Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess's realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.
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 Textnovel.com .
Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a contract for a series about her 13 to Life characters. She expanded on the cell phone novel version, adding the subplots and characters she didn’t have time to during the contest. As paranormal as werewolves seem, the grief Shannon used to build Jess’s character is something she personally experienced with the loss of her own mother. Focusing on Jess and Pietr’s story of loss, love and dramatic and dangerous changes, Shannon came to better grips with her own struggle. The resulting novel has earned her blurbs from authors she respects most.
The first novel in Shannon’s YA paranormal series, 13 to Life, debuted June 22, 2010, and was followed by Secrets and Shadows (February 2011), Bargains and Betrayals (August 2011), Destiny and Deception (February 2012), and the Rivals and Retribution (August 2012).
Shannon has also debuted with interactive science fiction in her short story ("To Hel and Back") for Spirited: 13 to Haunting Tales (Leap Books) and will make her high fantasy debut with Month 9 Books' charity anthology titled Two and Twenty Dark Tales (October 2012, "Pieces of Eight").
Shannon's second series (a steampunk trilogy titled WEATHER WITCH, also with St. Martin's Press) launched June 25, 2013 with Weather Witch, followed by Stormbringer (January 2014), and Thunderstruck (May 2014).
Previously a teacher, Shannon lives and writes in Upstate New York and enjoys traveling to talk to people about most anything.
Secrets and Shadows starts a few weeks from where 13 to Life ended, I was a little disappointed about that because after that huge cliffhanger that 13 to Life left us with, I was dying to know what happened! We do get some recaps from Jessie shortly after the book begins that explains a few things of what happened that night, so I was pretty happy about that.
Even thought the Rusakovas and Jessie had a life-changing night, there was still the normal part of life waiting for Pietr and Jessie at school and the pretending that they had to keep doing. Pietr was still with Sarah but Jessie begins to realize (Finally!) that she doesn't like him hanging around with Sarah and acting like her boyfriend anymore. Unfortunately for her, Pietr begins to alienate her after she comes close to death once again, which got me sooooo frustrated with Pietr in this one that I wished Jessie would just throw something at him or start dating his brother. I know awful from me, but that's how frustrated I was and well you know is Max. I loved the parts that had Max, and there were plenty in this one. He just made me laugh with his crazy sarcastic humor even during the scenes that were full of tension. I love him, probably my favorite character from this series.
Now Sarah, Ugh! I didn't think that I could dislike her more than I already did in 13 to Life but in this one I pretty much hated her, I know hate is a strong word but she was just unraveling her horrible side and we get to see how she really was before the car accident. We also get to find out more about Derek in this one, which I had been dying to know about because he always seemed very mysterious in 13 to Life and I just had a feeling that there was something weird about him, of course we do find out what it is and it's definitely a shocker!
I love that Shannon has that amazing ability to surprise me through almost every chapter, there's so many twists in this story that I just never saw coming and kept me glued to the pages. It was full of lots of wolf action, because we do get to see the Rusakovas spending a lot of time as wolves in this one and I LOVED that! I thought the title of the book fit the story perfectly, since the town of Junction is not the little perfect haven that the Rusakovas thought it was. There's plenty of secrets surrounding the family and Jessie, and way more enemies than they ever expected. This was a fast paced page-turner and one that will keep you at the edge of your seat until the end, I can't wait for the next one.
Usually when I read this type of YA, paranormal/werewolf/vampire book I am so engorssed I can hardly put it down. I get so wrapped up in the characters, I wind up finishing it in 1 or 2 sittings. Not so much with this one, I really just wanted to quit reading it at times, but I have a very hard time justifying just putting a book down unless it's just horrendous. So, I did finish it, but I am guilty of skimming.
Complaints: 1. There are way too many references and pat-on-the-back moments. I can just off of my head think of 3, way too many for 1 book!
2. The love Square got really old... atleast it wasn't a triangle right?! Wrong, it was just as bad, I assure you.
3. Something about the way this author writes is very hard to get into/relate to. At some points it's her choice of words. At others it's getting information that is not relevant.
4. Derek, ugh.
5. Wanda drove me insane in this one... it was hard to tell who's side she was really on.
6. Lack of Annabelle Lee in this one was kinda sucky, she was somewaht fun in the last book.
7. Our main character is smart, but so stupid when it comes to Peiter.
8. The gun shoots/horse competition thing? Why was any of that even mentioned?
9. Too many pointless side-plots.
10. I'm bored.
I hope I have the good sense to stay away from book #3 of this series! Yes, there is really another one!!!!
Do I recommend this one? Not really, unless you really loved the 1st book .
I am so confused over what I just read. This book was a mess. And I am sorry to say but it was dumb. So dumb. Look I am not trying to hate on anyone, but I can also not ignore the fact that this book was a rollercoaster ride, and not one of the good ones. More like the “of the rails, going the wrong way” kinda ride..
The writing in itself was by no means bad, but I feel like the author had way too many things happening: CIA agents, werewolves, energy feeding jocks, dead moms, dying moms, the Russian mafia, and cringy teen drama to mention a few. 🙄 It got way out of hand. So dumb. And the teen romance part? The cringe was on fire. I cannot remember the last time I felt so disconnected from a book. By a character. And I read about psychotic murderers, and yet I can’t handle a little paranormal YA? A teen girl trying to accept her “maybe boyfriend” is a werewolf”.
