Google+ Reading Teen: Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)

13 to Life by Shannon Delany - GO and visit the author's site today!

Jessica Gillmansen's junior year is already difficult because she recently lost her mother in a tragic car accident, and now she has to deal with the hot new guy at school, Pietr Rusakova, who just won't leave her alone. Things get more complicated as she deals with the aftermath of the crash, discovers she and Pietr share an odd connection, and continues her investigation of local news stories about werewolves and the Russian Mafia. Delany's first novel has a lot going on—too much, perhaps. Instead of focusing on a few plot points, Delany spreads herself thin and doesn't do justice to the many strands. For example, Jessica's supposed grief over her mother is minimized by its near absence in the text, and the Mob plotline feels contrived. Still, the kitchen-sink approach may pay off for Delany as she moves further into the planned series, and teen girls will eat up the Twilight flavor. Grades 7-10.

So what did I think about this book...

Let me just say first of all this book saved me. My carpet. And my dog. Let me explain... My dog knocked the small table that my red wine was sitting on, I screamed. It really all happened in slow motion, 13 to Life was sitting on the table next to the wine, the base of the wine stem was caught underneath the book. The book kept the wine from spilling over, the glass rocked back -n- forth slowly and then just settled itself. My carpet is not stained and the dog is not dead. All is well. Now for the review...

I was really excited about reading 13 to Life by Shannon Delany, it was buzzing all over Twitter. So naturally I was excited when Andye gave it to me to read, not to mention it's a werewolf book. I'm crazy about werewolf books. When I started this book it seemed promising. The main character 16 year old Jessica who has lost her mother during a fatal car crash, goes to high school in Junction, has a loving father and sister, a crush on the big-time football star of their high school team, a couple of best friends and is introduced to the new HOT Russian guy in school.  Delany did a pretty good job introducing the characters and plot. That's  about the time when it starts to kind of fizzle out for me. I just thought the characters were introduced and then hardly ever mentioned. Take Derek ( Big-time football guy ) for instance... He likes Jessica >>> Jessica totally is crushing on Derek, has for years, there is definitely some flirting going on with both parties and then... Nothing. At all. He is VERY seldom mentioned after the 200 pg. and there are about 308 pgs. The same goes for several other characters, just... poof. Gone. I just didn't see the brilliance of this book, I kinda thought the plot was predictable. I haven't even mention the fact that the Russian mafia was involed in the plot and it was kinda cheesy.

I read the book and finished it. I will read the sequel. Overall, I just thought it was just OK. It could have used a lot more support from the supporting characters. One really good thing I would like to mention about this book, is that Jessica's father was very much there for her. Books here lately lack that. Authors, I feel, forget that the teens they write stories about have parents or some sort of authority. So yes, Jessica's father was there to discipline her when needed, love on her when needed, and to pick her up after she has fallen down when needed. That to me said loads about Delany. I appreciated that.

Read this book if your a werewolf fan. Read this book if your a werewolf fan and interested in the Russian Mafia. Read this book if your a werewolf fan, interested in the Russian Mafia and like a protective loving father. Read this book if your a werewolf fan, interested in the Russian mafia, like a protective loving father and enjoy a kinda sad book, romantic book, and a full on bloody gun battle book.
It's your move


  • Sexual Content: Mild
  • Profanity: Heavy
  • Violence: Mild

For full content review GO to  Parental Book Reviews.


  1. I keep hearing mixed things about this book.. I still looking forward to reading it though! And I'm glad the book saved your carpet! lol

  2. Your carpet story sounded better than the book one! =)
    Thanks for saving me that read, I just crossed it out of my list.
    OK books are not good enough, cause we have so many insanely good ones out there. Time is precious when u have 1000 books to read and just 24hs each day! (if you don't require sleeping... I kinda do! lol)
    Tks for the review!
    Amy, I'm still shy around u... I'll get over it! =P

  3. @Jena Please read the book and if you disagree with my review let me know. I always like a different point of view.

    @Livia Yeah panic for the most brief of moments... Maybe the wine glass was too full... Haha like that's possible. I'm sad, I had high hopes for this one. OH well, live to read another day right?
    Stop being shy around me, I'm a sorta nice person.

  4. Great review. I saw this at wallmart yesterday and was about to pick it up. Now i'm glad i'm didn't and just going to get it from the library.


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