Title: 13 To Life
Author: Shannon Delaney
Published: June 22nd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
Synopsis: 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.
Thoughts: 13 to Life sets up the foundation for other books in this series. Not a lot happens. There's a handful of action, but not much. It's mainly all about setting up the environment, the characters and the plot. Think of it as 200 pages of background, 50 pages of irritating drama and 50+ pages of action/love scenes.
The Rusakovas are new to town, and Jess has the honor of showing Pietr around school. He's gorgeous and brooding. It's clear all the girls are into him. And though Jess feels attracted to him, she can't forget about her crush, Derek. Derek may be your typical high school jock, but hey, in a small town like Junction, who else is there to love?
The more time Jess spends with Pietr, the more mysterious he becomes. But it's not just him, it's his entire family. Will she be able to handle the truth?
First, lets start off with the romance. What I'm learning after almost a year of blogging is that every good book has a love triangle in it. 13 To Life is no different. Though interesting at first, I just had so many issues with the Jess-Pietr-Sarah drama/love triangle. While I understand Jess to be a very giving character, there's no need to be a complete martyr. Even other characters point this out to her, yet there she goes with the self-sacrificing. Why make everyone else unhappy just to make one person happy? This drama was interesting at first, but became tiresome after so many pages of the same problem.
Now, onto the swoon-worth boy. Because I absolutely adored Pietr, I wish there was more of him. I enjoyed his interactions with Jess. From the first encounter to the last, every scene he was in left me with goosebumps. I loved the way he added Russian words into his speaking. Like how he'll say "Da. Yeah." Adorable, much? I think so!
Though I had a few issues with the book and found the pacing to be a bit slow and some of the dialect repetitive, I still must say I'm greatly looking forward to the next book in this series. I'm interested in seeing what happens next and how everything will unfold. Shadows and Secrets will definitely be added to my long 2011 waiting list.