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13 Minutes

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13 Minutes

416 pages, Paperback

First published February 18, 2016

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About the author

Sarah Pinborough

76 books6,019 followers
Sarah Pinborough is a New York Times bestselling and Sunday Times Number one and Internationally bestselling author who is published in over 30 territories worldwide. Having published more than 25 novels across various genres, her recent books include Behind Her Eyes, now a smash hit Netflix limited series, Dead To Her, now in development with Amazon Studios, and 13 Minutes and The Death House in development with Compelling Pictures. Sarah lives in the historic town of Stony Stratford, the home of the Cock and Bull story, with her dog Ted. Her next novel, Insomnia, is out in 2022. You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @sarahpinborough.

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5 stars
4,056 (25%)
4 stars
6,477 (40%)
3 stars
4,178 (25%)
2 stars
1,129 (6%)
1 star
308 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,129 reviews
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,402 reviews988 followers
October 4, 2015
13 minutes is a brilliantly constructed YA crime novel – and psychological thriller- that has some incredibly fascinating characters, that magical Sarah Pinborough touch when it comes to getting all up inside your head and is also as addictive as chocolate. More. More addictive than chocolate.

Tasha is pulled from the water and revived – she can’t remember why or how she ended up there but is starting to distrust her closest friendships. She turns to her ex best friend Becca to help her discover the truth, but the truth could be darker than either of them can imagine.

Teenage female friendships – can be some of the closest and most intense of our lives, with 13 minutes Sarah Pinborough casts a wry and realistic eye ( and a very twisted one but then there is an absolute truth in that somewhere) over this and gives us added intrigue. I seriously could not bear to put this down until I found out what had happened to Tasha that night next to the river and why. There are some really insightful observations along the way and boy some of this is thought provoking and pretty scary but madly excellent reading with the kind of twisted dark heart that really appeals to me.

It is a tangled web, gorgeously done to get maximum impact every step of the the way – Ms Pinborough always uses language to the best effect, digging you into the narrative and gripping tightly every step of the way. This is no exception, 13 minutes was impossibly good at just enveloping you into the lives of these girls and those around them. The ending was typically haunting and overall this was, well, just damn terrific. One of my favourites of the year.
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
393 reviews675 followers
April 29, 2018
I’m going to have to stay away from ‘mean girl’ type books I think. At least for now anyway.

I can’t remember the last time I was this indifferent to absolutely every single character in a book like I was here.

There were a lot of words on pages yet characters still pretty much one dimensional for me. The second half got bit better but nothing can save the repetitiveness of the middle.

Quite a letdown I would say. Especially considering how beautiful that cover is.

rating: ★½

Profile Image for Melisa.
324 reviews516 followers
October 26, 2017
Sarah Pinborough REALLY caught my attention with Behind Her Eyes (because, you know, #wtfthatending), and I was wondering if it was a one time deal, but after reading this book I actually want to go catch up on her entire back catalog of books. Yes, it was that good.

This YA story relies heavily on today’s use of social media and technology in bullying. I am both at once thankful that I grew up during a time when this didn’t exist yet, yet also extremely frightened for my children. I have read a great deal of studies recently how depression and suicide in teens has skyrocketed due to the use of social media, and this is a tale that exemplifies how technology plays a large role in teenage drama, albeit one to the very extreme.

Although I did figure out the twist, it was still a very entertaining read. If you’re someone who needs likable characters to enjoy a book, you may want to pass on this one! Everyone here is highly flawed, on different levels, which for me personally made for a highly dramatic read.

The ending wasn’t my favorite, but it definitely concluded in a Sarah Pinborough fashion.

This is technically classified as YA, but it contains some very mature themes - I would recommend it, but for mature adults only.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
682 reviews1,046 followers
July 15, 2020
“They were just leftover pieces of a puzzle she couldn’t quite put together and she’d be stuck forever with the feeling that everything was very, very wrong.”

Seriously unlikable characters, but a fantastic twist.
Also Biscuit the dog is the hero in this book!

So, whilst reading this book I was leaning towards 3 stars. I hated everyone. Tasha - the girl who was found almost drowned in the river and was technically dead for 13 minutes - is absolutely insufferable.
Becca - Tasha’s ex best friend is no better. She spends all her time moping about how Tasha and her ‘Barbies’ ditched her because she wasn’t pretty or skinny enough. You’d think because of this she’d know how to treat people better but she treats her so called ‘best friend’ Hannah like absolute shit.

So I was meandering along feeling grumpy and angry at all these stupid teenagers. But I just couldn’t stop reading!! Yes they are all nasty and vindictive - even Aiden was just a massive twat, but I NEEDED to know the truth about what happened to Tasha.

And when the big reveal comes, although I kind of guessed it I was still thoroughly impressed. Very well done.

