Who Says Love Doesn’t Bite? joins the trend of books focusing on teenage vampires and werewolves. This one tells a Romeo and Juliet story — but with more blood and fur.
Alina Dimir lives with her father (described as “the Dracula”) and 15 siblings, each of whom has a difficult Romanian name and equally difficult nickname to keep track of. When she meets Lupul Daciana, it’s love at first sight, but their families forbid them to date. Allie has a trick up her sleeve—or rather, a birthmark under it—that may signify a deeper connection to Lupul. Can these star-crossed lovers make it work without eating one another alive?
At heart, this is a solid young adult love story, but the writing is often hard to understand. For example, Allie’s father tells her, “The law states that when the Chosen one was born and had matured enough, in other words found the one with the other mark, then the coven head must step down and let the Chosen one take their rightful place with the help from whoever or whatever it the other person may be.” Even at just 117 pages, such passages (and the overwhelming number of aforementioned nicknames) make this is a daunting read.
Author Morgan Key has an ear for teenage sarcasm and dry wit, but the book needs polishing for those traits to shine through. Also, despite the families opposing the union, Allie and Lupul’s relationship is treated by the other characters as a rather ho-hum affair, which seems at odds with the book’s central conflict.
In sum, while Who Says Love Doesn’t Bite? has the nucleus of an engaging story, it needs a fair amount of revision to succeed.
Also available as an ebook.