Monday 14 March 2016

REVIEW: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

Pages: 418
Format: ARC Paperback
Publisher: Gollancz
Genre: Thriller/Crime
Release Date: February 18th 2016
Buy The Book: Amazon UK
I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don't remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this - it wasn't an accident and I wasn't suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you're a teenage girl, it's hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I'm sure of it. But that doesn't mean they didn't try to kill me. Does it?

My Thoughts:
This thriller of a story begins after the events that follow the death of sixth form student Natasha. She is pulled out of a freezing cold river one morning and resuscitated after being dead for thirteen minutes. As Tasha tries to figure out how she ended up in the river, she gets back in touch with her ex-best friend Becca, who came to visit her at the hospital out of concern for her former friend. As the pair try to solve the mystery of what happened, there are new twists and turns to be discovered at every chapter. 

It’s not often that I read YA thrillers, so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this book, but it left me promising myself to pick up more stories like it in the future. I was completely gripped from the first couple of chapters. The characters are all interesting, and sometimes chilling, but I highly enjoyed getting to know more about their individual stories. Becca was such a believable character. She wasn’t perfect and her flaws were evident, but that made her all the more realistic. The writing of teenage female friendships in this novel was great in showing how toxic they can quickly turn.  

What I really adored about this story was the way that it was told. It wasn’t presented in a single narrative. Whilst a large part is told in third person, the book changes it’s style throughout, telling the reader what happened through police reports, transcripts of counselling sessions, diary entries, and sometimes even texts. It’s not a style I’d usually enjoy reading, but it worked brilliantly for this particular story and added to the overall tone. 

There’s always more to figure out in this book. The minute I thought I knew what was going on, something else was thrown into the mix that made me wonder where the plot was heading next. The final few chapters, when it’s clear what had really happened, were tense to read, throwing the characters into a thrilling race against time. And the ending was spectacular. Utterly creepy, but amazing. 

Whilst 13 Minutes is being marketed as a YA novel and follows teenage characters, this is definitely a book that can draw in adults just as much. It’s a beautifully crafted story, telling a sinister tale that grips you from the very start. Like I mentioned before, it’s definitely encouraged me to pick up more thriller and crime YA books in the future!

Royal Rating:


  1. Great review! I just saw this one on goodreads the other day and it certainly grabbed my attention. I love a good thriller now and then. :)


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