Tuesday, December 28, 2010

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

A while ago I read that one of the biggest trends in publishing for young adult readers is romance novels with a supernatural creature (think Twilight) In the last several months, I've read many books that fit this theme: Fallen, Crescendo, Hush, Hush ,and Shiver In continuing this thread- I read 13 to Life today (gotta love the holidays!)
After her mother's death a few months ago, Jessie's life has been very different. Her father and her younger sister have been trying to hold onto her mother's dream of having a successful horse farm. Things are difficult, but Jessie is managing to move on with her life.
When Pietr Rusakova moves into town, Jessie is assigned to show him around school. At first, she finds him frustrating and annoying, but she is slowly drawn into his mysterious ways. As they start spending more and more time together, the two of them find themselves attracted to each other. However, there is a problem of Pietr's family and Jessie's best friend Sarah who really likes him. Jessie trusts Pietr even when all signs are pushing her away, but that trust is pushed to the limit when Pietr reveals a secret that the rest of his family wants kept secret.

This book follows the same formula as many of the other romance novels. There is always an absent (or dead) parent, an attraction, a secret and many many complications. I liked the character of Jessie and also Pietr- both are individuals who are strong and real. I found there were a few unexplained issues in the story. The character of Sarah and the relationship to Jessie was explained, but not really developed. There was also a new love interest for Jessie's father that seemed odd and ended up unresolved as well. Of course in February the sequel comes out and will hopefully answer many of these questions.

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