Series: 13 to Life #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 22nd 2010
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.
13 to Life is an interesting start to what could possibly be an amazing werewolf series. The novel kicks off really nicely by letting the reader get to know Jess. Her background, family, etc. She is a great character who only gets better once Pietr is introduced. Pietr and Jess have amazing chemistry. The kinda of chemistry that I love to find in Young Adult novels. It is honest, raw, and took time to build. Yes, there is that almost immediate spark. But it does not suddenly jump from spark to "I love you and cannot live without you." It is a slow burning passion that increases with time and familiarity between the characters.
Initially, I was completely captivated with 13 to Life. Fantastic characters, interesting plot and writing, and just enough mystery to keep me glued to the novel's pages. But as the novel went on, I found myself continuously wondering, "Where are the werewolves?" To be honest, there is very little werewolf action in 13 to Life. And when the werewolf appearances do occur, it almost feels like it is too little, too late. Now, I am not saying that I did not enjoy the werewolf experience, but rather, as a reader, I wanted less of the subtle hints, and more of the actual werewolf goodness.
Despite the lacking werewolf factor, 13 to Life was quite enjoyable. I thought Jess and Pietr have a wonderful and healthy relationship, regardless of some background drama, and have the possibility to become a favorite literary couple of mine. Where the series is going, I am not sure. It seems that 13 to Life is just one huge build up of things to come. And I am looking forward to the ride.