Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jenn's Review: 13 to Life

13 to LifeSummary:  Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. 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…


Review:  13 to Life is my first werewolf book... and I like it. Shannon Delany, unfurls her plot exposition a little bit at a time, dropping nuggets of information, but they are golden nuggets...

Though slow to start,  the story is engaging.  The characters are interesting, and it's the need to know more about them, that pulls the reader into the book.  Jessica is no meek heroine, but she still has teenage girl vulnerabilities, making her quite accessible.  In particular Jessie's friendship with Sarah is fascinating.  Without spoiling the plot, I must say that I'm just as drawn to the tabula rasa...

Delany's writing style took a little getting used to for me.  She sometimes jumps ahead a little bit in the story, and makes reference to things that occur prior to the jump not included in her story (such a note in someone's pocket without a mention of the note ever being passed, etc.) and for a while I would backtrack while reading, to see if I'd missed something but I got used to it after a while. The only detail that bothered me slightly is Pietr's last name.  Russian names change within a family for males and females... so while his sister's last name would be 'Rusakova', Pietr and his brother's should be 'Rusakov'.  Delany's also not a writer who uses many sensual descriptions, so it forced me a little further into my own imagination to create my own. The plot is solid, however, with plenty of twists and turns, some I saw coming, and some that caught me completely unawares.

All in all, a good introduction to werewolves for me... It is certainly a "pebble that starts an avalanche" type of read.  Once it gets going things start to snowball out of control so that by the end you are desperate for the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, due out in February.  I know I can't wait!

Final Take: 4.0/5


By the way, be sure to check out Shannon Delany's website, especially the 'Fun with Werewolves' section...
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3 comments :

Shannon Delany September 17, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Glad you enjoyed 13 to Life! The name thing you reference does get explained--a bit in Secrets and Shadows and a bit more in Bargains and Betrayals. ;-) I'm actually a bit obsessive when it comes to the layout of names in the books.

Thanks again for the review! :-)
~Shannon

Jenn September 18, 2010 at 9:19 PM  

I can't wait for the next one!

Glad there's an explanantion for the name. :)

I hope I get a chance to meet you at the Teen Book Festival.

Cici August 5, 2011 at 11:52 PM  

I am looking forward to reading 13 to life! So many books, so little time!

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