So if you like teenage drama, mean girls on crack and addictive writing then pick this one up!
Profile Image for Karl.
3,258 reviews256 followers
March 4, 2016
Although "13 Minutes" by Sarah Pinborough is marketed as YA I hope it reaches a much much wider audience. The story concerns itself with mainly four or five sixteen year old girls and just how nasty and horribly they treat each other .. Think "Mean Girls" mixed with a healthy dose of mystery woven expertly through the well written plot.

The title "13 Minutes" refers to a young girl Natasha, whose friends call her 'Tasha', who is found floating in a freezing river by a man walking his dog early one morning. As the Paramedics arrive on the scene they discover the girl is still alive, though she had been dead for thirteen minutes.

We learn how this incident impacts Tasha's friends and their families through the eyes of those around her. We learn of the vicious interplay to be in with the 'in crowd', the backstabbing, manipulation and bullying that takes place among the characters. Ms. Pinporough makes it real and at times poignantly brutal.

As the layers of truth unfold, and we learn secrets hidden by the girls, we discover just how little the characters know about each other and themselves. The story is told in turn by the characters narratives, police reports, newspaper clippings, text messaging, and doctor reports, to tell an excellent and thought provoking story of just how hard it is growing up in these modern times of texting, facebook, cell phones and the complexity of coming of age.

I didn't think that I would enjoy this book as much as I ultimately did. And that shows the spectacular ability of Sarah Pinborough's ability.
Profile Image for Dan.
572 reviews44 followers
February 24, 2023
Suspenseful thrillers, modern retellings of fairy tales, and now young adult fiction? Is there anything literary that Sarah Pinborough can’t exceed at? Answer: No.

Although this is fine for the YA audience, as someone who’s no longer a teenager, this book is also suitable and there’s no condescension or skimping on the craziness that Sarah P thrives on.

The author adeptly uses the differing points of view. The world of teenage females is full of minefields that we navigate along with main characters.

No matter how tangled the web she manages to weave, Sarah Pinborough takes it apart piece by excruciating piece in an expert manner. As always, by the end, the reader is saying to themselves, “Oh! That’s why…” “Now that makes sense” etc…it’s all drawn together in a beautifully disturbing package. What makes this book scary is that its premise and the events that transpire are not that out there at all; it’s frighteningly realistic.
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,239 followers
November 28, 2017
But whatever Becca said now might come back on her in bitchy subtweets and status updates and knowing looks. Words ran like barbed wire around the teenage community of this small town, ready to scratch and tear and snag you.

What struck me most about 13 Minutes was the dark, gritty, toxic reality of female friendships displayed here. Girls can be such bitches in high school (because that's the age we're talking here). They backstab without thinking (or better yet, not caring) of who they are hurting, fake it till they make it, have those they just need to be friends with completely willing to drop whoever to make it happen, manipulating others to get what they want & they will change to be who others want them to be. This book took me back to a place I never wanted to go back, but I was safely on the other side of the pages while the girls in the story didn't have the option to sit back and watch unscathed.

Seventeen year old Tasha Howland was dead for 13 minutes before being pulled out of the river by a man walking his dog. She has no memory of what happened leading up to her ending up in the water. Was it a suicide attempt? Did someone push her intentionally? Was it an accident all together?

Tasha is part of a clique referred to as the Barbies. Hayley & Jenny are her best friends. All three are popular blondes. Hayley & Tasha used to be friends with Becca until they dropped her for Jenny. Now Becca, ever the outcast, is being pulled back in by Tasha. Hayley & Jenny hate it, but they have been texting in secret since Tasha's accident. What are they hiding? And why does Tasha want to be friends with Becca all of a sudden? Did those 13 minutes change her that much?

The format works really well with POV's from both Becca and Tasha, as well as Tasha's journal entries, text messages, consultation transcripts, case files, newspaper articles, etc. The main perspective is from Becca, though we get a well-rounded view of Tasha's perspective through her chapters, journal entries, etc. I enjoyed the way Pinborough chose to write this novel. It added a great deal of suspense, allowing for a more twisty novel and even some great unreliable narrator moments.

My one complaint is I would've liked a better ending. It was good. I still wanted more.

For those who enjoy a YA mystery and strong psychological thriller, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up. Especially if you love teenage, mean girl type drama on top of that. The writing is excellent. I can see adults enjoying this one a lot. May be a little too mature for the younger end of the YA spectrum.