Bah, not for me.
And how easily things got solved with absolute no explanation. How the “scenes” changed so rapidly I felt like I got whip splash..
And WHY were they so much in the girls bathroom at school? Why did all these suicide happens? What is her dead mom trying to communicate?
I think it’s safe to say I am way too old for this book.
Read: 29/03/2020 1st rating: 1 star Genre/sub-genres: YA/werewolves/romance Cover: 1 star POV’s: Single -1st person (Jessica) Will I recommend: Heck no.
I don’t understand books like these. I mean, I do. Usually, the writing is simple, the plot is comprehensible and the characters read off like simple sentences. I understand the books – sorta – but I just don’t get why they sell, why they’re so interesting. Could someone please tell me where the appeal lies in reading a complete rip-off? In controlling, wishy-washy guys? In supposedly-intelligent yet insipid, boring protagonists? In mean girls who get everything they want?
I liked 13 to Life better, and that’s saying something. At least is had…potential. At least I could hope that there would be room for improvement in upcoming books. Secrets and Shadows? It had nothing redeeming. Everything likable from the first book has up and disappeared and has been replaced with bad characterization, bad plotting, bad writing and bad dialogue.
I used to admire Jess for thinking with her head and for using minimal logic in difficult situations. She used to be normal and somewhat-interesting and cutesy and perfectly tongue in cheek. Now? Now I think she’s a little obsessed with Pietr (no matter what books say, kids, obsession does NOT equal true love), who’s just trying to live it up while he still can. Now I think she’s a little crazy for talking to professionals about werewolves and Mafias and killing – what, is she trying to get stuck in a straightjacket? Now I think she’s a little stupid for being friends with Sarah, who basically (although apparently not intentionally) killed her mother. How is such a character relatable and enjoyable? How could I possibly like her for anything? Her cheesy lines don’t provoke anything but eye-rolls, and her constant pop-culture mentioning makes me wonder how this book will stand up in the future.
And please don’t get me started on Pietr. Please. He’s Type-Jacob, minus the huge dosage of fixation, passion and eight pack, but he’s also Type-Edward, minus the sparkling and the age and the silky voice (Pietr takes after Uncle Jacob with his gruff and puff). I didn’t like Pietr in 13 to Life and I definitely don’t like him now. I also don’t like – take notes, Delany – that your entire series is, pretty much, a SPIN-OFF of Twilight: Jacob’s Version. Honestly. Imprinting, control-issues, soul-losing and Romeo and Juliet quotes don’t impress me any more than when I was reading the Original Saga three years back.
I have one question for authors: how are characters (usually love interests), who are just introduced to the protagonists, coincidentally involved in the protagonist’s mythology? Is it really sheer coincidence that said love interest (and I’m talking about Jess here, not Pietr) has something to do with the lifeline of their partner? Or is there some link I’m missing, something you forgot to point out? Because when Pietr first meets Jess in 13 to Life, the sorta-couple realizes that she has some meaningful connection to him – tell me, is it not strange that new boy Pietr moves to the town where the key to his whatever is living? Is that not strange and just a tad too…concurrent?
Whatever. I’m done with this series. Although the titles seem to be bettering (I mean, what did 13 to Life even reference?) I won’t be tuning in for the next books. I’d stick around – I really would – if the writing was even a little bit okay and if there were a few characters to root for. Unfortunately, as even that fails for me, Delany is yet another author who I’ll be keeping from my bookshelf for quite a long time.
SECRETS AND SHADOWS by Shannon Delany Audience: 12+ (questionable content, scenes of violence) Rating: 2/5 Recommend?: If you like shallow characters with even shallower plots, this should be your go-to series.
Ever feel like you're missing something? I was constantly reminded that I'm not a Twi-Hard by the never-ending references to the Saga, especially Breaking Dawn (I think). How can the author refer to things and not explain them enough for me, someone who only made it half way through New Moon, to understand what the heck you're talking about.
I got the feeling that the editors went over this with a fine tooth comb so as not to have any lawyers screaming and suing. Referencing Meyer herself will probably stop them from shouting "Plagiarism!". It's all very well tipping your hat to a favourite book (Twilight and Blood and Chocolate) and movies (The Princess Bride) but you shouldn't really base your book on another where you're constantly referring to it -we usually save that sort of thing for non-fiction, essays and reviews.
Despite similarities to "that damn series" this was a fast and easy read due to the engrossing writing. I can't be too positive about all of the characters though. I don't like Pietr, he's Edward in Jacob's werewolf body, ugh. The whole pulling away to keep you safe thing -gimme a break. The change in Derek's character was interesting but I'm finding it hard to reconcile his character in the two books because they're so different even though they're supposed to be. It kinda threw me but it made for good reading.
The characters I like are: Max -I loved his undiscovered depths. Everyone assumes he's a man-whore but he's an adorable hero-in-the-making, Amy -the physical abuse by her boyfriend and the effect it had on her was very well done, Cat -her straightforwardness and her bravery, and Sophia -she's become really helpful and I'm guessing she'll be needed in the final instalment.
