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Secrets and Shadows: 13 to Life #2    by Shannon Delany order for
Secrets and Shadows
by Shannon Delany
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

High school girl (Jess Gillmansen), forbidden love, family of schoolmates (the Rusakovas) with a secret? Sound familiar? Secrets and Shadows (the sequel to 13 to Life) does have resonances with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, but its supernatural family is different. And Jess is important to them in some mysterious fashion.

The Rusakovas are werewolves who, instead of an immortal life, face an abbreviated one. The father was killed and the mother captured by the CIA. (Jess's dad is spending time with librarian Wanda, a CIA agent working undercover.) The teen werewolves (Max, Pietr, and Cat Rusakova) are desperate to save their mother, and they have the Russian Mafia on their trail too.

Jess loves Pietr but he has been dating her friend Sarah (who has a dark side and was responsible for the death of Jess's mother in a car accident). Pietr tries to push Jess away (for her own safety). Popular football player Derek, who is not at all what he seems on the surface, makes moves on her. Local teen suicides are on the rise. And her mother's ghost tells Jess to 'Beware.'

Though I found the story rather disjointed (and a little hard to follow without the context of the first book), it's a pretty exciting one. This episode ends on a horrifying cliffhanger. That, and various loose threads (like the new lunch program at school that seems fishy) will make readers anxious for what comes next in this busy paranormal series.

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