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13 to Life

(13 to Life #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  12,593 ratings  ·  890 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 ti…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)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  12,593 ratings  ·  890 reviews

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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
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
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
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 Downing
May 11, 2010 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 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
Mar 31, 2010 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
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
Aug 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Edited 8/17/18 to add:

Okay, so I'm definitely a different reader than I was back in 2011 when I first read this book/series. It's not as good as I remember, but I'm trying to divest my shelves of books I'm unlikely to read again or encourage my tween to read, so I thought I'd give the series one more go before eliminating it completely from my stacks. Also, I apparently never read the 5th and final book? That wasn't really my MO back then, but it's been the case in recent years, an issue I'm try
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
Jun 18, 2010 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 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
Just Josie
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, werewolf, 2-stars, ya
We got so many plot twist and turns.

The mafia. CIA. Werewolves.

It was too much. Too messy.

My 17 year old self loved it. My 27 year old thinks “What did I just read”?

The writing isn’t by no means bad, I just can’t wrap my head around the story and these characters.

Not for me.

Read: 25/10/2011
1st rating: 2 stars (changed from 5 because I just can’t deal with this plot and my 17 year old self was stupid😈)
Genre/sub-genre: YA/shifters/werewolves
Cover: 2 stars
POV’s: Single -1st person (Jessie)
May 01, 2010 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 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
Dec 02, 2009 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
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 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
Jul 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), car accident (in the past), violence, blood.

This book was terrible but also the kind of terrible where I sort of enjoyed myself while I was reading it but not enough to pick up the next book in this FIVE BOOK SERIES WHAT THE HELL.

So here's the thing: I literally only read this book because a colleague dared me to. I was like "Listen to the blurb of this, it sounds terrrrrrrrrible omg" and she was like "YOU SHOULD READ IT HAHAHAHAHA". So I did.
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Nov 28, 2010 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
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: signed-books
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
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
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
Feb 26, 2010 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
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 22, 2010 rated it liked it

Full Review at Bewitched Bookworms

Werewolf love...
Honestly I'm not so much into werewolves, I'm more the Vampire girl. But a few things grabbed me about this book, first the cover, second I read some really good reviews on goodreads, so I simply picked it up.

New mysterious Boy
comes in Town and meets Girl
The beginning of the story is simple but totally works! There is this new boy that enrolls at Jess' school and she is supposed to show him around. Of course this boy is hotness and he has thi
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA Novel with Car Accident [s] 16 787 Jul 30, 2021 01:19AM  
Appropriate 2 4 Oct 06, 2014 01:00PM  
What's the Name o...: Maybe Russian Werewolves [s] 3 18 May 30, 2014 03:24AM  
Pietr or Derek? 12 51 Feb 20, 2013 08:50PM  
is it worth reading this series ? 15 28 Feb 16, 2013 06:14PM  
13 To Life Series 9 35 Oct 25, 2012 08:10PM  

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Shannon 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 in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through .

Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a co

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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  Mary Roach is a science author who specializes in the bizarre and offbeat. With a body of work ranging from deep-dives on the history of...
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“Beauty's only skin deep.
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