➵ [Reading] ➷ 13 to Life By Shannon Delany ➪ – Blockdiagramwiring.co
Sigh This had been on my tbr list for a while I really wanted to like it No, you don t understand, I REALLY wanted to like it I think that was the problem, I had my hopes up way too high.Mainly, this book annoyed me I don t know what in the world is up with love triangles I mean, was there a writers convention somewhere that sold authors on the idea that love triangles were going to be the next hottest thing If not a conference, then maybe a memo There had to be a memo I abhor love triangles my ode to Sarah.In real life, do people really think werewolves are an abomination Someone said that in the book, and I thought that was the dumbest word to use Really An abomination Speaking of real life, if the boy I was crushing on kept sneaking around with me, and then keeps telling me that he can t just break up with his girlfriend, I d start getting a little suspicious That whole cheating thing annoyed me and really it did NOT make sense.For most of the book Jess just annoyed me She was moody and mean and I did not get her reasoning for what she was doing at all She lied constantly She lied to herself, her dad, and her friends I didn t get Pietr That s all, I just didn t get him And if it was such a small town, I wonder why no one bothered to tell the truth to her friend Really, no rumors, no whispers Nothing I did like Amy, she had sense And I liked Annabelle Lee what a mouthful Though I often wondered why she was even in the story And don t think I didn t miss all those subtle and ridiculously obvious canine references he bristled , looked feral , and my mind howled , etc before the werewolves were revealed.Halfway through the book I realized that this was a series I could have sworn it didn t say it was a series when I added it There are a ton of questions left unanswered that will likely be answered later in the series There were things that I felt should have been resolved in this book Like why Derek was such a big part of the first half and then the author kind of dismissed him from the book ARGHHHHHHHHH I don t want to give spoilers but something happens in the end that annoys me If I had any need to read the next book, there it went down the drain The same thing happened in another book I read UGH It just got absurd WHY do they have to even include them I loved this book and I loved Pietr I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a super sweet romance with a dark mystery From the first moment we meet Pietr we just know that this guy is weird You knew from like the 2nd page what Pietr was Jessie is very bright She resists Pietr in the beginning, because she has this huge crush on this jock named Derek Derek is supposedly really hot, but Pietr hates him I know he was jealous because Jess liked Derek instead of him, but I think their might be to it Everyone kept warning Jess that Derek was evil under his beautiful face I kind of let my imagination get wild, and started thinking that maybe Derek is a vampire Maybe Pietr s family was quite a shock His older brother Max totally hot, I fell in love with the guy is funny, and his older twin sister Catherine by 2 minutes, haha is really nice His eldest brother Alexi Sasha is the guardian of the family His parents died a year before Pietr is the youngest Isn t that cuteThis book was frustrating at times, but mostly very sweet I had it finished the first day I got it So, read it You ll love it Psh I did. Everything About Jessie Gillmansen S Life Changed When Her Mother Died Now Even Her Hometown Of Junction Is Changing Mysterious Dark Things Are Happening All Jessie Wants Is To Avoid Change But Showing A Hot New Guy Around Junction High, She S About To Discover A Whole New Type Of Change Pietr Rusakova Is Than Good Looks And A Fascinating Accent He S A Guy With A Dangerous Secret And His Very Existence Is Sure To Bring Big Trouble To Jessie S Small TownIt Seems Change Is The One Thing Jessie Can T Avoid There was a time when I had real enthusiasm for these books now, I can barely summon the energy to write a review of one of them That s the problem with genre fiction The first few that you read are great, and then you read a few and the formula starts to smack you on the head Which ones you love just depends on which ones you read first This is especially true of Fantasy fiction, but even so for YA Paranormal Romance If I was a graph nerd, I could show you on a daggy graph how my enthusiasm has petered out the of these I read, each one getting less and less, the excuses I make for them getting fainter and fainter, the gaps between reading them longer and longer But I also want to be fair, and give a new author a go You never know, do you, what the next book you ll love will be And I DO enjoy some good ol paranormal romance, I truly do I m just becoming disillusioned with the whole not genre, but formula Even when authors try new things, it still feels like the same formula to me I don t even mind the formula, if the characters are strong enough and have enough chemistry to carry it If I care It seems like such a small thing to ask for.This