13 to life- a book review

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a young adult paranormal fiction novel to invoke the fables of ancient times- and I’ve read quite a few. A story that invokes the senses-woodland nature rough and rugged. The emotions- beauty and the beast illuminated by moonlight.  There is only one word to describe 13 to life by Shannon Delany and that word is classic. Not classic in the sense of early English literature. But, classic in the sense this story finds the way back to its roots. Back to the basics. Back to the original myths and tales. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s comforting and refreshing- especially after the taint of everything paranormal left in the wake of Twilight.  And, it’s a story told in a classic way. There it goes that word again. But, it’s true. As a writer, learning how to write professionally, I’ve learned there is a format. A way in which thing are done. As there is for everything.  This novel ( soon to be series) reverts back to the basics and is written in good ol’ story telling form.  With  a proper purpose and plot and subtle but essential depictions.  It all comes together for a good, easy-to-follow read. I have to admit, there was little snowballing effect at the end. But, I reckon it’s just part of the first novel foes- a product of developing the world and characters. I expect the second book to be less snowball-y.
Jessie is an average teen girl in love with the – out-of-your-league- jock.  For reasons unbeknownst to us, the reader- but even that is explained in the end.  She’s trying to live a normal enough life. Well, as normal as life can get after being traumatized from her mother’s unfortunate and untimely death. But then comes the new kid. A hot mysterious boy named Pietr. Jess’s unfortunate job is to be Pietr’s guide throughout his first few days of high school. An antagonistic relationship at its finest.
13 to life will take you on a journey through pain, sorrow and conflictions of the most intimate kind. Haunting, tragic  and a hopeless romantic’s dream come true.  Confessions of love- and betrayal.  Oh and there is a werewolf on the loose.  And the Russian mafia. Not knowing what’s real, who to trust Jess’s life will keep you snowballing through the pages as the story escalates.
13 to life is a tale like no other. I can’t wait to February for the release of the second installment in this series that just earned its place out of my closet and onto my shelf with the likes of my top five favorite young adult paranormal series ( twilight is not there, no worries).

  1. Crystal R. says:

    I think Imma read this! (You know how I feel about young adult books) but I’ve always been fascinated with fairy tales, folklore pieces, and if this finds its way” back to its roots” I’d like to know how she actually did it. I’ve taken three courses on the subject. It’s how I came to my favorite author Angela Carter. 🙂

    This semester I’m taking children’s lit and our first assignment is to read through all versions of “Cinderella” and do an indepth analysis on them. Shall be fun, me thinks.


    • Mhmm. I like young adult novels for their simplicity. Not necessary in form or in writing abilities. But regular adult novelists, sometimes they write as if they got something to prove. Which most of the time is true, it’s much harder to publish adult books then teen books. It doesn’t feel natural. Im generalizing of course. I read all kinds of books- memoirs my favorite . I just finished an awesome memoir about polygamy. But, nothing tops sitting down with a young adult and the ease of escaping to a wonderland -and if its a good author they aren’t writing down to the readers either. With this book, it was the back to the original basic myth that did it for me. Which is awesome. Nothing was done wrong the first time around- why the need to change it?

      I’ll have to look Angela Carter up. The name rings a bell. I still have yet to read Jodi though, your last recommendation- even though I have two of her novels. One reason because i saw the movie adaptation ( my sister’s keeper) first and well quite frankly I’ll feel robbed of my imagination. So i’ll let my bad memory kick in and wait for that movie to fade from my consciousness before I’ll pick up the book.

      That class sounds awesome. Sigh. I’ll miss school. I got a shelf full of books to read in the meantime before that longing for school kicks in full blast though. Should be nice distraction.


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