Oh and this is going to be on Netflix. So that's a bonus!
Profile Image for kate.
1,107 reviews922 followers
January 11, 2018
I have very mixed feelings on this book. On the one hand, it was an intense, gripping thriller that kept me guessing from start to finish. On the other hand, I disliked every single character. They were nasty, cruel and I didn't care for them at all but I'm assuming that was mostly intentional, considering the book. There were also examples of homophobic and ableist language being used and the constant focus on weight, dieting etc was something I didn't enjoy in the slightest. Trivialising and demonising eating disorders and mental illness doesn't add anything to a character or plot and I'm 100% over it. So yeah, I don't really know how to feel about this one. I was close to putting it down at times but my intrigue and need to know got the better of me. Overall, I enjoyed the mystery and the psychological thriller aspect. It's rare that I don't predict the ending but if you're going to pick this up, I'd definitely be aware that there are regular instances of potentially hurtful and upsetting language.

(TW: Eating Disorders, Ableism, Homophobia, Slut Shaming, Body Shaming, Trivialisation of mental illness such as eating disorders and suicide)
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,561 reviews261 followers
January 3, 2021
“Boys are dogs. Women are like cats. Individuals by nature. We are not pack animals.”
― Sarah Pinborough, 13 Minutes

This is.....quite a story.

I found this book when reading reviews of another. I had finished and reviewed the book "Little Monsters" and was reading other reviews and a few people mentioned this book and how the stories had things in common.

I liked this one over Little Monsters though. I mean..I enjoyed both but I ADORED this one.

So...what to say? So much! Half this review will be without spoilers and half with.

Without spoilers first:

Tasha has been revived. She was found in the water, nearly frozen to death. Actually scratch that. She WAS frozen to death. She died for....13 minutes.

She was saved. But her mind is empty. She cannot remember anything. She does not know how she came to be where she was found.

Becca is Tasha's former beast friend. A Sassy rocker chick, Becca grew up with Tasha. The girls were best friends.... until...inevitably..school played its cruel games.

Becca wasn't "cool" enough for Tasha so she dumped Becca for two other girls...the Barbies. They are called that for reasons I do not need to explain.

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Tasha did not just "happen" to be in the water. Someone put her there. Could it possibly be her "friends"?

OK..No more! I do not want to give ANYTHING away. Before I go on, I will agree with many who said this maybe about teenagers and classified as YA, But it is way more of an adult book and I do not recommend it to people to young.

So this is a deeply edgy and just spell binding work that was incredibly written. It is about secrets and cliques and games and deceit and how we fool others...

but it is also about how we fool ourselves. I think it is about that, to an extent, even more.

If I were to recommend this I would certainly bring up Megan Abbott because this book reminded me of her and I think fans of hers would really appreciate this. Also if anybody reading this has Read "The Dangerous Girls...one of my all time favorite YA mysteries...it shares some things in common with that one too.

This is an eerie read that contains all my favorite things about mysteries. It is dark. And it has such depth of characters. It really isn't THAT over the top. This is the same writer who wrote "Behind her eyes" which I rated a one. Sorry to the author if she ever sees this but I was so upset bu that book and the bait and switch.

None of that here. Oh..you most likely will not guess where the plot is going. Maybe after you are into about 70 percent of the book but most likely not before then.

Now I must use spoilers to explain why I Did not rate this a five. So if you have an interest in reading this please stop reading my review now.


The ending in some ways blew me away. One of the creepiest scenes in modern YA History at least as far as I have read.

Yet I was let down too. I really needed some follow up. I find this so much in mysteries. Loose ends. And also just..what happens to people?

Were the two barbies freed? Did Jenny regain her sanity? Did Becca and the jerk get back together? (I hope not). WHO was that in the water with Tasha?

Did she suffer from multiple personality disorder? Was that her (even darker) side? A super natural event? Revenge for what she did to everybody? To Hannah?

Can someone who has read this book either PM me or post below on here their thoughts on the ending?

I would somehow like to see a part two of this. I also heard this was on Netflix and I'd like to hear feedback on how it was.

This is not a book I will forget anytime soon and I loved it. A strong four stars from me and highly recommended to mystery fans.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,086 reviews1,510 followers
September 9, 2017
One morning a man is out walking his dog when the dog seems to see something to get him worked up so investigating further the man comes across a young girl in the icy water. When he sees the girl move a bit he jumps into action calling for help and jumping in to save her and perform CPR until the authorities arrive and take over.

After being revived Natasha has no memory of what landed her in the freezing water that morning that lead to her being dead for thirteen minutes. She really can't remember anything leading up to the event for the day and a half prior. Just what had happened that morning has everyone talking and Natasha wondering who she can trust.

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough is a young adult mystery/thriller read. The story changes the point of view between a couple of characters but is also told through things like text message, a psychiatrists note and case notes from the police as Natasha's and another incident is investigated. Natasha and her other two friends are known as the Barbies and a bit of a mean girl clique that lived up to the mean and really weren't all that likable.

Now for me going into a story knowing the characters are portrayed as the popular mean girls I felt that I should have at least fallen in love with the character of Becca. Becca had been an older friend of the girls that was dropped from the group for not being cool enough for them. But to be honest I didn't even find her that likable and some of the actions of all of the characters just had me shaking my head.

