Book Review of 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Title: 13 to Life

Author: Shannon Delany

Release Date: June 22, 2010

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide–secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

Summary from

My Review: I got this book as part of the Traveling Arc Tours and was so excited when I did because I have been looking forward to reading it.  I actually read the book in one day because I could not put it down:)

In 13 to Life Jess has just suffered a major loss in her family and she is desperately trying to deal with all her inner demons. Even though I don’t think she would want to admit to that.   Jess as a character is a much more forgiving person than I think I ever could be.  She is also selfless, she takes it almost to a point where she hurts herself by helping others.  It is hard to watch her do that to herself, but she is just trying to do what she thinks is right and I cannot fault her for that.

A good example of this is Pietr, she is obviously drawn to him and he returns those feelings.  The problem comes in when Jess’ best friend Sarah likes Pietr too.  Instead of telling Sarah how she feels, Jess shy’s away and lets her friend pursue Pietr.  It really started to burn me up later down the road when you start to put together some of the pieces from Sarah’s past.  But, I am going to leave it at that so you can discover what I mean one your own, I am sure you will all have some opinions when you reach that point in the book as well.

One of the little details about the book that I really enjoyed were all the Shakespeare references.  They are sprinkled throughout the book through the eyes of numerous characters and I loved seeing them pop up.  However, not all of the references were Shakespearean.  Some came in the form of movies or other literature that is well known.  I really enjoy books, where other literary or movie related influences come into play and my favorite one in this book was this line:

“The Junction Jackrabbit glared out from my shirt, hind legs twisted to kick and unseen opponent, the rabbit’s teeth so big and pointy my dad had proclaimed it a beast worthy of a Monty Python sketch.”

Seriously, that is one of my favorite movies and to see it come into play here was just hilarious to me.  If you have not watched that movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you need to put down the computer and go watch it now, then you will understand the hilarity to that reference.

Okay, back to the book.  The last few chapters have so much going on that if you blink, you are going to miss something.  I was so caught up in it all that when I finished the book it took me a couple of minutes to realize that I still had a ton of questions left.  Shannon gave you so much excitement at the end you almost forget that there are so many mysteries left unsolved and you walk away almost confused.  In a good way, but still confused.  This book raises new ideas about old legends and only lets you unravel the secrets one very small layer at a time.

This is one of those books, that for me, feels like it is setting the scene for the rest of the series.  13 to life has built a solid foundation for this world and has paved the way for future books in this series.  I know the next book is called Secrets and Shadows and is set to release February 15, 2010, so I am waiting until then to see what happens next.

Language Love:

“A good writer should get people to feel something,”

I chose this because this is exactly how I feel about reading.  If I finish a book and I don’t have any kind of emotional reaction to it, then in my opinion the author did not do their job.  Now by emotional I don’t mean I am crying or even having any kind of physical reaction, I just mean I am attached to the characters in some way and the book made me feel.

3 Responses to Book Review of 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

  1. Pingback: 2010 Debut Author Challenge « A Bookworms Haven

  2. Pingback: Secrets and Shadows Cover « A Bookworms Haven

  3. Pingback: Book Review of Secrets and Shadows | A Bookworms Haven

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