- Publisher: St Martin's Press
- Format: Paperback | 320 pages
- Dimensions: 137mm x 206mm x 28mm | 295g
- Publication date: 31 July 2010
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0312609140
- ISBN 13: 9780312609146
- Edition: 1
- Sales rank: 48,905
Jessica's life was difficult enough since the sudden loss of her mother, but meeting Pietr Rusakova turns her world completely upside down. The newest member of Junction High, Pietr is a first generation Russian-American, a fact that by itself gets him lots of attention in the small town. But Pietr has far more going for him than good looks and an interesting accent. Pietr has secrets to hide - like the fact that he's a werewolf! These secrets lead Jessica into an exciting and dangerous world where her understanding of reality and what makes someone a man or a monster are challenged.
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Shannon Delany is the author of "Beasts and BFFs" and "Secrets and Shadows." A much-abbreviated version of "13 to Life" (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the western world's first-ever cell phone novel contest. Shannon has written stories ever since she was a child. Previously a teacher and now a farmer raising heritage livestock in upstate New York, she has always been fascinated by history, myths, legends and paranormal research.
By Pamela Green 22 Feb 2011
I am so happy I finally read this book. Once I found time, I flew through it (yay for road trips!). I was a bit concerned that I'd have trouble getting back into a werewolf story after not reading any for awhile, but I was wrong. I think it was probably the fact that the werewolf component isn't slapping you in the face, and really doesn't emerge until a lot later in the book. This book was more about character development and setting up the relationships between the characters. I really enjoyed the way Shannon Delany did that.
Jess is just getting over the loss of her mother, and trying to stabilize her life with school and chores on the farm. The last thing she needs (and wants) is to be showing the new boy around school and having him intrude in her life and change everything. Change is the last thing she needs. Pietr is very mysterious and Russian and sexy. Jess can't deny that there's something about him that pulls her in, but she tries to keep their relationship platonic. Besides, one of her best friends, Sarah, is really interested in Pietr, so she does her best to back off. She's the kind of person who thinks of others before herself.
I loved seeing the relationship grow between Jess and Pietr. They have that undeniable attraction to one another that they (well, Jess) try to ignore. Since they are trying to avoid a romantic relationship, they instead become really close friends, the kind that are always there for you when you need them. This isn't the typical relationship development you see in YA (or any) books because most people just want to get to the romance of it all. I have to say I'm guilty of being one of those people. But Shannon gave me a different outlook, where the characters were made out to be just really good friends, but with that forbidden romance. It was really fun to read.
Having written the book this way, Shannon gives us a chance to see the backstories of the characters. I don't want to give it away, but Jess's story of her mom's death was so heart-wrenching. It made me tear up a bit and I could feel my heart hurting. Pietr's home life isn't the best either, and they are able to share stories and sympathize with one another. It definitely makes them closer, better friends, in my opinion.
The secondary characters were all really great, too. I loved Jess's best friend Amy. She's the kind of girl who is brutally honest to Jess, which is exactly what she needs. Jess tries to fool herself and Amy smacks her in the face with a big pile of reality. It may be tough for Jess, but Amy does the right thing and she's always there for her. They have an awesome relationship. I also liked Jess's sister and Pietr's sister. They were both cute characters who always added a bit of something to the scene's they were in.
Overall, I love the way Shannon outlined her story by really developing the characters and their relationships. Allowing us to see into their pasts gives us a better outlook on the characters themselves and why they act the way they do. Everything climaxed perfectly in the end and it was very suspenseful. Because I felt like I knew Jess so personally, I worried about her a lot in those last few chapters. Shannon left 13 to Life on a cliffhanger, which makes me really want to read the next one. Thankfully, Secrets and Shadows just came out last week, so I can go pick up a copy this week!
By TeensReadToo 02 Oct 2010
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 friend, Sarah, but love doesn't really care, does it? Not even if the boy Jess falls in love with is absolutely, undeniably a werewolf who has more dangerous secrets than just his paws.
13 TO LIFE is all about one girl's heart-pounding choice to be with a boy who might never have been hers in any other circumstance. Delany's tale takes a new spin on the always undeniable attraction to the new boy in town, and is filled with a heroic mix of the supernatural with everyday life, and spiced up with some not-so-sweet Russian mafia men.
I absolutely couldn't stop flipping through the pages, only deciding to take a break to set the dinner table. This is a deliciously romantic mystery filled with so many unknown dilemmas one won't come around such a well-written novel like this very often.
"A fun, gothic romance of suspense, secrets and the dangerous truth behind the new kid in town." - LUCIENNE DIVER, author of VAMPED"