As for Jess, I got annoyed with her for not putting things together faster even though her memories/actions/emotions were being manipulated. The clues were so obvious. Hello? Derek, derek, derek. Blood, blood, blood. Simple.
Dr. Jones was odd at the end. It was stupid for Jess to spill her guts like that to a stranger when she knew there was stranger-danger. Why not tell her sister instead? She's a smart girl who isn't asking questions, and why not? Plenty of suspicious activity going on around her and she doesn't notice? Hmm. Hopefully she and her father will finally be clued into the situation in the next book.
I'm so glad Bargains and Betrayals is coming out in August, I hate unfinished stories. Thankfully this is a trilogy which is good because I really dislike the near-cliffhangers.
1.5 This. Book. Sucked. Sorry for being so blunt but it's the truth. I only gave this book the extra .5 because of Max, Cat, Amy, and Pietr. A little for Max, Cat, and Amy because they are the only characters in this whole book that I actually liked. A tiny, tiny amount for Pietr because throughout most of the book he had some sense in ignoring Jessica. Until the End. Yeah, I get it. I shouldn't be wishing that. But hello? I can't help it!
First of all-this book is just like Twilight. In the first book, I was like "oh, this book is a lot like Twilight...interesting. Except the fact it's basically Edward in Jacob's body" Then after reading this, I was like "Uh, This book is Basically Twilight. Because it has: werewolves, vamps, and a human in between. A father who is raising the human girl by himself...Dad and Jessica&Bella and Charlie. Surprise, Surprise. The only difference is Edward/Pietr is a werewolf and Jacob/Dylan is a vampire."
The only couple worth talking about is Max&Amy since Pietr&Jessica are a fail. Especially Jessie. It's so sweet! The chemistry between Max and Amy is so adorable!! Max-a playboy and super hot!!(: Amy-down-to-earth...no-nonsense girl. Together, they are perfect together. Plus, Jessie seriously has no right from stopping Max. That's just unfair. Just because he might die early or go away, etc. Amy should have those moments together with him!
Jessie. Ugh. I do not want to even talk about her, but sadly she is the main character. Sadly. She is so ANNOYING!!! What the heck?! You do not tell your boyfriend or whatever..."oh, Can you date my mom's murderer-so-called best friend just so she won't turn into the psychotic person she really is? We can just kiss and cuddle when she's not there?" SERIOUSLY, THAT is just stupid. Plain stupid.
And then, I quote from page 30 "'Pietr,.......,"if you care for me-keep your hands and your lips off Sarah.'" ??????!!!!!!!!!!! What teenager or whatever girl does this bullcrap?
And then the VERY NEXT PAGE I quote: "'I need you to stop kissing her," I admitted. "Oh" "I know we were going to wean her away gradually, but every kiss..it hurts me. I need her to get the hint sooner." "Will she not push harder?" he asked, his voice going soft. Gentle as snowfall." !!!!!One, You brought that on yourself. Two, Why does she have to go his voice want soft. Gentle as a snowfall. Really? That makes absolutely NO sense.
This book was a fail. I will never, ever pick this up again. I am so glad I did not buy it. I don't think I'll even want to read Bargains and Betrayals.
The story picks right up after 13 to Life ends and answers a few questions about the cliffhanger ending. It took me about 100 pages to really become interested in the story in this one as well since I had the same issues with the first book. The last two-thirds of the book was a page turner. Of course this one ends with a cliffhanger as well, so be prepared to wait another a year (fingers crossed, maybe later this year?) to read the next installment.
Jess, Cat and Pietr are trying to work together now that they have located the Rusakova's mother. As Jess acts as an intermediary between the CIA and the family, they find themselves still being trailed by the Mafia. A little more light is shed on the gang's interest in the family. Pietr and Jess are no closer to becoming attached, although Derek shows his true colors and now we are left wondering what his real story is as well. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot. Oh, and Sarah is getting her memory back! There is some sexual tension, alcohol use and of course, bad words, even though Jess struggles valiantly against them.
Ms Delany seems to have a serious Twilight complex and it doesn’t bode well with this book.
Jessie is still struggling to come to terms with how her life has been flipped on its head in the past year. Now she also has to deal with the increasing distance Pietr is putting between them whilst still agreeing to help the werewolves release their captured mother.
Jessie seems to have had a complete character change from how I remember her in the first book. She went from being a likeable, seemingly intelligent character to this clingy, whiny schoolgirl who is having a breakdown every other day and unable to handle her life at all. She went from being well-adjusted considering her situation to a total mental wreck in the space of the couple of weeks between books. She became Bella, basically.
Shamelessly throwing herself at a guy who doesn’t want her then going and making out with his arch enemy to get back at him. Then wondering why he still doesn’t want her and not listening to him after he tells her something is too dangerous, she stubbornly tags along anyway. What is wrong with these humans who seem to think they can match a supernatural's healing abilities?!
Pietr went from an arrogant semi-likable character because of his hotness appeal, to well, Edward. Tortured teen who thinks the world will never understand his predicament, wanting to ”protect” those he loves by distancing himself from them but still keeping an emotional hold over them so they can never move on.
Secrets and Shadows was a train wreck in every sense of the word. The story is a bad copy of Twilight even going so far as to say that the male lead doesn’t think he has a soul anymore because of what he’s become and what he has done and then to say that maybe the family should leave town and everyone they know behind to keep them safe from themselves.
