Review: 13 to Life
Series: 13 to Life – Book 1
Author: Shannon Delany
No of Pages: 308
Release Date: 22 June 2010
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 while 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 was a quick, engaging read, even though it was missing a few details.
13 to Life follows the story of Jessica, a sixteen year old girl who recently lost her mother in a car accident. Jessica is given the assignment of showing the new kid, Pietr, around for his first weeks at school, a task she instantly takes a disliking to.
They clash instantly and the tension only rises when he becomes the centre of every female’s attention (including a couple of teachers’). Jess seems to be the only person immune to his powers of attraction, so therefore becomes the centre of Pietr’s attention.
Jessica is an extremely likable character, even though some things she does puzzle me. She is on the school newspaper, seems to have friends to sit with in all of her activities and is a fairly nice person. What I don’t understand is her friendship with Sarah, former Queen Bee turned nice, it just seems odd moulding somebody into what you want them to be, and it grated a little that she was trying so hard even though it is apparent that Sarah staying a nice person, isn’t going to happen.
Pietr came across as somewhat arrogant at the beginning of 13 to Life, not caring about school, ignoring Jessica or winding her up, but as we delve deeper into him, one can’t help but like him. Pietr is reckless, brave and a little innocent in his ways. Add that to the hotness factor and you have one sizzling male lead.
We are also given a smattering of secondary characters that were really well developed. Amy the true best friend is not only funny but brutally honest, Catherine, Pietr’s sister, is bright and really friendly (she actually reminds me of Alice from Twilight) and Annabelle Lee, Jess’s bibliophilic younger sister, who seemed extremely out of place with her love of old classics.
What I absolutely loved about 13 to Life was the relationship between Jessica and Pietr. With Jessica not wanting a relationship “like that” they fell into what became a close friendship helping each other through tough times when the loss of their parents hit them hardest. Of course that friendship had a couple of benefits, like sordid make out sessions in the stables when they were supposed to be shovelling horse poop. It wasn’t one of the I-must-have-you-now relationships, it was a friendship first which made it that much sweeter.
What I didn’t like was the lack of information about, well, everything. We didn’t find out about the werewolves until the last 100 pages which is when all the action started. We didn’t find out about the details of the car accident until halfway through, or the weird crush Jess had on Derek, which seemed to just disappear suddenly. There are still a lot of unanswered questions for me, and although I think a good 70% could have been answered just fine in the first book, I guess I will just have to wait until the second.
Others in this series:
Secrets and Shadows