Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: 13 To Life by Shannon Delany

Source: Purchased
Format:  Paperback
Released: June 22nd 2010
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count is 308 pages
Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died.

Now even her hometown of Junction is changing, and mysterious, dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to be normal. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent - he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town. 

It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…
(Description from

Werewolves, hot men, and a snarky strong female lead?  Yes, definitely yes.   

13 To Life was an enjoyably fun, exciting read and the characters were colorful with great personality.  Not many books, YA books specifically, find a nice way to slowly reveal the supernatural aspects of their plots, usually they just dive right in.  What I loved about 13 To Life was that everything about the main plot to the side stories was paced wonderfully.  Nothing was rushed or hurried in this book - except for one scene, when Jessie and her two girlfriends went to Pietr's house for the first time.  It was a little confusing and I had to reread those few pages.

Jessie is the leading lady of the novel.  She's strong willed, even though she lost her mother, determined, and clever.  She's always thinking and asking the questions that move the story along.  Jessie is someone I can relate with a great deal.  She loves to write, she's got her "Wall of Weird" with crazy newspaper clippings, she raises horses and rides, and she use to shoot semi-professionally with her rifle.  She's also suspicious of the Rusakova family, but not in a begrudging way.  She's more curious then anything.  And who wouldn't be curious about Pietr Rusakova?  He's good looking, sarcastic, funny, has a sexy accent, and has his bed room walls covered in books!  He also looks out for Jessie and goes out of his way to make her happy even if it makes him miserable. 

The romance between Jessie and Pietr was another thing that was excellently paced in 13 To Life.  What was also great about it was it wasn't so serious like in other novels.  I'm looking at you Twilight.  They went from irritable dislike, to understanding allies, to friends, to "I like you like that."  It was sweet, endearing, and what they both needed to fix the broken pieces of themselves.

It's not often that I really love with side stories mixed in with the main plot or the side characters, but Jessie's friends, Amy and Sophia were fun to read about and not at all stifling like other side characters.  I even liked Sarah and her recent love of words and reading, but as time went on...I couldn't help but see her evil side rear it's ugly head.  I'm a little terrified of her now for Jessie's sake.  I'm expecting her to be a fairly excellent antagonist in the series.

Great plot, great characters, and great writing!  With so much excitement at the end I can't wait to pick up the second book in this series.

This novel counts towards the following challenges:
Parajunkee's Shifter Challenge


  1. YAY!!! I knew you'd like this one!! Now let me know how the second one is! LOL The third one is getting ready to come out and I haven't read the 2nd one yet! Reading your review reminded me how much I loved the first book. And that evil girl! Wasn't that so unexpected???


  2. Yes, Sarah's twisted side story was awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing her evil side come out. I thought Weird Wanda was actually a werewolf hunter at first. So glad she wasn't in the end! :D haha! I already ordered the second book to see what happens next. I loved how this first installment ended!


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