Book: 13 to Life (Shannon Delany)
Stand-Alone or Series: (13 to Life #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Preview on Amazon
Description (From Goodreads):
Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…
When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only ...more 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 have heard a lot of great things about this book, so naturally, my expectations going in were set very high. Unfortunately, I found this book a bit lacking. The book took a long time to build up; the plot was pretty slow moving and the pacing, for me, was off. For about 3/4 of the Book, the main character is contemplating whether or not she should be with Pietr. We don't really get any real werewolf action until the last, oh say, 30 pages. The rest of the book really is Jess deciding if she should put herself before her friend Sarah.
That is something else I found to be bit odd with this book. I did not understand the friendship between Jess and Sarah. I especially did not understand why Jess was so protective of her. I do no want to spoil anything for anyone, but after what Sarah did, I do not understand why Jess attached herself to Sarah like she did. Which in turn, made me question the main character - which is something I don't like to do. I forget where it is in the book, but the author mentions something about an editor making a claim that a character is too stupid to live - I found that a bit ironic, because I cannot imagine a person reacting the way Jess did to Sarah. This made it very difficult to connect to Jess, which is a huge problem.
Also, like I said before, the pacing was off. The beginning of the book dragged on and then it felt like the author was cramming a bunch of plot twists into the last 20 pages. Don't get me wrong, I love plot twists. But I don't like plot twists that seem forced. It is almost like there was a template that said, "oh the book is ending, insert plot twist here".
Despite the issues I had with this book, I did enjoy it. I am always, up for a good werewolf story. Although the book dragged for me, it was a quick read, so I still was able to enjoy it. I will probably read the next book, hopefully the pacing will be better. I know a lot of other readers really enjoyed this book, so maybe I am just the odd one out, but I give this book 3 stars.