Book Review of Secrets and Shadows

Title: Secrets and Shadows

Author: Shannon Delany

Release Date: February 15th, 2011

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

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’ 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 to free their mother – and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more…

Summary from

My Review: Being someone who really enjoyed 13 to life (review here) I was really excited to get this book on a tour.  However, as I started reading it took me a little while to get into everything that was going on.  I felt like the book had a slow start, or maybe I just forgot everything that happened in the last one so I need time for my brain to get moving again.  Either way, I took me about 100 pages to feel invested in the story again.

In 13 to Life I fell in love with Pietr, but in this book he was frustrating me quite a bit.  Boys and their guilt, it really does get in the way of a lot doesn’t it?  Pietr begins to push Jess away since he thinks she is in danger because of him.  Watching the main characters suffer apart from each just makes reading it not as enjoyable for me.  I know relationships are rocky, especially ones in the paranormal world, and I understand he is trying to do what is best for Jess, but I really want these two to just work it out.  So I pushed through hoping to be happily surprised as the book continued.

I will admit, that when Russian phrases came up in the text, I did reach for my computer to translate some of them.  I know I should be patient and wait, but I just could not help it.  I don’t like not know what is being said, so I the phrase Pietr said to Jess in the beginning of the book is definitely one where I reached for the translator. ;)

I did like seeing more into the lives of Rusakova’s, they are very interesting and Cat kept me entertained with her humor.    The most surprising character though, was Max.  I did not really give him enough credit in the first book.  He was cracking me up in this one, he is a little bit of a jerk at times, but I think he has some very redeeming qualities that won me over.

While the Rusakova’s were great to see Sarah, not so much.  Not really a fan of girl stealing another girl’s guy, it rubs me the wrong way.   Plus, Sarah as a character has never really sat right with me, so my judgement of her is a little skewed.  Maybe she will grow on me in future books, but as of right now I am not in her corner.  Though, I can’t really 100% blame Sarah since Jess pretty much forced her into it.   I was glad to see that this issue did have a resolution within in this book and will not bleed over into the next book, hopefully.

Overall, I like this book, but not in love with it.  I was glad to see many issues get addressed and the story definitely picked up towards the end, but I am still left wanting at the end of this one.  Hopefully the next book will get my blood racing a little more and really excited about this series again.

FTC:  I received this ARC from Around the World Tours

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