveaway win.  And you know what?  It definitely is an epic win!

Bella by Steve Piacente is about a woman's struggle to find out the truth about her soldier husband's death, and to reveal the truth to the whole nation.  Helping her win her cause is cocky and jaded newspaper reporter Dan Patragno whose life may have been tainted by this beautiful widow's entrance into his life.

At its core, Bella is not just a book that solves a mystery, nor is it only to document a woman's search for truth.  Like its title character, Bella is a complex story that will lure, tease, taunt, and leave you wanting for more.  Told through the eyes of Dan, the voice is bitter yet fascinated by this extraordinary woman.  But as much as it is about Bella's charm, struggles, frustrations, and complexities, it is also Dan's own as he is shown dealing with his problems that may or may not be caused by the appearance of Bella in his life.  Reading through his account, the reader cannot help but be torn between Dan's own opinions and Bella's demonstrated behavior.  The different aspects of Bella's multi-dimensional personality that is written in the book contradicts with each other, as we witness her transform from angry woman to aggrieved widow to charming temptress.  It is easy enough to agree with everything Dan tells us about this woman, yet we could not help but be caught off guard by the actual Bella gracing the pages of this book who appears so unpredictably predictable.

The premise of the story also holds its own as it compels the readers to immediately pick up this book as soon as one reads the blurb and synopsis.  Who can resist mysteries?  And then once the pages are turned, readers would be pleasantly surprised to realize that the story has a lot more to offer than the gratification of solving a mysterious case.  Actually, the purported mystery in this novel is solved early that leaves more room to explore Bella's character herself, which appears to be the main focus for this book - quite naturally since this is a book entitled Bella, right?

I would like to congratulate the author in crafting such a creative and emotional masterpiece that would surely beguile every reader's book desires and lure and trap them as Bella unconsciously did to Dan Patragno but unlike the latter, the reader would learn a very valuable lesson without getting too beaten up to appreciate it.


If you have any questions on this particular rating, please refer to my ratings system here.


All opinions expressed in this book review are my own and not influenced by any party in any way.

Please contact me for questions, comments, and suggestions.  


  1. Awesome review Nina! I like how you said its told from Dan's perspective in stead of Bella's. Watching a story unfold through the eyes of someone else instead of the leading lady is a nice treat.

    Great job!


  2. Another spectacular review from you Nina! I'm proud as a Filipino to have you as one of the best reviewers here in the Philippines! (That's my opinion). The book looks really good. :-)

  3. Totally agree that I love a story told from a male's perspective. This definitely sounds like you get the bang for your buck in this not-so-typical thriller! Great review as always!

  4. This is an awesome review.
    You've been reading quite great books lately.

  5. Kelsa: Yeah it's a refreshing change, reading about another person's point of view than the lead.

    Pertz: Thank you! I'm really flattered that you think that way. :D

    Lah: What's best is that I didn't spend anything for this one, it was a prize I got from a giveaway!

    Playing.Librarian: I know! I seem to be on a real winning streak on books right now.


I just have to tell you, ARGH feeds on awesomeness, so if you can, drop him some awesome here, and I promise to give some awesome back :D

Right now, because of my really busy schedule, I'm cutting back on receiving awards. So until further notice, me and ARGH would not be accepting awards. But thank you for thinking of us, we really appreciate it!