one was purely a whim purchase that, and I d left my book at work and needed something to read on the subway home, so I stopped in at the bookshop to get one And thought, why not Let s try another one Are you familiar with the formula No It s quite straight forward New girl boy in school with a mysterious past and a Big Dangerous Secret that s oh so obvious from the beginning is either a vampire, a werewolf or has some other supernatural power Romance and sexual tension between Protagonist often with some tragedy in their past and Newbie begins suddenly but hits snags of Hesitation, Mystery, Poor Manners, Miscommunication, Rivalry and whatever else you can throw in Toss in some third party that s out for blood and there you have it yet another Young Adult Paranormal Romance Yes, I know, you can hear my jaded cynicism yes even my cynicism has become jaded like I said, I don t really have the energy to dust it with sugar It s not that the formula is particularly bad, even if it is repetitious and tiring worse than that, it feels like all these new YA authors are reading each other s books and learning bad habits from them They all feel like they re written by the same author The style is the same The characters are the same, or could be The story in 13 to Life is much the same as all the others Jess is the Protagonist With Some Tragedy in her Past her mother died in a car accident a year ago She lives with her father and younger sister, Annabelle Lee, on their property outside the small railway town of Junction, where Jess has taken over her mother s horse stud She s moderately smart and works on the school newspaper, and has been spending a lot of time researching reports of mysterious wolf prints in a neighbouring town I mention this specifically because I will come back to it.She s assigned to show a new boy around the school Pietr is an instant hit with all the girls in their classes, but Jess has eyes only for popular Derek who plays on the football team But having Pietr around constantly, sparks begin to fly For some reason that wasn t clear, Jess pretended not to be interested Her best friend Sarah latches onto him instead, and because Jess has made it her mission to help Sarah ever since Sarah was in an accident and changed , Jess tells Pietr to go out with her That s essentially the plot for most of the book As I m writing this, it sounds stupid and ludicrous and all my nagging problems with the story are only becoming stronger It doesn t help to learn that Delany originally wrote it as a cell phone serial I honestly don t know how to summarise this book to make it sound like it has a plot, or a plot that isn t entirely predictable, or just not ridiculous Pietr s a werewolf, and it s blatantly clear to us from the beginning but for some reason Jess, who narrates, can t see it Even when he tells her She s very good at not seeing, at not thinking.You know what else she was good at Manipulating people I sort of liked her although she seems to have been written as the antithesis of the Bella Swan character who comes across as passive and sweet to many people , but I really hate people who try to fix other people s lives, who make projects out of other people because they want to help them I know people like that you probably do too and they re bossy, patronising, emotionally manipulative, superior and repressive I can t stand people who only mean well it s no excuse In fact, people who only mean well often do damage than good, because they re really doing it for themselves.Well, Jess was one of those Sarah was her pet project, and I don t know what was scarier Jess or the truth about Sarah.I m holding back that truth because I don t want to spoil everything other reviewers have spilled the beans, if you really want to find out , but it does bring me back to the mysterious wolf prints I mentioned earlier What was Jess s interest in the crazy wolf stories anyway I mean, originally What was she looking for She seemed to be following a very specific train of thought, but it never materialised And when or how did Pietr know about this Maybe I just missed that detail It was all rather disjointed The story read fine at the time, but trying to think of it as a coherent whole after having finished it just doesn t seem possible There are way too many plot holes and inconsistencies in this book There are too many things that aren t explained not things that are deliberately not explained because it s Heavy and Deep and part of the Big Plot but things that are minor yet necessary to the overall forward momentum of the plot Like the mysterious wolf prints It begins by the author wanting to set up a bit of mystery, not give too much away all at once It ends by them forgetting to clarify things, and if there s enough of these little holes, the whole plot starts to look moth eaten before we ve even reached the Big Reveal i.e., the climax.I won t list them I didn t take notes while I read But I did notice them The story rushed on, heedless, and littered along the way I don t know why Pietr fell for Jess, what he saw in her, or what triggered it Just, all of a sudden, he