Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Review: 13 to Life

Book: 13 to Life (Shannon Delany)
Stand-Alone or Series: (13 to Life #1)
Pages: 308 
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 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.


starrpower said...

I finished reading this one over the weekend and I couldn't put it down, you are correct about the build up. I couldn't for the life of me understand what Jess and Sarah relationship was about because obviously they weren't friends like that before the accident. But all in all I enjoyed the book and can't wait for the next book. I really enjoyed your review.

Sarah said...

@ Stacey, yeah, I really don't get the Jess/Sarah thing. From what I understand, Jess felt bad for Sarah, but I can't relate to that :D I would just be mad at her!

Thanks for commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed the review! :D

Midnight Bloom said...

I felt the exact same way when I was reading 13 to Life. When I found out about Sarah's past and what she was really like before, I didn't really sympathize with Jess anymore. I mean, there's selfless, and then there's just plain old that's unbelievable.

Bella said...

I decided to read this book a while ago, but I haven't seemed to get around to buying it yet... I enjoyed reading your review of it. It's nice to find one that's different to what everyone else has been saying. Thanks! =]

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