The romance between Jessie and Pietr is becoming laughable now. Jessie pushed Pietr into the arms of another girl and expects him to treat the other girl, Sarah the former Queen Bee, like dirt because Jessie can’t stand the thought of them being together.
I will admit up front that I could barely remember anything from 13 to Life, and Delany’s lack of any form of backstory until three quarters of the way through the book had me scratching my head at times. It goes to show that either I’m losing my memory or that no matter how much I liked 13 to Life, it just wasn’t memorable.
The writing in Secrets and Shadows is engaging once again but the plot is all over the place. There’s trimming down unnecessary detail and then there’s butchering your story. A werewolf got turned back into a human, end of chapter; do we see how said werewolf is faring? How said werewolf feels or is coping with this massive change in their life? Of course not. Vital details were missing; Jessie was at her house one minute then in the car the next. She was possibly borderline date-raped (hmm, I’m seeing more Twilight here) but that doesn’t get explored at all.
I said in the first book that there was a severe lack of information, that pattern continued in the second book. It was a complete mind-boggling circle of the mess Jessie has made of her non-existent love-life and any interesting parts of the story were overlooked because Jessie was too busy panting after Pietr – and quite literally sexually harassing him, I’m sorry but shoving your tongue down someone’s throat who has expressly asked you not to do so is harassment in my book - to notice anything else that may have been going on around her.
Secrets and Shadows was a big disappointment for me. It was a bad copy of the Twilight Saga and the writing was so jumpy it literally gave me headaches to read. I kind of want to know what happens in relation to the Rusakova’s mother but I am wary.
Secrets and Shadows is nothing I expected it to be as it is full of twists and turns and nothing is what it seems. Shannon totally took me on one heck of an emotional roller coaster with this sequel. One minute I want to yell at Pietr and Jess, and the next moment I'm laughing at Max or sighing over Pietr and Max's affection for Jess. Let me just say, there is a lot of that happens in Secrets and Shadows that kept me emotional invested into the story until the very end.
The characters really grew and some of them changed and not necessarily for the better. I really enjoyed getting to know more of the Rusakovas history and I adored seeing a softer side, well I should say a more protective side to Max. He adds comedic relief at all the right times in the story. I was a huge Max fan in 13 To Life, and I'm an even bigger fan now. The one that shocked me the most was Derek's character twist. I knew there was something about him, but I was totally shocked at what Shannon reveals (you'll have to read the story to find out what it is), as his character plays a bigger role in the series than I thought. Sarah was my least favorite in 13 To Life, and her true colors show here. There's a lot to Pietr and Jess's relationship to talk about, and I don't want to give anything away, but I will say I liked how Shannon surprised me with the manner in which some things happen.
I really enjoyed that the story picks up right where 13 To Life left off. This time around, I spent a good part of the book being totally irritated with Pietr and Jess, but then Shannon reveals little bits of her plot twists and that allowed me to understand why they made the choices they did. Shannon not only throws in twist after twist through out the story, but she throws in a lot of emotional kinks. There is a lot of important things that happen through the story, both with some character and plot twist revelations. I was shocked at how emotional invested I became with the story. I yelled, I laughed, I sighed, and towards the end of the book I felt completely satisfied with how Shannon wraps up the story. But don't let Shannon fool you into thinking all is well, as just as I finally have that "ah ha" moment, she leaves me with a cliff hanger. Oh yes, the type of cliff hanger that makes you wish you could run out and pick up the next book. Yes, I will be rushing out to get Bargains and Betrayals as soon as it's released in August.
I enjoyed this sequel, and I highly recommend picking it up. If you've read 13 to Life, wait till you read Secrets and Shadows! I can only imagine what Shannon has in store for us when Bargains and Betrayals is released. If you read through Shannon's acknowledgements, you'll find a few Mundie Moms named in there.
A great follow up indeed. Tho I hated Pietr here with all his self loathing, this was way better than the first one. And yup a lot of secrets were indeed revealed. We now know what Derek really is. and we get a glimpse on Amy's story. And that ending.....poor Jess!
Review May 2011: at first i had a hard time getting into this book....why? well, i forgot how the story went in the first book and how it ended so i was a lil bit confused starting this one. but a few chapters of reading i finally got the hang of it....now i remember!!! =) and i must say i liked this one better than the first one, the title fits it perfectly: secrets and shadows....well, the secrets i mean a lot of it in the story!
uggghhh first, i hated pietr in this one!!! i wanted to punch him and tell him "asshole!" but i do love max in this one....sexy, cool, flirty max!!! i love how protective he is with jess and her friend. there were a lot of revelations in this book, a lot of complications, a lot of lies and of course as ive said at the start a lot of secrets. it was a slow start for me but i liked how the story ended.....poor poor jess!!!
I have read some reviews on this book that made me laugh so hard I was almost sick, and its because they were right on the money.
This book was so frustrating! But, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I kinda enjoyed it. I'm not sure if laughing in the serious moments was the desired outcome, but anything that makes me giggle is worth it for me. It got better.