became interested in her I didn t find Jess s attraction for him convincing either, and I didn t get why she kept stringing Pietr along and being such a cow another sign of her manipulative behaviour you only realise she s a cow later, upon reflection There were lots of things that didn t really make sense to me I don t get and maybe am not meant to what the title refers to except for some comments towards the werewolves life spans That annoys me, because it s the title AND the title of the series So it is rather important There is some good humour here though Amy, Jess s other best friend, is the wise cracking character I couldn t help but wish that she were the protagonist, though she was the only person to tell Jess that what she was doing to Sarah was wrong, and many other bits of wisdom, and I lost respect for Jess the she stubbornly held onto old decisions that no longer applied It became hard to feel sympathy for her which is a big problem I did like Pietr though He was sometimes a bit wooden, and I don t know what he saw in Jess, or why he would go out with Sarah at all and then be snogging Jess in the barn Yeah Delany skimmed over those scenes And then we came to the climax, and it got really ridiculous I won t tell you what it is because that would spoil the fun seriously, you ll laugh You re not meant to laugh, but it s hilarious I m dying to make a snarky remark, but I ll refrain For all the above, Delany s 13 to Life is not the worst in the genre that I ve read It s got lots to offer those new to the genre, and I can see where the author tried to do new things It can still be a fun read, but what kept me reading to the end was that I was waiting for something to happen It might have been better if Delany had gone the way ofTwilightand built up the relationship between the two main characters earlier, instead of theJessica s Guide to Dating on the Dark Sideroute whereby the main characters seem to hate each other until the very end why is that fun Instead I kept reading and wondering when Jess would finally find out that Pietr is a werewolf, and when it did happen it was quite the let down If I m going to read a cheesy book, I d like some cheese please Overall, it just wasn t very satisfying. This book was weird At first, I thought this was going to be some thriller where the Russian mafia is mentioned and there are werewolves I mean it does sound a little cheesy but it also sounded promising NOPE Instead, we are having to plow through Jess lying to her best friend so she can go under the bleachers and make out with Pietr The mafia was barely mentioned and the main plot didn t actually start until the very end I know that this happened so that we would go and get the second book but I don t see how this can be done in six books You can wrap this shit up in one book but gotta make the coin you know I picked up the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, and I realized I remembered almost nothing from 13 to Life, so I thought I d read it again What a mistake Rereading 13 to Life only reminded me of the three things I hated about it when I read the book the first time.1 LAMEST PLOT DEVICE EVER Jessie likes Pietr Pietr likes Jessie So Jessie unselfishly tells Pietr to be with her best frenemy, Sarah, because that s the honorable thing to do What is honorable about telling the boy you love and who loves you to be with your psychotic friend and then kissing him behind her back YA books seem to have to find a way for the lovers to be star crossed a reason why they can t be together but this is the WORST excuse I ve ever seen I can t be with you because my friend likes you Even though you don t like her So pretend you like her and I ll kiss you when she s not around Ugh.2 The events of this book take place over, like, two weeks I added up the days the first time I read 13 to Life, and the book spanned something like 2 3 weeks Love like that doesn t happen in two weeks I mean, Pietr s passionately kissing Jessie at the football game after knowing her TWO DAYS The love and attraction between Pietr and Jessie as claimed by the book would be much powerful if the story actually let them GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER FIRST They meet They re immediately in love With barely even any conversation.3 Pietr s secret isn t revealed until the final few pages, even though it s obvious to the reader within the first few pages This created really strange pacing So much of the plot is wrapped around Pietr finally revealing his secret to Jessie, but the author drags this plot point out for the entire book, and I grew impatient This should have been revealed much, much earlier the secret is TOO OBVIOUS to the reader, and I grew frustrated with Jessie for not realizing and with Pietr for not telling her I felt the story couldn t move forward until Jessie knew, but the big reveal didn t occur until the very end Much too late.Despite these issues, I will read the sequel Let s hope the author dumps the sham Pietr Sarah relationship and moves the story forward now that Jessie knows Pietr s secret. Ah, Goodreads First Reads program