In the end I found this one to just be on the OK side since I didn't really connect with anyone in the story and then in the end I didn't actually find the wrap up to be that shocking. It wasn't a bad read just for me it will be on the forgettable side unfortunately.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
208 reviews126 followers
December 3, 2018
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Flatiron Books, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Opinion: *Sigh*…do you feel it guys? October is coming. Oooooh the leaves are beginning to fall; it's starting to smell like brisk air and dying trees! Girls are buying pumpkin spice lattes, and those lovely goths and wiccan’s are patiently waiting for Halloween. So here I am, giving the gift of words to put you in the mood of October…if you haven’t yet transitioned. A story with drownings, blindsides, almost decapitation (I’m exaggerating) and skanky girls!

AH! Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit quite like attempted/actual murder and scandal! Oooooo…spirit fingers!

It was a shock to everyone when the body of Natasha Howland was found washed up on an embankment, but an even bigger shock to find her alive. With no recollection of how she ended up in the water that night, Natasha tries desperately to find out what happened to her. With the return of her former best friend Becca, they work together to try and make sense of what the police have found out thus far. But with Natasha’s best friends Jenny and Haley acting strange, she begins to think that they might have something to do with what happened to her. Only time will tell what really happened that night, and only Natasha knows the truth.

I must say Ladies and Gents, this one will keep you guessing. This read will pull you in and keep you interested, in more ways than one! The obvious is the mystery of how poor Natasha ends up in the freezing water that night, which caused her to die for 13 minutes. But little does the reader know that s**t is about to get REAL. This book has it all! Some light drug use, a reenactment of Mean Girls, psycho girlfriends, stoners, adults behaving VERY badly, manipulation at its FINEST, and a dose of that good ol’ murder! Oh! Can you feel the tingles?! I sure can. I love a bundle of characters that makes me yell and curse out loud. I found myself rooting for every character at one point, but suddenly…everything began to shift. But just when I was about to shout “AAHHHHH HAH”, it all shifts AGAIN! These b****es are sneaky guys, very sneaky.

After Natasha wakes up in the hospital, the doctors report that she can’t remember the events that led up to her accident. We start to see her best friends, Haley and Jenny, acting strange and secretive, and Natasha even asks for Becca while in the hospital. This starts to feel as if everything is being set up and made too obvious from the very beginning, but thankfully that isn’t the case AT ALL. The author made sure to have the reader suspect each character for at least a moment, and I found myself being suspicious of EVERYONE. I couldn’t help but think the worst, but even I wasn’t thinking bad enough. I was NOT expecting any of these things to happen, and I loved it!

Characters. Well, to put it simply. Natasha is Queen Barbie for a reason, Becca is acutely annoying and desperate, Aiden is just a pansy, and Haley and Jenny are interesting…especially Jenny when she goes a little nutty. There are a few other characters who have some roles that I could mention, but they just don’t really seem to matter much (sorry guys). This story flips back and forth between Becca and Natasha, obviously our lead female characters in this story. Becca and Natasha used to be best friends, but Natasha dropped Becca a few years prior. Becca is considered a bit of a loner at school, while Natasha is in the popular crowd. She seems to have a decent head on her shoulders, meaning she doesn’t seem like the typical conceited popular girl. I started out favoring Becca, but halfway through the story that changed. As soon as Becca started acting needy and psycho, I just couldn’t stand her. The girl needed to CHECK herself. Pull in those emotions sweetheart, they’re all over the place!

Overall, this book really surprised me. I was expecting a flimsy YA read with some drama and overzealous characters, but what I got was so much more! I am so impressed with how this author was able to trick me so many times, and it kept me interested and reading. These characters are all VERY twisted and insane in their own way, but strangely normal at the same time. How the book unfolds itself is truly something special. I am SO glad I requested to read and review this one. Please keep in mind that this is for an older YA group of readers, as there is a lot of adult themes and situations that happen. This is not for a preteen! This is a great story to get you into the mystery/thriller stories as we get closer to Halloween, enjoy!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,414 reviews7,409 followers
January 29, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“What’s the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?”

First things first for all of you who have been following along . . . . .

IT’S A MAJOR AWARD! I read the required five selections for the Winter Reading Challenge and since I have no ability to limit myself – especially when it comes to mysteries and thrillers, I have a whole bunch more checked out/on hold at the library.

13 Minutes came on my radar due to a comment my friend Erica left somewhere (maybe Without Merit???? I can’t even remember my children’s birthdays without a reminder pop-up at this point so there’s zero chance I’m going to recall what YA selection we were talking about when this came up). The story here is about “the Barbies” a/k/a The Most Popular Girls In School . . . .

Natasha, Jenny and Hayley used to spend their time handling important issues such as . . . . .