If you have seen any reviews that compare these first 2 books to Twilight/New Moon, they aren't kidding. Only Edward is a werewolf. True. There is an Alice, I mean Cat. A Charlie, I mean Jessie's dad, and don't even get me started on Bella, I mean Jessie. I loved Bella. The Twilight books rocked but this version of Bella just didn't work so well with me. Jessie was a wally at times. I think she needed to push Sarah down some stairs or something. They live in a small town Forks, I mean, Junction, and the werewolves imprint. Who woulda thought?! I hated psycho Derek & Sarah (I'm pretty sure she's on Dereks team), loved Max & Amy (what's not to love?), and even liked Alexi a little.
Anyhoo, the ending intrigued me enough to want to read the third book. So it's on the list for next week. I need a short break. If you haven't given these a try, you should check them out. They weren't all bad...
Pietr thought he was protecting Jess by pushing her away. He might forget that he wasn't the only threads Jess got. Not to mention, while he thought he "physically" protecting her, he "mentally hurting" her by dating her best friend who was a former phycho-b***h, Sarah. I kind of think she deserved it because she's the one who pushed Pietr away in the first place.
Jess thought Pietr didn't want her anymore and tried to move on. Later, around the last two chapter or so, Pietr revealed that he pushed her away because he was protecting her from himself, not that he didn't want her. He had a hard time controlling himself around her, so he used Sarah to tame himself. (Wow, what a man?) Then the next chapter he broke up with Sarah and came back to Jess. Just like that. No explanation whether he can control himself or not. It implied that Sarah's scent tamed him enough he could be around Jess without hurting her. Ugh!
The dialogues were fine but adding a little explanation of the situations would be nice.
Jessie’s been having nightmares. After everything that she witnessed, everything that she did that night, she expected them. She just wished they would stop. That she could make peace with everything that happened.
She wanted things to return to the way they used to be. Before she met Pietr Rusakova and his family. Before the accident that took her mother from her. Where her only heartache was having a crush on Derek. And the only excitement in her life came from entering competitions with her horse, Rio.
But once she gave her heart away, she knew that going back was not an option. And that she would do whatever she could to help the Rusakovas find their mother before time ran out. Even if it meant putting herself in danger once more.
Living under the constant threat to her safety from her association with the Rusakovas, having to keep secrets from her friends, walking on eggshells around Sarah, trying to figure out the real reason for the recent suicides at Junction High, discovering that someone she knows is much more than they appear to be and losing sleep from the nightmares that terrorize her, Jessica Gillmansen is really beginning to miss being just a farm girl from boring old Junction.
The mystery deepens, the pace accelerates, and the tension continues to build in Secrets and Shadows, the exciting sequel to 13 to Life. The story doesn’t miss a beat and picks up shortly after the events in the first book, allowing readers to easily continue from one book to the next without a disconnect. But for those readers who have had to wait, the inclusion of a prologue offers just enough of a refresher about the story and events to bring them up to speed.
In this sequel, the action intensifies as Jessica Gillmansen tries to come to grips with the part she played in the events that would leave her forever tied to the Rusakovas. And after learning their secret, she is now more determined than ever to help Pietr and his family.
Even as she tries to get closer to Pietr, she can feel him pulling away, leaving her wondering what she did wrong. But Jessie is not one to give up, and loyalty and hope keep her going even as her heart is breaking.
And when a troubling secret is uncovered about one of her friends, trying to keep her out of harm’s way while continuing to keep an eye on Wanda and Sarah, attempting to repair the broken Rusakova family, reuniting them with their mother, and actually attending classes every once in a while is keeping Jessie more than busy.
So busy that her investigative mind fails to uncover an even bigger threat to her, and one that might be just too late to protect herself from.
Author Shannon Delany has really expanded upon the story and characters she introduced in her debut novel. Jessie has become an independent, strong, determined, loyal and good-hearted main character who is much more likable and sympathetic in this sequel.
There are a few new developments for some of the secondary characters and a few surprise revelations that will keep readers frantically turning those pages.
Once again there is a dramatic conclusion to the story, leaving readers on the edge of a pretty steep cliff. Fortunately, the third book in the series, Bargains and Betrayals, has just been released so there is no wait to find out what’s at the bottom of that cliff.
Secrets and Shadows is an immensely entertaining read in a series that continues to surprise and will draw readers in with its easy style, likable characters, romantic tension and cliffhanger ending. This second book in the series brings even more action and mystery to the page and is sure to keep readers engaged.
On a personal note:
I so completely loved this sequel. Why didn’t I read this last February? Seriously, what is wrong with me? I loved this way more than the first book in the series.
I totally adored 13 to Life, but this just was so much better. As with book one, the writing made it so easy to keep that connection with the characters and the story, but this book had a much better flow. And aside from one question I had about the repercussions of something that happened to the main character, nothing pulled me out of the story once I made that connection. Everything I had an issue with or found confusing in the first book was not present in this book at all.
I actually loved Jessie in Secrets and Shadows. Where she frustrated me and I thought her too much of a martyr in book one, here she was strong and determined and protective in all the right amounts. And throughout this story I really cared about what happened to her.
The love story was deliciously torturous, maddeningly so at times, but in all the best possible ways. And even though there was still a little bit of a love triangle, it changed significantly and was definitely not the focus. I’m almost always a fan of the love triangle, but it’s nice to see that it wasn’t treated quite the same way in this sequel. And it became even more interesting with a surprise element that definitely mixed things up.