It was nice knowing you.Despite the high GR average, this is not a good book The writing is distractingly bad, so that I couldn t finish it and I devoured the Sookie Stackhouse series, where someone s penis is referred to as Mr Happy Sentences like I stepped forward, slipping between observers until I stood intimately close to Pietr, and before I realized what I was doing, my hand was touching a wicked looking scar that started at his side and twisted cruelly, racing raggedly across part of his abdomen, just below the ribs should not survive final edit in a professional publication The problems are glaring misuse of breathless syntax, a buttload of worthless adverbs, and it should be two sentences, at least and importantly, they re easily fixed So why weren t they It d be one thing if that were a momentary lapse, but it s not The prose disappoints throughout More examples No one lives forever, he said.He had no idea how well I understood that most simple and cruel fact.Even eliminating the word most from the 2nd sentence would be an improvement although I d kill the whole thing.We heard the roar of Pietr s motor grow dimmer, weaker distant Three adjectives that serve the exact same function, none of them interesting also, each at odds with the noun roar NyetI love animals, he said, but his tone made me think of the way I d say I love pizza No, his voice rumbled in his chest, deep with my ears so close You re right The words reminded me of Hunter s growl Hint He s a werewolf Really, really also deep with my ears so close Wha whaT In short, the bad writing choices are everywhere, smothering the story like kudzu.There are other things I don t like None of the characters felt 3 D The author tells rather than shows and shows when she should tell There s seriously written yet risible scene involving a mystical Matryoshka I am not kidding Pietr intersperses his excellent English with Da Nyet, which is what writers do when they are trying to show an accent It s justoh, not good. You probably already read a number of reviews on this book Some were bad, some undoubtedly great What would be the point of describing it once Let me introduce another view of the novel From the point of view of a person with Russian Ukrainian Polish background on the topic, well the main character supposedly belonging to the same ethnic group.OK, here is the deal It is possible for second third generation immigrants to transform their first and last names to something that doesn t make sense to people from their heritage group So as my husband said, it is possible that the Family Name at some point will become something like Rusakova which at this moment wouldn t be translated at all and would have to have been given to the family by a Mother very long time ago Imagine somebody s grandmother very young and proud of her ethnic background, most probably quite uneducated who came one day to a different country, a couple of months later had a bastard child a child without marriage, I mean and well, she could only give her son her last name Imagine her just giving birth to a baby boy remember a long, long time ago there was no epidural, there were no painkillers, no giving birth in a water kind of thing you were lucky to get a doctor and to be in a hospital , she s relieved, but very, very tired, somewhat in pain, and the doctor or a nurse is asking her to give name to the newborn baby, asking her about her last name and well writing it exactly as she had said it There you go, a male child with a female last name A mother dies soon enough and the child doesn t know better or is too attached to it to change anythingAs you see, it is possible in real life, but chances are, by the time her grandkids were born and grown the last name would have been transformed beyond recognition anyway.Coming back to our story, I don t think this is the case I only read about 25% of the book, but I can tell, that the boy is implied to know Russian, which means he couldn t have had an improper spelling of his last name And first one too, of course It is totally true that he could have used Peter instead of his original name to present himself just for the sake of it being easier on local people I also use an English version of my name instead of the one I ve used since I was a child, or instead of the Ukrainian version of it, that I have on my documents It is very true that Jessie would have tried to read his real name and would have undoubtedly had troubles with its pronunciation It is actually very, very true and quite funny I had a laugh or two reading that part It was exactly like some people would try to read my husband s name, or even my Russian and or Ukrainian name.What s Up With Names These are the Rusakovas a family name Rusakovy s if I would have translated the Russian surname This is Peter Rusakova Peter or Pietr OK, if you read it in Russian, that should be closer to o , something like Piotr, and of course Rusakov there would be no a in his last name in comparison to, say, Natali j a girl s name who would be Rusakova And here we come to the short name for Piotr, which in Russian would be something like