Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangeorus than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like an legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother's time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn't dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal Pietr's made could mean the death of far more than his tenuous relationship with the girl he loves.
After reading the first two books in the 13 to Life series, I'm going to admit to you all here that I wasn't a huge fan from the very beginning. The first book was an okay read for me but offered nothing really special nor unique to the paranormal YA genre (again what doesn't lately), and as far as the sequel goes . . . things just got worse for me as I trudged through this complicated journey of Shannon Delany's. But since I like to stick with a book series just to stay, wait and hope for better things for the storyline's sake - you know give the book the benefit of the doubt, I decided to go against my thoughts (since I actually refused to read this book but I then changed my mind) and give this third book another try to understand what other readers were seeing and praising about. And judging by the majority of the reviews on goodreads, it was either an 'okay read' for them or an 'absolutely brilliant read', however for me I just couldn't see what they saw unfortunately.
BARGAINS AND BETRAYALS, the third installment of the 13 to Life series, wasn't the worst book in the series - as it certainly got better in certain parts of the book - but it started off with a bad beginning which isn't a good thing obviously. Same goes with the entire book. The story was slowly-paced, there was nothing really exciting happening, there was far too little of life in the main characters let alone with the supporting cast, and there was a dual perspective told between the main character and another supporting character which I found had a greater effect on my low star rating than the storyline itself. Not only was this supporting character's perspective - unfortunately - boring but it just didn't make sense having that certain character's view on the world and it was quite a shame considering I usually like dual perspectives.
As much as readers love Jessie and Pietr, the main characters of the book, but my interest in them only dwindled far more in this book. Just when I thought these two characters were in a solid relationship and were going to support one another through these rough times in the book, there was just more and more of poor decision making made from them, and they rarely listened to logic which frustrated me a lot. Jessie for example was a strong girl in the first book, 13 to Life, and she may be your average teenage girl, but in this book I was very disappointed in her actions and thoughts. She was love sick and while it's good to be in love and all that shiz, but really? What's with all the melodrama? Where's the dangerous twists and lies that I was expecting? I miss the old Jess.
When it comes to another important and central character of the storyline, again nothing improves either with Pietr's character, Jessie's one and only love interest. Oh Pietr . . . you give me the creeps even though I admire you - even just a little - in the previous installments. But my main problem in Pietr's case was that his thoughts were constantly all over the place, and all he thought about was his downstairs department rather than using his head on the most dangerous and the most twisted of all situations. Yes, you know what I mean there readers and don't take it lightly. I mean, Pietr was too pressuring and dominating when it came to Jessie and I didn't like that one bit. And really, Jessie shouldn't have to give in so quickly to Pietr's frustrations because that boy needs a leash . . . seriously. So when combining a complicated girl with a very frustrating-bossy-but-also-complicated boy things just . . . don't work out for them. On the plus side though, while I did enjoy having some questions answered in this book and enjoyed some dialogues exchanged between the supporting characters, but the story shouldn't be about them . . . it should focus more on the main characters and loving them more and more than the supporting ones featured in this book. After all, the main characters's roles are to drive the novel in the right direction and make us readers care about them. But I guess it just wasn't the right read for me and whether or not I decide to will myself in reading the fourth book . . . I guess I'll just let fate decide for me when the time comes around.
Overall, readers should not feel discouraged about my review nor my book rating because clearly there are plenty of other readers out there whom loved this book and even the characters inside of it. The storyline in BARGAINS AND BETRAYALS maybe insane and leave you saying, "Oh no they didn't! Really?" but if you love some decent melodrama, some crazy scenes that come out of the ordinary, or if you have the love of the 13 to Life book series, then this book right here will be perfect for you!