Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)'s Reviews > 13 to Life

13 to Life by Shannon Delany
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Jul 13, 10

bookshelves: tenners, arc, for-review, ya, debut-2010, paranormal, own, rev-yalr
Read from April 14 to 15, 2010

I don't know why I nevery added my review here?! Go figure, but better late than never.

If a book holds my attention and I can't put it down even when reading it at night, then I usually consider it a great book. THIRTEEN TO LIFE was one of those books that I started late in the evening and kept reading until I finished it. Fortunately, I didn't have work the next day or I would have been one very tired educator. I was not deadline to get it finished and I was actually on break so there wasn't exactly a lot competing for my attention, and yet, I really wanted to find out how the story was going to turn out.

I do have a soft spot for Urban Fantasy/YA Paranormal stories. And ones with hot boys with accents - well that is always an added benefit. To be fair to the author there were certainly more than just hot boys with accents. The story is about Jess, a high school junior, who has recently suffered the loss of her mother in an accident. Jess is a bright student who loves horses and has a crush on one of the boys in her high school. Pietr is a new student at school with a mysterious background. Pietr resides with his older brothers and twin sister. Jess lives on a farm with her father, and younger sister. I liked Jess and Pietr. I liked them together, and I liked the parts of the story with them together. Of course, the story would be pretty boring if there wasn't some conflict surrounding their being together. It is difficult to discuss this part without giving too much away. I will say that I had the feeling that Delany was looking for a more unique twist on the expected love triangle. Unfortunately, the one area of the book that may not have worked for me was Sarah's tie in on with the love triangle. Sarah is a friend of Jess who has an interesting connection to what happened to Jess's mother. Though this storyline did not always work for me, it didn't distract me from the main focus of the story. However, I predict that I haven't seen the last of Sarah and expect that there will be some interesting developments in later books.

Some additional thoughts about the minor or secondary characters. One of the things I can't help but notice are the adults in YA novels. I am always curious how they will be portrayed and what kind of relationship will the main character have with them. Jess' relationship with her father was believable. She had a variety of feelings about the teachers and staff at the school which was also believable and her feelings towards her father's possible romantic interest was also something that seemed natural.

I am not giving anything away in saying that the story is about werewolves. So it isn't surprising to the reader to discover that Pietr and his family are werewolves. I did enjoy Delany's explanation behind how they had come to be werewolves. The Cold War and Russian tie-ins were a nice change from some of the other werewolf stories.

I loved when a story has some humor to break up the tension or conflict. THIRTEEN TO LIFE had quite a few times when I found myself either laughing out loud or snickering at a line or a scene in the story. And I especially loved that Shannon found ways to even have a little fun at the expense of paranormal stories within the story.

THIRTEEN TO LIFE will appeal to readers who are fond of YA paranormal romance. Will it persuade a die-hard vampire fan to become a wolf fan?! I am not sure I can answer this for anyone else, but I can say that this vampire girl certainly enjoyed the wolves in the story.
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Reading Progress

04/14/2010 page 75
24.35% "Just loving this so far."
04/15/2010 page 206
66.88% "I am loving this book."
04/15/2010 page 320
100% "OMG! I love this book. I'll write a real review at some point."
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Delany Hi Alyson, thanks a bunch for adding my debut YA novel "13 to Life" to your Goodreads to-read bookshelf. I hope it's a highlight of your June 2010 reading! :-)


Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) Shannon I am looking forward to reading it and it comes out just before I go on summer vacation. Good timing. :-)


message 3: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Delany Excellent! As I know too well: "Timing is everything!" ;-) I hope it makes your summer vacation even more enjoyable. If you have any questions about the book, feel free to ask.


Renée Agreed. This was the best debut YA book I've read so far this year.


Inspired Kathy I'm reading it right now.


Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) Kathy - Hope you enjoy this. Renee- Yes..very good debut.


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