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13 to Life (13 to Life #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  11,910 Ratings  ·  885 Reviews

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

Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Caitlyn Not really. The only language it has is English with a speckle of Russian (but not really profanity). And considering how she shoves him away every…moreNot really. The only language it has is English with a speckle of Russian (but not really profanity). And considering how she shoves him away every time he kisses her, there shouldn't be sexual content.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-45)
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Wendy Darling
Boy, it sure takes some girls a long time to figure out there's a werewolf in her midst. Dogs react weirdly to Pietr, the new boy in school, he sniffs people, his eyes look "disconcertingly feral," he has "startlingly beautiful teeth," he heals super fast, he thinks vampires get more attention than werewolves do, there were wolf attacks in the town his family just you need more signs? Oh, how about HE TELLS HER ON PAGE 205? But Jessie Gillmansen doesn't believe him until he actually le ...more

You know, the beginning of this book was really magical. For the first two entire pages, I was enthralled by the beauty of Rio the horse, stars, forests, and the beautiful expanses.

Then, by the time we get to page three, the entire thing goes to shit.

Suddenly, Jessie is this stupid mood-swing prone bitch who loves to hate everything. She had a few moments of glory, one of which involved shooting a gun, but otherwise just made me want to stick her head in a blender. I think the only othe
I may be overly critical in this review. Only because, I have read so many different stories similar to this one, especially ones that have been excellent reads. The above statement is part of my problem with this book, it is only one of a thousand stories just like each other. Nothing really setting them apart. It's getting quite boring actually. None of these books are sparking any real excitement for me any more...urrgh!

All these stories are all the same. The plots all seem to follow some fo
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews
1.5 'I'd gladly punch you in the face' Stars

I'm going to go on a rant because I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off because I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed because this had so much potential, but it was all thrown away because the female lead is a complete and utter idiot!


Up until the 100 page mark I was quite enjoying this; the writing was engaging and I made allowances for the plot being a bit slow seeing as it's the first book in a series. What started to tick me off was that the more I read the
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There was a time when I had real enthusiasm for these books; now, I can barely summon the energy to write a review of one of them. That's the problem with genre fiction. The first few that you read are great, and then you read a few more and the formula starts to smack you on the head. Which ones you love just depends on which ones you read first. This is especially true of Fantasy fiction, but even more so for YA Paranormal Romance. If I was a graph nerd, I could show you on a daggy graph how m ...more
Dixie Marie
May 11, 2010 Dixie Marie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and I loved Pietr! I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a super sweet romance with a dark mystery. From the first moment we meet Pietr we just know that this guy is weird. You knew from like the 2nd page what Pietr was. Jessie is very bright. She resists Pietr in the beginning, because she has this huge crush on this jock named Derek. Derek is supposedly really hot, but Pietr hates him! I know he was jealous because Jess liked Derek instead of him, but I think their ...more
I picked up the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, and I realized I remembered almost nothing from 13 to Life, so I thought I'd read it again. What a mistake. Rereading 13 to Life only reminded me of the three things I hated about it when I read the book the first time.

1. LAMEST. PLOT. DEVICE. EVER. Jessie likes Pietr. Pietr likes Jessie. So Jessie "unselfishly" tells Pietr to be with her best frenemy, Sarah, because that's the "honorable" thing to do. What is honorable about telling the boy you love-
Feb 26, 2010 Renee rated it did not like it
Recommended to Renee by: Goodreads First Reads
Shelves: ya-fantasy-scifi, dnf
Ah, Goodreads First Reads program. It was nice knowing you.

Despite the high GR average, this is not a good book. The writing is distractingly bad, so that I couldn't finish it (and I devoured the Sookie Stackhouse series, where someone's penis is referred to as "Mr. Happy"). Sentences like
"I stepped forward, slipping between observers until I stood intimately close to Pietr, and before I realized what I was doing, my hand was touching a wicked-looking scar that started at his side and twisted cr
You probably already read a number of reviews on this book. Some were bad, some - undoubtedly - great. What would be the point of describing it once more? Let me introduce another view of the novel... From the point of view of a person with Russian-Ukrainian-Polish background on the topic, well... the main character supposedly belonging to the same ethnic group.

OK, here is the deal... It is possible for second/third generation immigrants to transform their first and last names to something that
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
Sigh. This had been on my tbr list for a while. I really wanted to like it. No, you don't understand, I REALLY wanted to like it. I think that was the problem, I had my hopes up way too high.

Mainly, this book annoyed me. I don't know what in the world is up with love triangles. I mean, was there a writers convention somewhere that sold authors on the idea that love triangles were going to be the next hottest thing? If not a conference, then maybe a memo. There had to be a memo. I abhor love tria
Mar 31, 2010 D.J. added it
13 to Life was one of those books I simply COULD NOT wait for. Everything from the cover to the plot captivated me. Shannon Delany's friendliness also fueled by anticipation.

