29 June 2010

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

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. 
I'll have to say this right off: Jess really, really pissed me off in the beginning.  She was really tough most of the time (and was really pissed at Pietr most of the time too) but she's one of those girls who puts up with way more crap than she should.  I mean, someone threatens her property--all I can say without giving anything away--and what's her reaction?  Not what I was expecting.  And someone insults her mom?  Shew!  She should be doing something big!  Crap like that would not fly at my school.  Having that bred into me from school, it frustrates me to see Jess so weak.

13 to Life was definitely funny, though.  Jess is a hilarious character and her friend, Amy, is so cool.  There is one scene with her other friend, Sarah, that ticks me off SO much.  I know that if that girl had said something like that to me, I wouldn't let her finish before slapping her.  Just saying.

So we got Jess down.  Pietr was pretty cool.   Much more down to earth--and thus, more desirable in my opinion--than the current "hotties".  Much like Sam from "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater (not in character) in how believable he is.  They both have their own opinions.  Oh, and don't be confused by the Russian. I recognized all the words except one because my dad taught me "yes," "no," "please," and "thank you" in Russian.  It's in English (obviously) but it threw me off guard when I first read it.

(For future reference, when you get this book--which you should--"neyt" is no, "da" is yes, "Eezvehneetyeh" is sorry (pretty sure, at least) "spahseebuh" is "thank you" and "horachow" is "good".  I don't recognize "prosteetcheh".  No good running it through a Russian translator because it translates it into Russian.)

The one thing that ticks me off about Jess is that she KNOWS stuff but she won't do anything about it!  She won't call people on it because she's this self-sacrificing girl that lives for others.  Heaven forbid she do something that hurts someone else's feelings, like you can't go through life without getting your toes stepped on.  Good grief.



I should add that the romance is the focus of the story.  Not so much about the outside world or of a bigger plot unless it intertwined directly with the romance.  In terms of plot vs. romance, it's a less elaborate version of Twilight.  And that's not to degrade it or anything.  Just for comparative reasons. (Thanks, Linna of 21 Pages for reminding me about this bit. XD) 

Regardless, it is a pretty good book and I don't regret buying it.  It was very satisfying to see that the four words I knew in Russian were applicable here.  I've had the habit of saying "neyt" for years instead of "no". XD

One thing: I don't understand the title.  I don't see any correlation between it and the book.  Any suggestions?

Book Info:


  • pages - paperback, 320
  • publisher - St. Griffin's Press
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • rating - 4/5
  • series - 13 to Life
    • 13 to Life
    • Secrets and Shadows
    • Bargains and Betrayals
  • Summer Reading - #8