Review: 13 to Life

13 To Life
Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Pages: 320 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (From 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.

I have found my new favorite book series. 13 to Life is one of my favorite books I have read this year. I loved every page of it. 13 to Life is not a typical paranormal romance, it encompasses much more than that; it is a story of love, loss, trust and friendship.

There was so much to love about this book that its hard to decide where to start. The characters truly made the story. Jessie is such a strong, amazing character who is a much better person than most. As I read 13 to Life, I kept realizing how Jessie is a much better person than I will ever be, she is so admirable. A person like Jessie is someone people should aspire to be. After losing her mother, as a reader you can feel Jessie’s pain. The grief and sadness she feels is real and relatable. Yet even though Jessie is in pain, she is able to put others feelings before her own. I loved that Jessie cared more about her own friend Sarah’s feelings than her own, forcing Pietr to date Sarah even though Jessie and Pietr had feelings for each other. Jessie is a friend I would want. However, Jessie might be to good for her own sake, which I believe will end her in trouble in coming books, especially trouble with Sarah (who is not the innocent, nice girl she appears to be). 

This book has provide me with a new guy to love; his name is Pietr. Oh my god. I have a new character crush. Pietr is Russian and just came to small town Junction. The chemistry between Pietr and Jessie jumps straight off the page and was so real. Jessie and Pietr needed to be together no matter how hard Jessie pushed him toward Sarah. Pietr is his own complex character, much like Jessie, dealing with the loss of both his parents and some other more complicated matters. I’m looking forward to learning more about him, his family and his past in the coming books. 

I really, really loved this book. It did not have that typical story arc that appears in most young adult paranormal stories. Instead the plot was more character driven and not focus on the werewolf thing. The story felt real and relatable, even though mythical beings were in it. The end had plenty of action to sustain the book, and the ending left me desperately turning pages looking for more. I’m eagerly awaiting its sequel Secrets and Shadows out February 2011. This is one series I will be continuing reading.

Check out Mundie Moms chat from yesterday with Shannon Delany to learn more about the series and get some special goodies. 

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