Petia Instead the coach calls him Petey , which, I m sorry, I cannot even pretend to read Don t get it My brothers, Alexi Sasha and Maximilian It took me a while to count brothers the author mentioned THREE brothers, but there were FOUR boy s names all in all Or maybe, Sasha was their sister Nope Her name was Catherine Beautiful Catherine Anyway, there were THREE brothers, and TWO new names, not three as I thought in the beginning You see, my confusion arose from the sentence above Alexi sounds like the Russian version of Aleksei which could possibly be shortened to Alex without an i at the end And Sasha is short for Aleksandr or Alexander in English version of the name Apparently someone got confused here, because what was meant to be written is the person s full AND short name in one sentence Which should have been either Aleksandr Sasha or Aleksei Aliosha And Maximilian well, in general they don t call kids in Russia Maksimilian, it could have been Maksim or Maxim in English version Our sister The beautiful Catherine And now tell me why their sister s name is 100% English She s supposed to be Peter s twin, she s supposed to have the same parents, even be born the same day They all know Russian, so it would be only natural to assume that they ve been born in Russia, and with Peter having THE RUSSIAN name shouldn t she have one too If you d think so, then her name should have been something like Katerina with the short version Katia And yet we have what we have.Additional Facts About Russian Prosteetcheh, he said What was meant here is an apology word in Russian Which I would have written something like Prostite e at the end should be pronounced The problem is, people school kids, classmates would never say to one another Prostite , this is a polite form of the word which is usually used in a conversation between an adult and a kid, or maybe between two polite strangers not between schoolmates In this case it would be Prosti Eezvehneeteh, he whispered, breathing stirring my bangs and warming my face Boy, he s been breathing a lot Once again, it seems like Peter is talking to his teacher apologizing for stepping on one s foot If I ve been in the same situation as Peter, even if I was, for some strange reason using Russian, in my opinion, it s way faster and easier to say Sorry I would have said Prosti not Izvini Horashow Good, he said and here we come to another not quite right pronunciation of the word You see, if the Russian was reading it, he would have read all the letters in the word which is not supposed to be Or if you re an English speaking person, wouldn t you try to read the last part as show I most probably would The real Russian word would be Horosho which would translate to English so OK , than Good I tend to correct myself all the time using OK when talking to my friends abroad, just because it is easier, and they do know the meaning of the word, of course, English being so popular and all. Da Spahseebuh I could have understood it if Peter murmured the words, sort of talking to himself, in not expecting Jessie to understand or hear what he was saying kind of way This could be close, to make it sound Russian if you re reading it aloud, but if I was to write it, it would have been something like Spasibo Za udachu, she whispered OK, here s the deal You can drink Za udachu but you cannot wish someone luck like this You d say, plain and simple, Udachi Tsarina Ekaterina Hmmmm What was that Well, I mean I know she the author meant Tsaritsa Ekaterina remember, Peter s twin was supposed to have the same name, but she does not but what s Tsarina What s With All This Russian in All the Inappropriate Places I get it, I do The Russian blabber, I mean I sometimes use Russian words when I m not paying enough attention or am too tired to control myself The normal reaction to something like that is, yes, confusion of the person you re talking too Which leads to further apologies, translation, and continuation of the conversation in English It seems like Jessie wasn t confused at all by his Da and Nyet It s like she knows Russian, and doesn t have to question at least once to understand the meaning Here in Alberta a lot of people, and I mean A LOT, have come from either Ukrainian or Polish background, so they do naturally know simple words from those languages as well as some swear words as well as some words their grand mas used The problem is this book didn t give me the feeling that somebody in Junction, except for the Rusakovy family, had any Russian background whatsoever So naturally it surprises me that Jessie just understands Peter I mean, this can be happening between old friends, but not with a person you just met.I would have to agree though that using Russian words in the conversation between Peter and his brother, and other Russian speaking community would be very much appropriate, as it gives a realistic touch When we talk in our family we tend to mix and match instead of using one pure language Instead, they seem to only use simple words in Russian, instead of saying everything in it or at the very least using Russian for complicated words I find