Saturday, July 24, 2010

Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Book Description via Goodreads:

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

I loved 13 to Life, so much that I want to read the sequel right now. It’s magnificently absorbing. It was easy to get lost in the story world of Jess and the mysterious Phantom Wolves.

Jess is someone so real; she’s so real, I could have touched her arm. Her flaws make her herself – grieving, forgiving and lying Jessica. Little by little, I got to see inside her head: her mom’s death and impact on her life, her decision to help Sarah recover and her undeniable attraction to Derek and Pietr. Haunted by a nightmare that reopens her wounds, grieving and healing are two issues she needs to face. At times foolish and almost too martyr, she tries to carry on listening to her mom’s last words.

Pietr at first, made me so anxious with all his time checking as if something was about to happen at any moment or something was already happening and whatever it was, was about to end abruptly. Reckless and seemingly always pressed for time, he never fails to make Jess worry and ponder. He is sometimes bold with his intentions and emotions, expressing what he truly feels and not wasting time to do so. But underneath all the recklessness, he carries secrets that will question everything Jess believed about him.

I appreciated the fact that Russian characters as well as bits of Russian culture and history was included in the novel. This inclusion produced a harmonious blend of cultures, as well as a foreign taste to the story. The coincidental events also emphasized the intentions of fate and the predestined meeting of Jess and Pietr, testifying to the mysterious works of destiny.

Shannon Delany’s way of storytelling worked well for me. There was not a boring moment. The plot was smoothly done. The flow of words was almost intoxicating, injecting awe and respect in my system. The ending had me surprised and wanting to read more.

13 to Life will suck readers in and refuse to let go until you’ve devoured the bittersweet tale of death, danger, secrets and romance within its very pages.



  1. wonderful review! this one sounds great, like it's an emotional paranormal read.