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13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale Paperback – June 22, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up–Jessica knows what it is like to lead a false life. Wrestling with the emotions surrounding the death of her mother, she is also keeping her best friend, Sarah, from learning the truth about her role in this tragic accident. Complicating matters, Jessica is drawn to the mysterious and good-looking new boy at school. Pietr Rusakova is unlike anyone she has ever met and seems to possess the ability to see right through her. But he is also troubled by a family secret that has major ramifications for his life. As the teens' relationship intensifies, they are forced to face certain truths and come to grips with events that will change their futures. Delany spins an original story with great characters and a powerful plot that is full of twists and turns. It ends with a bang but there are times that the story seems to drag. Still, it's an enjoyable read that will leave fans waiting for the next installment.Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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. --Cindy Welch
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Top customer reviews
What I like: The wolves in this story are different. They are your usual run of the mill change at a full moon, big and burly wolves. They have real character and weren't out to make themselves known in any way. I like Jessie. She's got spunk and she cares for those around here, even when she doesn't have to, or maybe shouldn't. I like the flow of the book, there is a lot of build up, but I have faith that Shannon will deliver answers in upcoming books. There are hidden answers in the book that you don't figure out until after you've read it or you talk to Shannon, like their names. It adds another perspective to the book that keeps you thinking long after you're finished reading.I like Pietr too. He's quiet and caring. He looks after those he loves.
What I love: MAX! I know Max isn't a standout character in this book, but there is something that immediately drew me in to him. From Chapter One to the last page, he's there in the background making me smile.I'm thinking maybe it's the whole snarky protector. The family puzzle was one of my favorite parts of the book. The descriptions Shannon used for their reactions to Jessie were brilliant. There is some symbolism that I can't wait to find out the meaning of (and not just my assumption!) I love the Russians as a whole. They add a dimension not regularly seen in paranormal.
What I'd change: Not much. There were a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the book. Knowing that there are more books to follow it isn't as big a deal as it would be if I wondered how many books were coming. Derek, he annoyed me. The typical jock (although I'm not convinced there isn't more to him) really bothered me. I wanted to shake some sense into him on more than one occasion.
Would I recommend: Of course! Wait a minute...I already have, more than once. It's a great book. I love it, everyone I've recommended it to loved it. I'm going to take a leap and say you will love it too!
I was also annoyed that Jessica pushes Pieter into a relationship with her crazy 'best' friend and then the two of the sneak make out sessions and whispers of love. Anyone with an eye can see they are hot for each other and that they keep playing like there is nothing between them publicly was just really silly. I did like the little bits of history that we found out about Pieter's family and their past. I enjoyed that the story was about a family of werewolves but I was caught off guard by the mafia connections and struggled to make sense of some of these.
What can make a book most successful in my mind is having developed, endearing characters and a well thought out plot with some twists and turns. 13 to Life had neither.
Certainly there are worse books out there, but this one just didn't work for me. The content if fairly clean and I wonder if it might work better for the pre-teen market.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved the way the author had managed to describe being a teenager quite...Read more