And making sure their classmates always remember who rules the school . . . . .

But when Natasha - the leader of the mean girls - is found in an icy river, everything is turned upside down. Did Natasha attempt suicide? Or did someone try and kill her? If so, who??????

I’m completely baffled that Erica enjoyed this more than me. We must have pulled a real Freaky Friday because normally something like this would be right up my alley and she would be the one to poo-poo it. I guess my main issue was that I’ve read the twist contained in the pages of 13 Minutes a time or twelve before and I’ve read versions of it that were executed way better than this. At minimum, at least those other stories didn’t drag the glaringly obvious “whodunit” out for 100 flipping pages. It probably didn't help that the other book I read by this author kind of blew my mind. So even though this should have been a big winner for me it ended up being just “meh.”

Parental Guidance Warning: All these children do is drugs and have sex . . . .

Book #6 in the library’s Winter Reading Challenge

Profile Image for Kristy.
1,003 reviews142 followers
October 12, 2017
When they pull Natasha out of the river, she's been dead for thirteen minutes. Thirteen dark, cold minutes. It's amazing the teenager even lives; in fact, it's just pure luck that a man and his dog stumble upon her and pull her from the river's icy clutches. Tasha, as she's known, has no memory of how she wound up in the river, but she knows it wasn't intentional on her part. In fact, she's pretty sure two of her closest friends, Hayley and Jenny, had something to do with it. The two seemed weird in the days leading up to the incident. The trio of beautiful, popular girls--known as "the Barbies" at school--were supposedly the best of friends. But after the accident, Tasha feels drawn to her former friend, Becca, whom she dropped in middle school. Becca isn't sure why Tasha is suddenly being so nice to her. Tasha isn't sure either. And no one is exactly sure how or why Tasha ended up in that river.

I've never read a novel by Sarah Pinborough before, and I was pretty impressed. She's a great writer, and she certainly knows how to capture the voice of the teenagers within the pages of her novel. I don't think I realized this book would be quite so YA, if that makes any sense. I kept waiting for there to be a bit more to the story than teenage politics, but it's truly sort of a Pretty Little Liars-type tale. That's not to say it's not well-done. It may have just been a tad bit young for me; still, it's an excellent novel and would be a truly wonderful read for most teens, too.

Part of the novel's brilliance comes in its format. It's told from the point of view of Becca and Tasha, but we also get excerpts from Tasha's diary; case files from the Inspector on Tasha's case; notes from Tasha's psychologist; texts between the teens; and more. I enjoyed the format, and it was quite effective at building suspense and tension.

Because, wow, yes, the book is certainly tense and compelling. You're constantly wondering how reliable our teenage narrators are and questioning everything that happens. Now, as mentioned, there's a lot of teenage drama. A LOT. These teens are truly a little scary, and this was yet another book that makes me a tiny bit frightened for my five-year-old daughters to grow up. My goodness. At times, I got a bit bogged down in all the teen antics, but it was still quite interesting.

Becca was definitely a bit of a kid, but I still liked her (for the most part). She was well-written, just a little young for me. Pinborough is truly amazing at getting in the head of these teenagers--capturing the pettiness, meanness, and honestly, sometimes the dumbness, of their mindset. But she also caught the brutal neediness behind some of their actions: that raw need of kids that age to fit in with their peers.

I had a decent idea how this one was going to play out pretty early on, but that didn't stop me from reading (as mentioned, I tore through this in about 24 hours). There's something oddly compelling about this book and its characters. Pinborough weaves in The Crucible as a backdrop--it's the school play--which is a really clever move, as there are a lot of parallels between said drama and the melodrama unfolding among Tasha, Hayley, and Jenny.

Overall, this novel really just hinges on the duality of the hatefulness and vulnerability of teenagers. It may come across as a little too YA and predictable for some adults, but I can't deny that it's well-written and crisp. It's hard to like some of the characters, but I think it would make a great book for teens (albeit it's rather freaking scary). I was leaning toward 3.5 stars before writing this review, but I think I'll do 3.75 and bump up to 4 stars here on Goodreads (that's not complicated at all, right? Perhaps fitting for this complicated and twisty novel).

I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 10/03/2017.

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December 9, 2017

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YA has lost its edge for me lately. There are only so many wallpaper fantasy novels and "first love" romance novels that I can handle before I start to feel like I've eaten too much Halloween candy. I used to read YA exclusively but lately I've mostly limited myself to romance novels and, of course, nonfiction.

But 13 MINUTES, with its unique premise, called to me. What if a girl died for 13 minutes, only to be brought back, and couldn't remember what killed her? What if she was supposed to have been murdered? What if she remembers who did it?