Pietr was as yummy and frustrating as ever. Max was adorable, flirtatious and so totally alpha male. And Cat was a great friend and keeper of the peace.
A few of the characters had less of a role, but were not forgotten entirely and were still kept a part of this story. And as much as I’m not a Derek fan, I am so glad that his part wasn’t reduced and he remained such an important character.
I am really excited about an interesting twist in the story and what it means for one or more of the characters in this series. I would say more but it would be a total spoiler. But, it really makes me want to re-read 13 to Life to see if there were any hints.
I liked how the author continued to progress the story and also Sarah’s character and I’m interested to see just what happens with her in the next book as everything was always pretty fragile with her.
Secrets and Shadows was no filler novel or sophomore slump. Not only is there a new development with one of the characters, but the author broadened the world just in time for book three, completely blowing the door wide open for all sorts of possibilities.
And with the cliffhanger ending in this book, there is no way I could not continue on with this series. I am so glad that I don’t have to wait and can just go from one book to the next without pause. I’m actually afraid to finish Bargains and Betrayals and possibly be left hanging until the fourth book’s release.
When is someone going to write a male antihero who isn't a complete tool? Pietr started off pretty good in the first book....I should have known it wouldn't last.
These books are puzzling to me. I liked 13 to Life, despite its many problems (particularly the problem of Jessie throwing Pietr at Sarah to make Sarah happy...I mean, get real). Regardless, I was able to overcome and enjoy. It was a sweet story, I (for the most part) liked tomboy Jessie, and Pietr's unabashed honesty and puppy-like loyalty was adorable.
Secrets and Shadows, the second installment in the 13 to Life series, really should be used as a teaching aid to show young authors what not to do with their characters. Gone is Jessie's reason and logic, her willpower, and any semblance of common sense. In a sense, gone is the Jessie I knew and kinda liked from the first book. In her place is some jealous, whiny, self-absorbed, clingy, insecure little fangirl who kinda made my skin crawl. Pietr is no longer the adorably loyal, puppy-dog-eyed antihero, instead shooting for egomaniacal, self-absorbed, mind-game-playing heartless bastard.
It was like Ms. Delany was sitting at her desk wondering what she could possibly do to prevent Pietr and Jessie's relationship from progressing and decided on the most tired and cliched formula on the planet: the man thinks he's protecting his lady love by staying away. In what universe is that romantic?
Glaring Disconnect Alert: Anyone who read 13 to Life probably remembers how Pietr wanted to share his secret with Jessie. How he fought his brother Alexi tooth-and-nail in order to be granted permission to show Jessie what he and his siblings are. It was admirable of him, I thought, to want to trust Jessie because he cared about her. He thought she needed and deserved to know. He knew she wouldn't tell anyone and he trusted she could handle it. In Secrets and Shadows, however, that apparently all changed. See, Pietr wants to protect Jessie from all the bad stuff he just fucking introduced her to, so he chooses to be a douche and ignore her. On top of all of that, he apparently doesn't think she needs information about what's going on around her, even though not knowing is clearly putting her in danger! When Derek, the guy Jessie is kinda sorta dating, turns out to be a homicidal psychic vampire (an homage to L.J. Smith's Dark Visions series, perhaps?)....and after Derek spirited Jessie away and nearly raped her...clan Rusakova still don't feel Jessie needs to know what's going on! Derek has her all doped up on his mind juice and she's completely out of it, and Max rescues her, and when she comes-to her memories are gone because Derek erased them.....does Max tell her what happened? Nope. Does he tell her that Derek is a psychic vampire? Nuh uh. And neither does anyone else....not until later, after a few more dangerous run-ins with Derek.
Any time Jessie asked a question, she was met with, "Don't worry about it", or "You don't need to know". Seriously?! They trusted her with the secret that they're werewolves and she handled it extremely well.....now, suddenly, she's some delicate flower?
The best bit of dialogue in the entire book came from Derek, the psycho energy vampire:
"You let me get my hands on her - I mean, all over her -" He leered. "You can't possibly protect her all the time, and you don't even tell her. Your own girlfriend!" He shook his head. "Stupid bastard. What do you think secrets do? Protect people?"
Now perhaps Ms. Delany's point with this book was to underscore the fact that people shouldn't keep secrets because they do, in fact, cause way more harm than good. The problem was not with the message but with the way she presented it. I don't like reading about a bunch of morons who can't even fathom the simplest of concepts. Person A is dangerous to person B, person B doesn't know it. Person B should probably be informed and kept in the loop so they don't end up dead. It's not rocket science.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I even tried, against my better judgment, to like it. But really seeing all the issues with it, I just can't give it a pass. Bright spot? It's not as bad as Bargains and Betrayals.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I expected this book to be full speed ahead after the way 13 to Life ended but Shannon Delany maintained the same slow leisurely pace in this second installment much to my disappointment. The first book set the foundation for this series so a lot of world-building was to be expected but Secrets and Shadows should have been all about the action but instead, it's just more of the same. There are a few new developments from the werewolf point-of-view but overall I got the impression that not much really happened this time around. Pietr and Jessie are still butting heads, the CIA are as sneaky as ever and the Rusakovas' are in need of a cure now more than ever.
