Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

13 to Life (13 to Life, #1)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…

I've been a bad blogger. I haven't been doing my research. I didn't even know that this book existed until I saw the cover of the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, looked it up and then realised it was sequel to 13 to Life and to be honest I wasn't all that interested in 13 To Life and only decided to get it because the cover is so unique.This cover was totally unique in the YA market and while I don't necessarily love it, it's refreshing.

Enough about the cover though, I'm reviewing the book. I actually enjoyed it a whole lot more than I thought I would. I never got to the point that I couldn't put it down but I did get absorbed in and I read it in two sittings, with the occasional tea break in there. It's actually hard to have original concepts in werewolf stories these days and while 13 to Life has a lot of the usual concepts, it also offers a few unusual 'twists' on werewolves in there as well.

I also really enjoyed the characters as well. I loved Jessie because she was selfless without being too perfect, she makes some bad decisions, but she's headstrong and clever and not at all weak, but at the same time she doesn't seem too perfect to relate to. Pietr was quite a nice hero as well, he comes across as tough and attractive but also a little vulnerable, he doesn't make it onto my swoon-worthy list but he's definitely a nice characters. I also liked Jessie's friends Sarah and Amy and the backstory that involves them as it made them seem more in the story.

I loved the romance as well, Pietr and Jessie's romance seemed genuine. I especially enjoyed that they didn't straight away fall for each other, at first there was a bit of tension between them and even when the romance did set in, they aren't all of a sudden 'ooh I love you!' due to other circumstances. I also enjoyed the back story between Jessie and her long-time crush Derek, makes me think that he's going to be involved a lot me in the sequel...

I did have a few issues in that basically everything in the story was predictable, from the start it's obvious what Pietr was so there's nothing to make you wonder or anything. I also think that the author had a habir of introducing a character and forgetting that they exist, like Jessie's male friends, who i really liked and I wish they were in there a little more.

All in all a fantastic read!

Overall rating: A-

Stand alone/series: First in a series

Paperback Release: June 22nd 2010
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 308
Book obtained via: Trade

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