it harder to remember complicated words in English, and usually the first one that comes to mind is in Russian, then you re trying to translate it before actually saying the word Instead, things like OK , Thanks , Sorry are popping off of your tongue just like thatYou know what, probably the most accurate and appropriate use of Russian was for the word matryoshka I would have probably corrected an English speaking person on the real name for the thing , as well if written I d probably use the same letters You could consider using i instead of y but this is usually personal preference in Translit Writing which doesn t change pronunciation that much.This concludes my review of the book, which I didn t really hate or love that much I think it wasn t terrible especially when you know to ignore the Russian used I don t think though that the book inclined me to reading the rest of the series I just have too many wanna reads on my list to bother with the next book that will be so so I may be overly critical in this review Only because, I have read so many different stories similar to this one, especially ones that have been excellent reads The above statement is part of my problem with this book, it is only one of a thousand stories just like each other Nothing really setting them apart It s getting quite boring actually None of these books are sparking any real excitement for me any urrgh All these stories are all the same The plots all seem to follow some formula girl or boy falls for a vampire or werewolf There is some momentary drama in which some other person comes between the two lovers that same old, love triangle , then the two make their way back to one another There is also some small sub plot that can also interfere with the happily ever afterblahblahblah This book started to get interesting towards the end, but by then, I was already fuming from feeling like this was a another deja vu It s sad really, because, if I would have picked this kind of book up for the first time, I know I would have loved it Oh yeah, I m also really tired of the self sacrificing characters Oh poor me and I have to do this for the good of others urgh I m a good person, but I don t go around announcing it I said, I may be overly critical It s just I ve read some really amazing books and then, just okay book It gets frustrating because I love to read, but I want something different, even from my favorite genre I love vampire and werewolf stories, I want them, but with different scenarios and unpredictability Give me something fresh and new, please 1.5 I d gladly punch you in the face StarsI m going to go on a rant because I m pissed off I m pissed off because I m disappointed I m disappointed because this had so much potential, but it was all thrown away because the female lead is a complete and utter idiot Up until the 100 page mark, I was quite enjoying this the writing was engaging and I made allowances for the plot being a bit slow seeing as it s the first book in a series What started to tick me off was that the I read the I realised that there wasn t an actual plot and Jessie was a complete and utter judgemental hypocritical raging bitch who only thought about herself and yet everyone tiptoed around her like she was some spoiled delicate princess OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE SHE IS A TWAT And Pietr Well, let s see he COULD have been a decent male lead if he had any balls and bought a new set of eyes so he could see that Jessie was dragging him along like an abused puppy If she told him to lick her shit covered feet, he would have thanked her for the privilege, all while she carried on and on for half the book about how much she loved that stupid jock Why the fuck did he keep chasing her when she kept brushing him aside, then pulling him back, just to shove him away again Oh I like you and I like you Let s kiss No stop we cant cause my friend who killed my mother likes you so you need to be with her, but wait let s kiss again But no we can t Rinse and repeat Jessie not only wants her slice of cake but everybody else s too and when she makes herself sick from too much, she ll blame it on them for giving it to her.And let me say it again SHE S A RAGING BITCH.The plot well there wasn t one And it s only in the last 30 pages that our oh so amazing heroine discovers the stupid hero is a werewolf Give me a break And have I mentioned the stereotypes yet I think this book had every stereotype I ve ever heard of surrounding high school Cheerleaders are dumb bitches Nerds have thick black glasses, are scrawny and pale Everyone worships the jocks like they re gods And I haven t even talked about the Russians yet Argh.What makes this whole thing so frustrating is that this had real promise To get to 100 pages when nothing had actually happened and still be interested is a testament to how good the writing was But that was all that worked Maybe if you put this author with someone who can write a kickass heroine then you d have a best seller, but for now, I d save your time unless you like snide little bitches and books filled with copy and paste stereotypes.