Shannon Delanys 13 TO LIFE introduces nothing new to the heavily saturated paranormal romance YA department, but fans of this genre will find in it a likably strong protagonist and a mystery thats worth reading more about.
The main character, Jess, is a respectably strong character with a healthy dose of common sense and independence, traits that are, sadly, sorely lacking in numerous other books in this genre. I could understand her martyr-like behavior, her attempt to stay away from Pietr for her friends sake even though neither of them can deny their attraction to each other. Jess puts on a tough front to hide old hurts, which I could sympathize with. It made me side with her through frustrating decisions or bad attitudes.
Backstory, however, was shaky at best. Jess journalist interest in wolf attacks in a nearby town felt forced: I wanted to know more about her interest in the matter, because I never like when something feels placed into the story simply to clue us, the reader, into something the protagonist hasnt figured out yet. There was also an enigmatic tension between Jess and a friend of hers that, once again, felt rather unnatural. It has a lot of potential to explode into an emotional scenario, and so I hope that in the future Shannon Delany will build on that.
For the most part, 13 TO LIFE felt like a long setup for a series. Very little happens until the last 15 or so pages, and once again it felt very contrived. If youre looking for a quick paranormal romance that doesnt require too much thought, 13 TO LIFE might intrigue you. Otherwise, youll just catch yourself borderline rolling your eyes at the amateur writing tropes used throughout this debut.
Reviewed by AdrienneBe for TeensReadToo.com
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.