For starters, Jess is an extremely likable narrator and character. She's funny, smart, and a kind-hearted person. She entangles herself in a web of lies, but in my opinion, her lies were spun with good intentions. Her love of vampire novels is amusing since vampires are currently all the rage. I admire her ability and willi
13 to Life was a good read.
I found the main character Jessie to be refreshing. She didn't swoon over the guy and fall in love with him as soon as she meet him right away so I thought that was nice, and while I liked all characters and the writing was well done I just couldn't get into the plot.
The mystery and intrigued needed more punch to it and it lacked, well, Werewolves? This is probably just me since I'm really picky when it comes to this paranormal to begin with.
All in all I liked the book
Aug 13, 2010 Naomi rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Bennett
Mar 06, 2010 Alex Bennett rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I really knew very little before starting 13 to Life. I knew that it had something to do with werewolves, and that is all I knew. Because of that, I really didn’t have the chance to have any expectations. But what I found was a great read which I devoured, eagerly wanting more and more with every flipped page.

Jessica is a great, strong, and smart character. It was great to read such an exciting story from the perspective of someone who has a clear enough head to be smart about what’s going on ar
Jun 18, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
13 to Life is an interesting start to what could possibly be an amazing werewolf series. The novel kicks off really nicely by letting the reader get to know Jess. Her background, family, etc. She is a great character who only gets better once Pietr is introduced. Pietr and Jess have amazing chemistry. The kinda of chemistry that I love to find in Young Adult novels. It is honest, raw, and took time to build. Yes, there is that almost immediate spark. But it does not suddenly jump from spark to " ...more
Dec 29, 2009 Stan rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible debut novel -- a must read! I had the pleasure of seeing Shannon Delany create the first draft of this on over the course of about 5 weeks. From the very beginning, I could tell it was going to be a hit! I particularly think readers will love Jessica, the quirky protagonist whose well-developed yet understated sense of irony makes her the perfect narrator. And you will find yourself not wanting to put the book down as you follow Jessica's adventures ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
13 To Life was a fast-paced, romantic story that for some reasons is sticking to my head like glue. I think I say this quite a bit, but it’s not your average werewolf novel.

The plot really doesn’t pick up until the very end. I still can’t decide if that’s something I loved or disliked. I think it definitely paved a good path to the second book; even if I had hated this novel (which I don’t!) I would still be dying to read what would happen next. But except for the occasional foreshadowing happen
Dec 02, 2009 Emilee rated it really liked it
Review at:

My Thoughts:

In a market over-saturated with werewolves and vampires and others that go bump in the night, 13 to Life stands apart.
Shannon Delany’s debut novel is a fast-paced, quick-witted thrill ride. From page one, I was thoroughly engrossed by Jessica and Pietr’s story.
13 to Life was filled with suspense and mystery and mobsters and was so much fun to read. Jessica was an any-girl and completely relatable while Pietr was dark and mysterious and Russian, s
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by AdrienneBe for

They aren't supposed to like each other. It was just a new student, helpful (had no choice) current student show-him-around deal.

That went down the drain in less that a week with not much help from dark, foreign, tall, all-too-handsome, get-lost-in-his-eyes Pietr. Jess wasn't looking for a relationship; in fact, she was looking for anything but after her mom died a few months ago.

Jess is just trying to put her life back together and help her messed up f
Mar 16, 2010 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Not quite a fiver but this was the first book in a while that I was able to really get into. I was into it from the first chapter and I thought it was just a nice wuick read and I found the plot interesting. I wasn't crazy about having the book end with lots of questions unanswered but I guess if you're writing a series thats the way to bring readers back. Another problem I had was that it was too short! I wanted to keep reading for days. I think the biggest draw for me was all the Russian cultu ...more
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Nov 28, 2010 Carmel (Rabid Reads) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: werewolves
Reviewed by Rabid Reads:

13 to Life is a great series opener. The book starts off slow, gradually building the characters and background story. There's not a lot of action but that's not surprising considering there's already two more installments in this series. Shannon Delany builds a solid foundation and her skillful writing style masks the slower plot pace so that it becomes irrelevant. The storyline of this nove
May 01, 2010 Anne rated it it was ok
I felt like it should have been edited heavily then added to whatever second book is going to be in this series, because the whole thing seemed like the first half of a book. Seriously. There were so many plot lines left dangling (or half started), that by the end it didn't seem like a complete story.

The scary scenes (and I use that term loosely) felt about as suspenseful as a box of Jello. (view spoiler)
Dec 02, 2009 Kristi rated it it was ok
Werewolves. I love them.