After having spent the bulk of the previous book feeling frustrated towards Jessie over the Pietr situation I had hoped for a quick resolution in book two. Unfortunately, the teenage lover spat continues for the greater part of the story. I still enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet aspect of their romance and the way that they both adamantly deny the similarities that exist between the tragic Shakespearean love story and their own. It was also interesting to see that no matter how much Pietr tries to stay away from Jessie "for her own good" he's still always there in the nick-of-time when it counts. Not only that, but the whole Rusakovas clan also looks out for her. A pack of werewolves is a good ally to have on your side!
Jessie's "best friend" Sarah finally blows her lid and reverts back to her old ways. Which was a welcomed development in my opinion. Gillmansen's goodie two-shoes mannerisms go a long way but even she is powerless when this ex-mean girl reclaims her status. I liked the way that Delany incorporates life lessons into her writing. Amy and Marvin's abusive relationship is a great example of this. The storyline shows a positive and healthy solution to a common problem facing many women both young and old.
The puzzle that is the Rusakovas is slowly solved piece by piece in this installment. Their past and future is shrouded is mystery but every new morsel that's revealed is oh so juicy. I loved the family reunion and Jessie's introduction to their mother. It's curious how seemingly random characters like Sophia and the old lady seem to know more about the whole werewolf thing than they themselves do. This book doesn't give away all of the secrets though. There are still plenty more to come! Maybe Bargains and Betrayals will tell all?
I really enjoyed the werewolf storyline this time around; it played a greater role than in 13 to Life. On the other hand, the high school drama facet was a little irritating. I realize that this is a Young Adult book but sometimes the teen angst part of a story just rubs me the wrong way. I found that the characters hadn't matured nor did they learn from their mistakes. That being said, this book is still an enjoyable read overflowing with important life lessons. Secrets and Shadows is a tale of tragic romance gone furry.
SECRETS AND SHADOWS, the second book of the 13 to life series picks up right were the first book leaves off. Jess is trying to deal with all that she has recently learned about the Russian boy she loves and his family. Adjusting to the knowledge that they are werewolves is not the only drama of her newly oh so complicates love life.. She has to come to terms with the fact she has killed a man, albeit in self-defense, but sill traumatic on the psyche none the less. There's also the issue of the CIA and the Russian Mafia dangerously lurking around and oh yeah, the crazy (amnesiac) ex-mean girl turned friend, who accidently killed Jess's mom is dating her man, Pietr. And then there's the strange occurrences’ at school and the rise in teen suicide by train tracks. Things are not dull in Jess's town Junction.
I'm kina on the fence with SECRETS AND SHADOWS.. A lot happens in this second book and yet the story doesn't really move forward all that much. We learn more about the CIA involvement with the werewolves as Pietr and his brother Max, sister Cat and Jess attempt to find and free the Rusakova's mother from a CIA lab. Some good action stuff goes down there and we get some interesting info on the wolf history and future. There are a few good twist as new "monsters" are introduced, some of the human variety and some less so, definitely providing the reader with heart pounding white knuckle moments. So far so good, yes?.. Yes. Now here's the dig.. Aside from the slow plot progression, I was really bugged by the whole situation that revolved around Sarah, Pietr's "girlfriend" and ex-mean girl. I had a hard time swallowing that part of the story line in the first book and was pretty bummed that Delany decided to continue with it. I just found the whole situation bizarre, irritating and completely unbelievable.
Now I really like most of the characters in this series and enjoy the writing style enough to want to continue with the third book once it's released, but I was sadly disappointed by the end of SECRETS AND SHADOWS. Although there is a lot more Rusakova wolf action (which is great), and there is a bunch of relationship stuff in this installment; as new ones are formed, some old ones grow stronger, and some completely crumble... but the plot in its self does not really advanced all that much. I guess by the end of the 304 pages I would have liked to be deeper into Jess and the Rusakova's story. I'd have to sum SECRETS AND SHADOWS up as a decent read that I enjoyed with a good cliffhanger, but hope that the third book BARGAINS AND BETRAYALS is, in a word... more.
The amazing story of the Rusakova's and Jessie continue with the sequel to 13 to Life. If we thought there were complications and trouble in the first book we haven't seen anything yet. The high school drama, CIA drama and friendship drama continue.
Pietr starts to push Jessie away and closer to Sarah and Jessie cannot figure out why. She know's Pietr's secret and has sworn to protect the family secret but it doesn't seem to be enough because Pietr has cut himself off from Jessie completely. As Jessie comes to grips with Pietrs sudden actions towards her she pushes herself towards Derek, the high school golden boy. Jessie has always had a crush on Derek but when Pietr entered her life, Derek didn't have the same appeal that he used to.
As Jessie and Derek get closer, Pietr gets more aggressive and Jessie doesn't understand why. He cut her off why would he care? But Derek has a secret of his own and he is more connected to the Rusakova's then even they realize.
Shannon is the master of twisting the plot and keeping her readers on their toes. I never know what to expect and I love every minute of it. I love the struggles that Pietr and his family have to go through as they try to come to grips with their destiny and who they are.
The relationship between Jessie and Pietr is an amazing one. More Romeo and Juliet then they realize. They are meant to be together more than they know and no matter how hard Pietr tries to protect Jessie by staying away it doesn't keep her out of danger. It takes him a while to figure this out. But no matter how hard either of them try they can't stay away from one another.
