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13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin (An imprint of Macmillan)

Pages: 320

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: 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…

13 to Life is the debut novel by author Shannon Delany and was originated in a contest hosted by Textnovel. A story of a girl still overcoming the death of her own mother, who is suddenly thrown into an intercontinental battle with the supernatural – werewolves to be exact. The origin, the author and the story are absolutely unique.  Unfortunately for me the uniqueness of the storyline was just a bit too much for me to handle.

“Let me start first by saying that initially I was taken in by the story. Jessie and Pietr’s characters were better than the generic teenage love story, their chemistry was perfect and as the story kept going it continued to get better. This is the best part of 13 to Life, the relationships between Jessie and Pietr as well as with the external characters.

**Spoilers Ahead**

“Now for the not so great part. I truly enjoyed the story of a young werewolf coming to a new land to escape the persecution of a dominating force, but it was the obscure and contrived tidbits thrown in that I couldn’t get past. They live in a small remote town with a small population and yet are invaded on all sides by none-other than the Russian Mafia? For real? This was too far fetched for me to appreciate. Also, there is a woman associated with the police force who happens to know all about werewolves and their connection to the Russian Mafia? So much of it didn’t feel effortless, but forced and unbelievable for such a world that otherwise mimicked our own so well.

**End Spoilers**

“Overall I wanted to like this book, the premise had potential and the characters were very likable. Unfortunately for me 13 to Life was more than I could handle when it came to the reality of the subject at hand. Yes, it’s a story. There are made up people and places, however so much of it was created in our own world. A world where every day occurrences, like people being killed in car accidents and kids going to high school who struggle every day in numerous ways. All of these realities made it nearly impossible to accept the possibilities Delany offered up in 13 to Life.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 15 and up. Due to mild violence. Russian Mafia and werewolf fans may find this enjoyable, although I did not.

For the Comments: I’d love to read your favorite werewolf novel. Have any great suggestions?

Book Trailer for 13 to Life:

The 13 to Life Blog

This book was provided for review by Traveling ARC Tours. Thank you!
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18 Responses to Book Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Danielle Smith and Miss Remmers, Danielle Smith. Danielle Smith said: Book Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany […]

  2. Despite its apparent faults, I think I could dig this one 😉

  3. Adriana says:

    The Russian Mafia… oy! Well, I still want to give it a read since I have seen a few positive reviews on it. The only other werewolf book I’ve read is Shiver which I just thought was okay, but I’m really looking forward to reading Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

    • Thanks for the recommendations! I’m definitely going to look for Raised by Wolves now. I’d love to hear what you think of 13 to Life after you’ve read it, so let me know!

  4. For YA, I love Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and am eager to read Linger!
    for adults, I really adore Carrie Vaughan’s Kitty series…like chick-lit werewolf stories!

    • Great recommendations! I’ve heard so much about Shiver and now Linger, but just haven’t had the time to pick them up. I think I’m going to try when we go on vacation next so that I can really enjoy them. And now I’m going to have to check into Carrie Vaughan, because I just love your taste in books! Thank you! 🙂

  5. NotNessie says:

    I agree with Amy, Shiver and Linger are excellent! Just finished Linger this week… vv good.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy 13 to Life. I thought it looked good, but based on your review, I don’t think I’ll like it either, so thanks!

    • You are so welcome! I was really disappointed because I had read so many great reviews and from what I know of the author I just wanted to like this one. Unfortunately, not for me, but I still think there will be a lot out there who do love it. Thanks for the Shiver and Linger rec! They’re definitely on my vacation reads list!

  6. Darlyn says:

    i dont know if i want to read this..i just think that it is not my type..but, thanks for the honest review!

    • Thank you! It’s so hard to write reviews when you don’t quite connect with the book, but I completely understand that sometimes others might connect with it. I’m glad it helped!

  7. Donna S says:

    Great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Brian says:

    I was lucky to get my hands on an ARC and I agree with you on the great character development and I love the voice of the book.

    I don’t want to give away spoilers but I felt the end clearly explained the woman and the Russian Mafia. Besides I think if a powerful organization such as the Russian Mafia wanted something they would go any place they needed to get it.

    As with art, books will be evaluated based on the tastes of the individual and I appreciate your honest opinion. Me, I am desperately waiting for book 2 where I believe even more will be reveled.

    • Thanks so much Brian! I love getting another take on this, because it does make me realize I’m still definitely interested in seeing where the story goes from here. The things that bother me now make actually be resolved in future installments, so it’s always best to keep an open mind. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Gwen says:

    I think that this is the book that Art’s DIL was asking me about and whether or not it was okay for her 11 YO daughter to read. I would have to say no and I will send her here:)

    • Thanks Gwen! No, I definitely wouldn’t give it to an 11 year old, maybe at the very youngest a 14 year old, but honestly I think that’s why it’s in the YA category. Sometimes though I think there should be a YA mature category. I’m sure that wouldn’t go over well though. 🙂

  10. Thanks for the review. I met this author in New York and she was out of her book so I was not able to pick one up. I am still curious about it. Thanks for the review.

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