If I had to describe 13 MINUTES using one of those stupid marketese "X MEETS Y"-type formats, I'd describe it as Gone Girl meets Mean Girls. It has the same razor-sharp tension and suspense as Gone Girl, with the same cutting social satire and surprisingly deep analysis of teen girl culture that made Mean Girls so hilarious, and yet so meaningful for so many women.

13 MINUTES has multiple POVs, described in interviews, text messages, diary excerpts, as well as the more traditional fixed narrative style. Natasha is the leader of the "Barbies," the beautiful and popular rich girl who nearly died. Hayley and Jenny are her two friends: Hayley is the sporty one and Jenny is the glamorous one. Both of them start acting strange when they find out that Natasha isn't actually dead. Becca is one of the outsiders, who isn't popular or unpopular. She has one good friend of her own and spends most of her time having sex and smoking pot with her older boyfriend. She used to be Natasha's friend when they were kids, but was kicked to the curb to make room for Jenny, because she was heavier, not as cool, and didn't have the correct social capital to fit in any longer.

The accident ends up bringing Becca and Natasha together again because Natasha isn't sure she can trust Jenny and Hayley. Even though Becca still has bitter feelings about Natasha, she didn't have the motive or the means to push Natasha into the frozen river - unlike Jenny and Hayley. Their relationship becomes increasingly intimate as more and more clues surface, and Becca is determined to race the clock and find Natasha's possible killer before she gets her memory back -

Before it's too late.

13 MINUTES took a while to get into because of the unusual format of the story. For the first 2/3 of the book it was a gritty but fairly straightforward YA thriller. I rolled my eyes a bit at the predictability of the storyline, but appreciated the realness of the portrayal of sex, drugs, and mental health among English teens. Even if it was a bit cliche, that realism made it extra interesting. And then, in the last 1/3 of the book everything changed and I had no idea what was going on.

Don't you love it when a book surprises you, when it completely turns you on your head? I do, too. I did NOT see that twist coming, and it turned a 3-star read into a solid 4.

If you enjoy gritty YA and good mystery/thrillers, you will enjoy this book.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!

4 stars!
Profile Image for Ashley.
484 reviews216 followers
November 16, 2019
Thank you to Flatiron Books and Netgalley for providing an ARC for review.

Sarah Pinborough boasts two of my favorite things: she is a masterful writer and she's British. When I saw the opportunity to read 13 Minutes, her upcoming American release, I knew I had to have it. I enjoy reading YA contemporary romance from time to time, but never before had I read a YA crime novel. This book is top-notch with twists and turns I didn't see coming. It is Mean Girls on crack.

When an unsuspecting dog walker stumbles upon a teenage girl in the river, the whole town doesn't expect to be turned upside down. Natasha was dead for 13 minutes, but she wasn't suicidal and she can't remember how she ended up in the water. Everyone loves her, she's the queen bee of the Barbies -- surely she couldn't have any enemies?
Natasha turns to her friend from before popularity, Becca, to help her determine exactly why she was floating in the river and who she can trust. If a teenage girl can trust anyone.

"...they laugh and joke and say how much they love each other, but as true as that might be, they still watch each other for weakness. For chinks in the armour. I don’t think boys are the same. Boys are dogs. Women are like cats. Individuals by nature. We are not pack animals."

This novel reminds how truly vindictive girls can be. The purest form of evil just may be a vengeful teenage girl. I was impressed with how easily I was sucked into this story and how unpredictable it ending up being. It's told through multiple perspectives, including first-person, third person, diary entries, and newspaper columns, allowing readers to have an all-encompassing understanding of the motives and actions of each character involved. I was absolutely engrossed in Pinborough's skillful storytelling and didn't want to put this book down! I had no idea what was coming next until it was hand-fed to me. I felt like one of the pawns in this riveting game of chess.

One of the most interesting elements within the plot was the modernity with the use of social media and cell phones. Pinborough's use of this feature shows just how harmful this fast-paced and highly connected society we live in could be to teenagers. It makes me extremely thankful social media wasn't such an essential part of life when I was a teenage girl myself.

I was also excited to learn this novel with be adapted into a Netflix series in the future! It will without a doubt keep everyone on the edges of their seats, and I'm so anxious for the day it will show up. Be sure to pick up 13 Minutes on its release day, October 3, to read the book before it hits your TV screen.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,686 reviews1,266 followers
June 22, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley.)

“I wish she’d died.”

This was a YA mystery story, featuring a girl who’d been dead for 13 minutes, and then revived.

We had several important characters in this book, not least of all Natasha who was dragged from a river and dead for 13 minutes. It was quiet easy to feel sorry for Natasha, especially when it seemed like her friends might have been trying to kill her. Becca was quite a smart character, and didn’t give up when things looked like they were solved, and Hayley and Jenny came across as pretty sneaky, and malicious.