Amazing! I loved this book as much as I loved the first one. I cannot wait for the 3rd book. I need more of the Rusakova boys and Jessie!
Jess thought everything would finally fall into place. Pietr understood what she wanted from him and what he needed to do with her best friend Sarah. Amy had a love, Sophia was starting to see things, Derek was interested and so much more. Even though Pietr kept pushing himself away from Jessica, she wanted so badly to be with him, and then there was Derek desperate to be with her. Wanting to treat her as the special girl she could be.
Everything twists and turns in this amazing and exciting sequel to '13 to Life'. I loved this book, as much as the first. It reminded me of why I loved the first one so much. Jess and Pietr are amazing, and Delany delves even deeper into the other characters in this novel. You get to know more about Max, Catherine, and Alexei. You learn so much about the family and realize their dreams, secrets, and their hates.
All they want is to save their mother, and all Jessie wants is to help them.. and Pietr. But everyone is standing in their way, every time they turn around something has changed, some other twist is in the way. Delany does an excellent job at keeping you guessing and yearning for more. I was constantly trying to find a moment to read, even if it was just a page. I cannot WAIT for the third book due out this August.
What can I say - - other than young adult needs a new breakout genre - - this book had me on the edge of my seat.
Tension mounts as Delany does it again! I want happiness for Jess, but I don't want the stories to end. So as soon as you think things are falling into place, Delany hits you in a spiral.
Jess is getting walked on, over and stomped...but she keeps rolling on. Her character grows a bit stronger throughout the book, maybe not stronger pursa, but more with it and able to react quicker. There were a few spots in the book that I felt a little over done, but overall - since I read it in 1 day - I'd say it's a praiseworthy read!
Teen drama with grown up twists, as this bunch tries to free their mother. There's secrets (and people hanging in the shadows, hence the name) but there is also loyalty. I enjoy when authors take the 'teen' realm and show that not all lives are rosy - there's parent substance abuse, tragedy, physical abuse - that is battled every day. It gives the story a realistic edge. As Jess finds her friends and they all make choices the story is not lost. How can it be when the Russian Mafia and CIA are involved?
Delany snaps that ending into place and leaves you burning for the next.
You know, the first book kind of pissed me off with the whole Pietr and Sarah thing. But this one made me furious. How desperate is this little twerp who dares to call herself a "heroine." I mean, every time Pietr tries to push her away what does our intrepid gal do? She kisses him! Obviously he doesn't remember how amazing she is and how he can't resist her and all. And It Fragging Works! Ugh! Gag me with a spoon and toss me something to wash down the nasty taste in the back of my mouth. Nasty I tell you! And the whole "imprinting" thing. Could you be any more blatantly obvious about how you're ripping off Twilight? The whole "you should stay away from me, even though I am stalkerific possessive and can't stand seeing you with other men. Want to watch me stick my tongue down your best friends throat? Don't worry, she means nothing to me because she doesn't make me BURN like you do." Okay, maybe I am taking poetic license here. But I honestly have had enough of the martyr heroine and the angsty hero. Not bothering with the rest of the series.
I was in the middle of a book funk when I read this, so I don't mean to offend anyone with my take on this sequel. I was bummed with it. I was hoping for more action and a lot less drama. I can't stand the sort of forced love triangle between Pieter, Jess and Sarah. I mean really? You love the guy but you push him on your psychotic friend? And then get pissed when he starts falling for her? Gag. It's sick and not in a good way. I was also a little bit confused on where we were going on this ride. Still trying to break out mom and find a cure right? Oh just kidding! We can't cure ourselves now since we need all our supernatural powers to rescue her. And working with the CIA? Yeah, probably not a good idea seeing as how they keep trying to kill you. Ehh, so you see my problem right? I want to love it, I liked the first one, but I was just not in a good place and the characters annoyed me. I say give it a try if you even remotely liked the first.
Secrets and Shadows takes us deeper into Jessie and Pietr's worlds. Jessie is a believable main character, and I can relate with her reactions, emotions and decisions. Pietr is still desirable but ever so frustrating. I can understand where he is coming from when more of his reasoning and story comes out, but still!!!! Max and Cat play more in this story and I like them as much as Jessie. S&S took a bit to pick up as I remember with 13, but I know that before halfway in I was eager to turn the page, wanting to find out what happens next. I am already itching to get my hands on the next book.
I really like this book once I got into it. I like the characters and it's an interesting storyline so thats refreshing. I really enjoyed the characters and thought Max was especially funny, I found myself laughing on a number of occasions which is also a good thing. The only thing that annoyed me was the ending. Not because it was bad but because that's just not how I wanted it to go. Can't wait for the next one!!
Really bad. I actually enjoyed the first one, but this is just...ugh. I might post a rant later, but I don't have the energy right now. In my opinion, I would not waste your time on this series.
CONTENT: Kissing, references to sex, mention of a period. The main character unbuttons her shirt to distract a werewolf that's trying to kill someone, some swearing, no f words, and quite a bit of violence.
Ohhhhhhh..... What a ride! Heartache and sexytimes and betrayal all leading up to one hell of a cliffhanger! I'm still a touch confused, what with Sophia and Derek, but I'm sure I just need a minute to process. The third book can't come in to the library request line soon enough!