Michelle's Reviews > 13 to Life

13 to Life by Shannon Delany
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Apr 01, 11

Read from January 26 to 28, 2011

13 to Life is a fast paced paranormal jaunt in and around the woods. A mystery of sorts that pairs a recent Russian transplant with the local girl who just lost her mother to a tragic accident. This girl, Jessie, is all about the dysfunction (both personal and familial) so adding the new bad boy in town into the mix isn’t exactly on her to do list. Naturally, this automatically means that there will be tension, angst and eventual steaminess from then on out.

Jessie was quite the distressed teenager. Dealing with the grief of losing her mother and trying to keep her shattered family together she was less about school and more about everything else. She wasn’t overwhelmingly whiny (despite her circumstances) and was, in fact, quite empowered. Despite coming from that place of strength she was, at times, vulnerable. Stubborn to a fault she often martyred herself for those around her.

Case in point, she stepped aside from pursuing the relationship she wanted so that her newly minted best friend could have the boy in question. Sadly, for me, the inclusion of said romance was unnecessary and felt contrived. There was definitely enough angst to be had without it. There were more natural ways to keep he and Jessie apart that would have allowed for more focus on the more enjoyable parts of the plot.

The general plot of the story was solid in places but incredibly slow to start. The action didn’t get going until the last third of the book and though it was full on until the bitter end it should have started much earlier. Not only that but the majority of the book felt like it was crafted specifically to set up the next in the series.

Where the plot is concerned, I found myself wishing that there had been a more focus on Pietr’s family, they were by far the most interesting characters outside of Pietr himself and Jessie. I imagine that I’ll get that wish answered in book two, particularly given where book one ended, but I think that if they’d been introduced earlier in this book it would have been better recieved.

This book was not without predictability. I won’t point out where I saw things coming because for you it might be different. But I will say that some of what I suspect the author intended as a surprise didn’t shake out that way for me. Having said that I did enjoy the ride through the different twists and turns of the book in that last third of the story.

Even though this book wasn’t all I’d wanted it to be I admit I’m interested to see where it goes. I’ll likely pick book two up and give it another go at some point. But, for those of you who are lovers of paranormal fiction with a splash of romance 13 to Life will undoubtedly fit right into your bookshelves.
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