Things that rocked about this novel.... writing. Descriptive elements where impressive. I’m sorta picky about descriptive elements.... sometimes it’s just way overdone. But Delaney had a nice balance.

Characterization. Characterization was excellent. I may not have liked some of the characters, but they were well developed and three dimensional. There is nothing worse than reading about a flat character.

Did I mention werewolves? The lore about these werewolves was intri
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Talk about a book with a great werewolf mythology, mixed in with Russian heritage, add an intense connection between two main characters, some action, unexpected twists and an ending that leaves you dying for the sequel, and you've got 13 To Life.

13 to Life has a great built up, not only in the connection that Jess and Pietr have, but the story as a whole. The story starts with us getting to know Jess, our main character, who's still grieving over the death of her mother. Jess lives on a small
Katieb (MundieMoms)
Talk about a book with a great werewolf mythology, mixed in with Russian heritage, add an intense connection between two main characters, some action, unexpected twists and an ending that leaves you dying for the sequel, and you've got 13 To Life.

13 to Life has a great built up, not only in the connection that Jess and Pietr have, but the story as a whole. The story starts with us getting to know Jess, our main character, who's still grieving over the death of her mother. Jess lives on a small f
Feb 26, 2010 Katelyn rated it liked it
Shelves: own
The paranormal genre is one of my favorites and 13 To Life was a book that fell into this category for me and has now been added to a list of series' that I'll be following in the future. Shannon Delany has a fresh voice for a YA debut author and I had fun while reading her work. She turned the science and mythology angles to her advantage when creating her world of werewolves. While some parts may have been predictable, other questions and curiosities were forming along the way for me, so much ...more
Kate ~SuPeRhErO~
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2010 Robin rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori (Pure Imagination)
Dec 03, 2009 Lori (Pure Imagination) rated it liked it
Recommended to Lori (Pure Imagination) by:
I opened this book without any expectations. Luckily within pages I loved the main character, Jessie. I say luckily because this is a werewolf book, with no werewolves. There is a lot going on in this book. but it all comes together nicely. The suspense and mystery kept me turning pages. I wish there would have been more wolfy encounters but that's just my craving for paranormal talking.

Jessie was an excellent main character. She was smart and witty. And I found her love for vampire novels to be
Dec 01, 2009 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
Ok, I picked this book up and in roughly 8 hours finished it. I DID NOT want to put it down. I found myself in the car wishing I had brought it with me so I could read while sitting at red lights!
My favorite part was the locker room after gym class. Ahhh! Sweet satisfaction. Ugly people getting whats coming to them and what's more, Jess tried to forgive them first. The Jesus line afterwards was just...great (I have the same problem as Jess with not finding the sufficient word :)
Shannon Delany,
Oct 11, 2010 Kim rated it did not like it
I punished myself by reading the entire book and I still don't know the meaning of the title. There are so many plots and subplots to keep track of I lost interest in the characters and their "mysterious" attraction to each other. I won't be able to honestly recommend this book when my high schoolers ask if it's good...because it's all. Shame on the author for even considering writing a sequel.
Jordan Deen
Mar 26, 2010 Jordan Deen rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read. Posting complete review to my website soon.

This book just gets better and better every time I read it. If you love werewolves and paranormal romances, this is the book for you! LOVE IT.
May 19, 2010 Cait rated it it was amazing
I am absolutely loving 13 TO LIFE. It’s such a fun debut, with strong characters, a steady plot, huge mysteries and some teen romance.

Jessie is one of the best female characters I’ve read about this year. Her mother died pre-book, and though she is struggling to cope, she is still a strong-willed young woman. She works hard at home caring for her family horses, is on the school newspaper, gets good grades and maintains her friendships. Jessie has a slight martyr complex and tends to cling to ce
Lena ♫ ♪
Dec 05, 2009 Lena ♫ ♪ rated it liked it
13 to Life sets up the foundation for other books in this series. Not a lot happens. There's a handful of action, but not much. It's mainly all about setting up the environment, the characters and the plot. Think of it as 200 pages of background, 50 pages of irritating drama and 50+ pages of action/love scenes.

The Rusakovas are new to town, and Jess has the honor of showing Pietr around school. He's gorgeous and brooding. It's clear all the girls are into him. And though Jess feels attracted to
Jun 24, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Read my full review.

Bottom Line - 13 to Life had me GLUED to it all day, emits the's face paced, yet equally slow and gentle. With a story line that's as shocking as it is original, I have NEVER read anything like it, EVER!

Even though, you know it's about were's, I kept waiting for one to show up, it felt almost like it was never going to happen; Shannon Delany delivers secrets on top of secrets, and left the ending as wide open as the barn door, for what could possibly happen now.

