Review | Sarah Pinborough’s 13 Minutes

Sarah Pinborough’s 13 minutes; A book that makes me glad I was a complete dork in school.

What can I say in this review without giving away all the twists and turns of Sarah Pinborough’s YA thriller, 13 Minutes. Its good, really good. Go buy it.

Natasha, the it girl of her school, is pulled from an icy river after being dead for 13 minutes. She survives, but she knows, this was no accident. Not knowing who she can trust anymore, she teams up with ex best friend Becca to help her piece together what happened, but the truth could be more shocking and dark than the icy water Natasha was pulled out of.

The first comparison you’ll probably here about this book is that its Mean Girls with attempted murder. While this comparison is not inaccurate I think it over simplifies an incredibly gripping and complex crime novel. The book explores complex friendships but with the attempted murder looming over the story, bringing a weight to the events in the book as well as the actions for characters. Too often when media focuses on female friendships, especially the more toxic variety, the often hurtful actions girls can do to each other are just passed off as “Bitchez be Cray”, but here they are treated as if they’re part of a meticulous plan. Each action a character makes has a not only a consequence, but a reason behind it. With the book expertly using POV type chapters, mixed in with diary entries and interviews as well as news-paper articles, the reader is always on edge and always guessing, sometimes dreading what’s coming next.


While classed as a YA, this book deserves to be taken as seriously as any other best-selling Crime fiction. Pinborough’s characters are all at once relatable, sympathetic, at times even punch-able , but most of all terrifyingly real.

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