For starters, Jess is an extremely likable narrator and character. She’s funny, smart, and a kind-hearted person. She entangles herself in a web of lies, but in my opinion, her lies were spun with good intentions. Her love of vampire novels is amusing since vampires are currently all the rage. I admire her ability and willingness to put others before herself, despite the fact she often gets hurt as a result.
Pietr is a mysterious, yet charming character. His feelings for Jess are romantic and passionate. Although he has some personal issues to work out, he still proves to be a gentleman when it comes to Jess. I like how dark he is and how he’s afraid to let Jess in on his secrets. He loves her, but the last thing he wants is to hurt her. I also really love the fact that he hates a certain Shakespeare play that many people, myself included, love. I don’t know why, but I find it amusing–in a good way.
I really like how Ms. Delany included Pietr’s siblings in the story and how they all interact with each other. In particular, I really like his sister, Catherine. She seems genuinely sincere and happy for Pietr and I can’t wait to learn more about her in the sequel.
Ms. Delany’s writing is wonderfully descriptive and funny. She has not only given Jess an authentic voice, but she has also given each supporting character their own voice and identity. Her descriptions are beautiful, but not over the top, which allowed me to see everything clearly in my mind. To me, it felt like each page came alive. Also, due to the fluid and even pacing, there’s never a dull moment and readers will quickly become engrossed in the story.
Next to vampires, werewolves are one of the most popular supernatural beings in literature right now. But like Maggie Stiefvater, Shannon Delany has taken a known mythology and made it fresh again. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the story, but although the wolves themselves don’t really differ from other ones in books, their history does.
In the end, I fell in love with 13 to Life! I couldn’t put it down and now I’m left hungry for the sequel. I love Jess and Pietr’s relationship and can’t wait to see them grow as a couple. Please do not hesitate picking up a copy of this beautiful, suspenseful, and riveting novel! You’ll regret it if you do.
For more information on Shannon Delany and her writing, please visit the following websites:
(cover image taken from Barnes and Nobles’ website)