Mar 07, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I'm blogging from my phone due to the holiday, so I'll add the cover picture later. I've been looking forward to reading this novel because an earlier version of it won a contest at as a novel written on a cell phone. So it's only fitting that I'm writing my blog on my Droid, right?

Jessica has some issues because her mother died in a car accident and her father isn't quite sure what to do with a teenage girl. She gets good grades, works on the family horse farm, and surrounds herse
Mar 17, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I was excited to read it when I first read the synopsis, although the beginning of the book had a bit of an uncomfortable feel to it. The book is mysterious. Pietr and Jessica's past are unclear yet something is definitely going on with Pietr. What threw me off though was if there was something going on with Derek? He seems to scare some, be manipulative, while kind as well to others. By page twenty five I was intrigued and unable to put the book down. Yes, this book ...more
Apr 06, 2010 Kristy rated it liked it
I was really looking foward to reading this book, no idea why... i haven't really heard much about it, but something about it intrigued me.
While I was not blown away by it, I still enjoyed the story and the characters.Then why does it not get a higher rating you ask... well, for starters I felt like the beginning was really long and drawn out, like we could have got to more story sooner. Second, I wasn't crazy about some of the dialoge between characters; it was forced at times, and didn't sound
Laura Lulu
3.5 stars. I really liked the story, lots of mysteries that made it hard to put down, and I will definitely read more in the series. But it reads like an unedited indy book. It has a really bad case of the "Diarrhea of Descriptives". Waaaaayyyy too many overly effusive & unnecessary adjectives, adverbs & descriptive phrases. And there were a couple times where I actually checked to see if I missed a page, because characters were talking about something like it was old news, but they had ...more
Anuradha Rao
Oct 26, 2011 Anuradha Rao rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Losers -.-
Ok, interesting cover,,, bring it on!

The female lead(I forgot her name o_0) is from a small town. A good-looking, mysterious, Russian hunk joins her school and is immediately taken by her(like any other paranormal-teenage-"romance" -.-)

I could guess this was a "W" novel at the beginning and that got me interested, I patiently waited until the big moment,,, but sadly, it didn't come. It was just like any other drama/love story. (Until the end :S)

The most disturbing part of this novel was our g
Jan 23, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2010 P.M. rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2010 Stacy rated it really liked it
The Quick and the Dirty... This books is a great start to series that wraps in werewolves, mafia, and rebellious teenagers with a cliffhanger ending.

Why I was tempted to read this... I love a good werewolf story and the title of the book intrigued me.

Cover thoughts... The cover was pretty cool, I originally thought the "eye" was that of a wolf but on closer inspection it appears to be a human eye...with really big eyebrows (trim those dude!)

Romance Meter... It was about a 4 on a scale of 5. Jess
Cynthia (A Blog about Nothing)
I had this book on my list for quite a while and I'm very glad I got the chance to read it already. I started reading it with high expectations and I wasn't disappointed at all. The story begins with Jess being put in charge to guide the new student Pietr to his classes and show him around school. Pietr and Jess do not get along at first but they seem to be attracted to each other and become a lot closer after they realize they have some things in common. Unfortunately for them her "best friend" ...more
 Tina (Fantastic Book Review)
Jessie’s had more than her fair share of life altering experiences, but she never expected that her life would once again, spiral out control by the mysteries surrounding the gorgeous new guy. Jessie’s not one to leave skeletons in the closet – being a reporter for her high school paper and all. Nothing ever happens in her small town of Junction and with Pietr coming from a place connected to a gruesome attack, the wheels start to turn. I couldn’t wait to connect the dots right alongside Jessie. ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Lovers of Paranor...: Books 6 24 Mar 05, 2017 07:24PM  
Appropriate 2 4 Oct 06, 2014 01:00PM  
What's The Name o...: Maybe Russian Werewolves [s] 3 17 May 30, 2014 03:24AM  
Pietr or Derek? 13 51 Feb 20, 2013 08:50PM  
is it worth reading this series ? 15 27 Feb 16, 2013 06:14PM  
13 To Life Series 9 34 Oct 25, 2012 08:10PM  
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Shannon Delany's newest novel, WEATHER WITCH (St. Martin's Press) is already available for pre-order (which both stuns and delights Delany)!

Shannon Delany has written stories since she was a child. She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize i
More about Shannon Delany...

Other Books in the Series

13 to Life (5 books)
  • Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life, #2)
  • Bargains and Betrayals (13 to Life, #3)
  • Destiny and Deception (13 to Life, #4)
  • Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life, #5)

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“Beauty's only skin deep.
Everybody has ugly days.
We're all made of the same stuff underneath.
Acting right is better than looking right.
Realize what make you special beyond looks.
Evil can look pretty on the outside.”
“You know, considering your IQ, you're really socially retarded sometimes.” 88 likes
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