Tag Archives: Shannon Delany

Bargains and Betrayals – Shannon Delany

12 Oct

So, you know when you’re reading a series and you’re thinking “Okay, not blowing me away, but not horrible either. Think I’ll keep going.”? I have to admit, that’s where I was with Shannon Delany’s 13 to Life Series, published by St Martin’s Press. If you read my review of the first two books then you know I had some issues with both of them.  But man, I frigging LOVED Bargains and Betrayals. I mean it. The issues I had with the first two books vanished. This was a kick ass, well written YA paranormal book.

The main issue I had with the first two books (don’t read any further if you haven’t read them) was the whole Pietr dating Sarah but smooching Jessie all the time story-line. I felt that it just didn’t groove with either Jessie or Pietr’s personality. I’m so beyond happy that that was taken care of at the end of the second book.

I also felt that the pacing was a heck of a lot more even in this book. Never once did I feel that things were happening way to face. Yes, things happened quickly, but it felt like it was the right speed.

I loved that the book switched from Jessie’s point of view to Alexi’s point of view. It really, for me, showed off Shannon’s mad writing skillz. Alexi’s sections were written so differently from Jessie’s, something that’s hard to do. But Shannon does it flawlessly. Never once did I get confused about whose section I was reading.

A lot of the mystery that’s introduced in the first two books is explained, but in no way are things wrapped up nicely. I mean, Holy cliffhanger. It left me yelling “Nooooo, I need to know moooooore!”

So, yeah, sometimes when you aren’t in love with a series, it pays to stick with it. Because I so can’t wait for the next book to come out.

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Secrets and Shadows – Shannon Delany

10 Oct

I wanted to love this book. But I didn’t. I liked it, though. For the most part. But, there were things in Secrets and Shadows that just made me kinda unhappy. If you haven’t read the first book but plan to, then read no further. I’m about to get a bit spoilerish on ya.

I really, REALLY had issues with the whole Sarah-Pietr-Jessie story line. To the point that I almost didn’t finish the book. I guess I just didn’t get it. Jessie said Pietr had to stay with Sarah as a favour to Jessie. But they still snuck around for a bit. Not a lot, but a bit. I thought it was mean. And childish. So, yeah, I really, really didn’t like this aspect of the book.

I also felt that the middle of the book was a bit of an info dump. There was A LOT of stuff thrown at readers and for me it just put the pacing of the book way, way off. Sure, it was information that we needed to know, but the quantity that was unleashed in a few chapters left me feeling unbalanced.

But the ending! Wow did it ever draw me in. A bit of a cliffhanger, as soon as I finished I immediately wanted to start the next book, Bargains and Betrayals. Which I did. So in the end, I’d have to recommend this book, especially after finishing the next one. (review to come tomorrow)

Thanks so much to St. Martins Press for the review copies.

Giveaway!!! ARC of Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany

1 Aug

Heya folks! Yeah, I know I said I was taking August off, but I have a wicked ARC giveaway that couldn’t wait. Up for grabs is one ARC of Shannon Delany’s Bargains and Betrayals. I LOVED the first book, 13 to Life and I’m about half way through the second, Secrets and Shadows. And when I’m done I have my very own ARC of Bargains and Betrayals that I’ll be digging into.

So, bet you wanna know how you can win, eh? Well, as always it’s easy as chocolate pie with a mile of whip cream (sorry, I’m having a craving). Just comment and let me know something fun you’ve done this summer. Or that you want to do. This is a short one and will be all wrapped up on the 4th of August. It’s also opened internationally. (YAY!)

Merci lots to St. Martin’s Press for the ARC. This is my first giveaway of a St. Martin’s Press book, I believe. Pretty cool.

MAX-imum Exposure interview and giveaway!

11 Feb

Welcome to the MAX-imum Exposure Tour for the 13 to Life Series!

Each site throughout the tour will have swag and an individualized interview with either Pietr, Max or both! Shannon has also included an audio download for each interview so you can hear the Rusakova boys!

And make sure you join us live at 11 am EST on 2/12 for a Blog Talk Radio event with host Barry Eva, Pietr, Max and Shannon! Go here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Across-the-Pond

Can’t make the live BTR event? Join us instead on 2/17 at 9pm EST for an exclusive chatroom chat with the boys over at the Mundie Moms (http://MundieMoms.blogspot.com).

I’m soo freaking happy to be today’s stop! The chance to ask hunky Max a couple of  burning questions? Oh, I was so there! Below is a transcript of my short but very, very sweet interview with Max. Wanna hear the sexy Russian for yourself? No worries, since I also have the audio version!

Colleen:
Hi Max! First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and have a little chat with me.

