Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life Series #2)

Secrets and Shadows - Shannon Delany Ever feel like you're missing something? I was constantly reminded that I'm not a Twi-Hard by the never-ending references to the Saga, especially Breaking Dawn (I think). How can the author refer to things imprinting -something to do with cementing a relationship? and not explain them enough for me, someone who only made it half way through New Moon, to understand what the heck you're talking about. I got the feeling that the editors went over this with a fine tooth comb so as not to have any lawyers screaming and suing. Referencing Meyer herself will probably stop them from shouting "Plagiarism!". It's all very well tipping your hat to a favourite book (Twilight and Blood and Chocolate) and movies (The Princess Bride) but you shouldn't really base your book on another where you're constantly referring to it -we usually save that sort of thing for non-fiction, essays and reviews.Despite similarities to "that damn series" this was a fast and easy read due to the engrossing writing. I can't be too positive about all of the characters though. I don't like Pietr, he's Edward in Jacob's werewolf body, ugh. The whole pulling away to keep you safe thing -gimme a break. The change in Derek's character was interesting but I'm finding it hard to reconcile his character in the two books because they're so different even though they're supposed to be. Was there any indication of what he is and what he was doing in the first book? Because I don't remember there being any. It kinda threw me but it made for good reading.The characters I like are: Max -I loved his undiscovered depths. Everyone assumes he's a man-whore but he's an adorable hero-in-the-making, Amy -the physical abuse by her boyfriend and the effect it had on her was very well done, Cat -her straightforwardness and her bravery, and Sophia -she's become really helpful and I'm guessing she'll be needed in the final instalment.As for Jess, I got annoyed with her for not putting things together faster even though her memories/actions/emotions were being manipulated. The clues were so obvious. Hello? Derek, derek, derek. Blood, blood, blood. Simple.Dr. Jones was odd at the end. It was stupid for Jess to spill her guts like that to a stranger when she knew there was stranger-danger. I'm guessing Dr. Jones is pretty high up in The Company if even Wanda was shocked by her roughness. Why not tell her sister instead? She's a smart girl who isn't asking questions, and why not? Plenty of suspicious activity going on around her and she doesn't notice? Hmm. Hopefully she and her father will finally be clued into the situation in the next book.I'm so glad Bargains and Betrayals is coming out in August, I hate unfinished stories. Thankfully this is a trilogy which is good because I really dislike the near-cliffhangers.