The storyline in this was about Becca and the police trying to figure out what had happened for Natasha to have ended up dead, and the plotline coming out that Hayley and Jenny might have had something to do with it. We did get a couple of twists thrown in though, which totally changed things, and other than the slow pace, this was an enjoyable read.

The ending to this was pretty good, and it did seem like justice was served.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Holly Bourne.
Author 23 books5,364 followers
October 6, 2016
Utterly addictive - I raced through it in two days. Can't wait to see the Netflix series.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,869 reviews488 followers
February 28, 2020
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. Sir Walter Scott

Is there anything more terrifying than the mind games of teenage girls? In her 2015 novel, Sarah Pinborough explores the inner psyche of a small group of girls who are linked by the almost drowning of their "Queen B. " I read this book, literally sitting on the edge of my seat dreading what was going to happen next. Ironically, I didn't like any of the characters but in a "whodunnit" it wasn't that necessary. What a great read!

Goodreads review published 27/02/20
Profile Image for Hristina.
512 reviews77 followers
March 4, 2017
I kind of expected the twist at the end, yet it still surprised me. I had no idea what was going on 20% of the time, but damn this book is so good. (Original rating: 4 stars)

Update (March 4th 2017): A week after I finished this book, it's still bothering me a bit. Not because it leaves an impression that lingers, but because I feel like it's not as good as I first judged it to be. When I actually think about it, it left me with some questions, and the writing style was all over the place. So I'm changing my rating. Yes, I changed my mind about it that fast.
Profile Image for Colleen Fauchelle.
494 reviews59 followers
February 11, 2019
a very dark twisted story set around 3 popular girls at school. The 'love' the hate and the lies that follow these girls to the very doorstep of death and danger. The secrets they keep are set to self destruction. Trust no one.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,003 reviews2,596 followers
October 2, 2017
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/10/02/...

No joke, I was left breathless and a little shaken after I finished this book, feeling like I had just stepped off the world’s scariest roller coaster. Being a fan of the author since her supernatural historical horror novel Mayhem, I knew full well her talent for writing thrills and dramatic suspense, but 13 Minutes was something else. This is Sarah Pinborough at her best.

The story told through the eyes of two teenagers, who are as different as night and day. Smart, rich, and beautiful, Natasha is the most popular girl in school. Then there’s plain and self-deprecating Rebecca, who used to be Tasha’s childhood best friend before she was unceremoniously replaced as they got older, the dynamics of high school being as fickle and hard-edged as they are. Now Tasha and her two new BFFs Jenny and Hayley are the new queen bees of the Brackston Community School hive, while Becca has been cast aside, relegated to the bottom rungs of the social ladder.

Then one day, everything changes. In the dark early hours of a winter morning, Tasha’s unresponsive body is pulled from the frigid waters of the River Ribble. Paramedics were able to revive her, but doctors say she was technically dead for thirteen minutes. When Tasha finally wakes up from her coma, she can only remember the horrible sensation of drowning, but nothing about what happened the night before or how she even ended up in the river in the first place. She does, however, have sick feeling that Jenny and Hayley might be involved, after noticing the strange way the two of them have been around her ever since she regained consciousness at the hospital. Convinced that she can no longer trust her best friends, Tasha turns to Becca for help.

What can I say, but that might be one of the most understated summaries I’ve ever written for a review. I can promise that the full plot of 13 Minutes is way twistier and more intense, but of course I can’t go into the details or that would be spoiling the surprise. Once again I am amazed how Pinborough can throw readers completely for a loop, making you think you know what’s going on before flipping everything on its head and presenting you with another angle. Each time I thought I had the answer, a plot twist would rear up and smack away my smug confidence, keeping me guessing yet again. Incredibly, all the clues were always there in front of me, but since Pinborough is so good at subverting tropes and expectations, I never saw them until it was too late.

Also, I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone, despite its official tag as a Young Adult novel. Unlike many of its peers in the genre, 13 Minutes does not pull any punches, nor does it talk down to its audience. On the contrary, it features a lot of mature themes, unflinchingly exploring the dark side of high school culture and revealing the all too vicious realities of being a teenage girl. Having been there and done that, I feel there’s definitely truth to the argument that girls can be just as nasty and cruel as boys when it comes to schoolyard bullying, with much of that aggression coming through in the form of manipulation and relational sabotage, which is no less emotionally damaging to the victim. My high school years were some of the best of my life, but I certainly don’t miss the petty squabbles and popularity contests. This book reminds me why, while also showing how much more extreme things can get in this age of social media and technology.

Still, I don’t want to make it sound like this novel is full of nothing but teen drama, because the story’s tone is definitely more in keeping with a psychological mystery-thriller. Pinborough allows us a look into the fascinating minds of her protagonists as the two of them navigate a minefield of high school politics—but just enough. Both Tasha and Becca are clever young women who share a love for chess playing and solving puzzles, but to be a good strategist also means keeping a lot of secrets, and between them there are plenty of hidden motives. These are gradually revealed as the tale unfolds, holding me rapt with every new development.