Max:
Happy to be hanging out with you, Colleen.

Colleen:
So, I’m going to start with the question that I’m sure is on all of my readers’ minds: boxers or briefs? LOL I’m just joking, no need to pretend to be embarrassed.

Max:
Hold on, Colleen. I am all about giving the girls what they want… Boxers or briefs? As an oborot I need to be a master of the quick change. So–commando.

Colleen:
Wow. Well, thank you for your honesty. With Christmas barely over and Valentine’s Day around the corner, I was actually wondering which holiday you prefer?

Max:
Christmas is great but I have an even bigger appreciation for Valentine’s Day. I have…a lot of love to share and there are a lot of girls that are more than happy to share some love with me. Valentine’s Day is a day to remember I’m a lover, not a fighter. I am a fighter, too, but I would rather spend my time–loving.

The giveaway!

Okay guys, Shannon was super nice and sent some cool swag my way to give to you guys. Up for grabs? An autographed mini Secrets and Shadows poster and an autographed 13 to Life postcard. I debated keeping these for myself, but I couldn’t do that to you guys. 😛

As always, if you want to enter to win one of these, you just have to answer a teeny, tiny question: if you could interview one YA lit guy, who would it be? Comment below before the 25nd to enter. Winner gets their choice and then I’ll draw another name for the remaining swag. Oh and it’s international. 🙂

Some info about Shannon:

Shannon Delany is the winner of the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world and the author of the 13 to Life series through St. Martin’s Press. 13 to Life is already available and Secrets and Shadows hits stores 2/15/11 with Bargains and Betrayals landing on shelves 8/16/11 (already available for pre-order!)and two more as of yet unnamed novels coming out in 2012.

For more about Shannon, visit her author website: http://www.ShannonDelany.com or her series website: http://www.13toLifeseries.com You can also find Shannon on Facebook and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Shannon_Delany

Want a fun freebie you can print out and use with a web-cam to make a bookmark much more than a bookmark? Go here and check out the Augmented Reality bookmark: http://ht.ly/3KgG7

Review: 13 to Life by Shannon Delany

31 Jan

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Released: June, 2010
Genre: YA paranormal, romance
Gifted from the wonder Bella.

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 more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more 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 town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…

From St. Martin’s Press website.

*This review is slightly spoilerish*

While it may seem like I drool over every YA book out there, it’s not true. Honestly. Each year there are actually only a hand-full of YA books that I must read or I’ll die a slow, painful, whinny death. Well, not really but that’s what it feels like. 13 to Life was one of those books that I desperately wanted to read. When Bella from Bella’s Bookshelf sent it to me as part of a book swap I was uber-excited. There may have been some screaming.

Any-hoo I pretty much instantly dug into it and I wasn’t really disappointed. Sure, there were a couple of things that niggled at me a bit, but they weren’t monstrous enough to make me not enjoy the book.

I loved the mystery surrounding the Rusakova family. Who were they? What was their story, really? From the moment we meet Pietr, it’s obvious the boy is hiding some deep, dark secret. And then we meet the rest of the clan, and, well, things get even more secretive.

Jessie was a solid female lead, but, well, she does some things that just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and seemed a bit mean. And here’s where the spoilery stuff comes in, so if you haven’t read the book you may not want to read the rest of the review.

Jessie likes Pietr. Pietr likes Jessie. But Jessie’s best friend Sarah also likes Pietr. So Jessie says she’s stepping back and tells Pietr to date Sarah even though he wants to date Jessie. He does. But then he spends the rest of the book sneaking kisses with Jessie and spending as much time with her as possible. Not really a nice thing to do to a friend. I mean, if you say you’re going to step back, then step back! I really liked Jessie and Pietr as a couple but I was put off by this weird love-triangle. The reason Jessie does this is explained, but I just didn’t think it was a strong enough explanation.

I also found the pacing a bit off at places. Things happened quickly and emotions and feelings changed in the blink of an eye. And before anyone says anything, I know teens can be moody little beasts, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I found at certain parts of the novel (like the Homecoming dance) that it went from crying to laughing to angry back to crying way too fast for me to feel vested in any of it.

With that being said, I really, really enjoyed 13 to Life. The plot and, like I said, the mystery of the story kept my attention. In fact, I stayed up until 4 am finishing the book in one sitting. It ended in a major cliff hanger and even though I’m on a bit of a book buying ban, I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, when it comes out in February.

Oh, and I in case you aren’t quite sure how much I liked this book, I’m also part of the MAX-imum Exposure Tour. On February 1tth, I’ll get the chance to interview Max, Pietr’s older brother. Tres cool.