Needless to say, I loved this book to bits, and you can bet once the story sank its hooks into me, I couldn’t have put it down even if I tried. Of the half a dozen or so novels I’ve ready by Sarah Pinborough so far, I believe, without a doubt, that 13 Minutes is her finest work to date, blasting away my already sky-high expectations to become my new favorite book by the author. Brava, just brava.
Profile Image for I'mogén.
855 reviews37 followers
April 10, 2018
As always these days, whenever Ophelia is mentioned I get intrigued straight away. It was no different from the gripping introduction we had here. It felt so whimsical and worked beautifully with the contrast when the sudden weight of reality that hit.
I ended up enjoying this story far more than I was expecting. It wasn't just teen mean girl drama; there was more to it. The story had depth and complex characters that had more layers to them than I would have expected. I appreciated the direction the story took. It was a survivor with amnesia trying to figure out what happened to her, rather than taking on the direction that someone had died and it was people trying to figure out the victim's story. We get that so much in these types of genres and so it was very refreshing. It was also cool that at the time I was reading this the months ended up aligning, which enhanced my experience because it felt like real and current news.
Natasha intrigued me and from the starting had wondered if everything was one big manipulation. I was more interested in Becca though and she was the character I connected the most with.
I really liked the use of different formats of story telling. We had newspaper articles, texts and interview reports as well as the traditional novel style. I found it interesting that it was only Natasha's parts that had 1st person perspective. It drove in how much she had the "it" factor and how everything centred on her.
The storyline had so many twists and turns and just when I thought I knew everything it just completely turned upside down!! There were some things I could predict but even those went slightly askew to my ideas. Near the end I actually found myself a few steps behind because I couldn't make connections. So at that point I appreciated having a character working things out at a slower pace so I could catch up.
There were some scenes where I would have loved to have seen direct aftermath. Some of the more dramatic ones really messed with my emotions and kind of made me not want to read on because I couldn't handle it!
I just found myself re-evaluatig characters and the story just made me really feel! Like some of the minor events made me so empathetic to the point where it was sometimes relatable, but I was still able to see multiple angles to everyone's motives.

This was just such an emotional and thrilling read, with more than just school drama. The characters were deep and felt real and I'd thoroughly recommend this book.

Pick it up, give it a go and enjoy! >(^_^)<
Profile Image for Laura.
907 reviews74 followers
February 9, 2016
Reviewed on www.snazzybooks.com

I'm really impressed at just how much I enjoyed 13 Minutes. I'm not usually a big YA reader (although I have enjoyed various books from this genre in the past, I do tend to read adult fiction in general), but I do love a good thriller regardless of what age it's aimed at, and this novel was so gripping and intriguing that I just couldn't stop reading!

The writing is very engaging and really drew me in. As the novel is aimed at the YA market it is, at times, a little teenage in its language and style- but then that of course makes sense, considering the age of the characters narrating the story is mainly around 16. From the synopsis you think you'll be hearing everything from Tasha's, the girl who was found in the river, point of view, but we actually are told a lot of the story from Becca.

I cringed at various points reading the girls' immature views on things, and the bitchy behaviour of Tasha and her friends, but I know that's exactly what Sarah Pinsborough intended. Becca is a nice enough girl but shows herself to be just as bitchy as Tasha, Jenny and Nicola (aka. the 'Barbies') in certain situations. However we can see why she's like this, and as a reader understand that she's just trying to navigate the tricky and tempestuous world of teenagers. Pinsborough has conveyed this really well, plus also created characters that you can wholly believe are today's teenagers. She's written a story that effectively comments upon their social interactions, and the impact of social media on young lives today, but in a really entertaining and gripping way.

I raced through this book, really curious to know what really happened. There are surprises along the way, along with some turns of events that I could see coming for a while, but on the whole I am hugely impressed with this novel. I now hope to read many more of her books!

* Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review. *
Profile Image for Emma.
971 reviews966 followers
October 8, 2015

Though I have never read Sarah Pinborough before, I have heard so much about her ability with language. In this book, I didn't notice it at all. And I mean that in the best possible way. I was so immersed in the story of this small group of girls; the words, tone, feelings were so perfectly them that the pages flashed before my eyes and all I saw was the characters.

13 Minutes may be a YA psychological thriller but there is so much truth in the relationships between people in the book that extends the relevance beyond the teenage years. Pinborough perfectly captures the sense of performance that seems to be part of modern life. The difference between who you are and who you present yourself to be, the competition of social media and social situations, and seeing people through what they can do for you. It's an excellent study of human character hidden within a A-level college mystery.

That's not to say that the plot itself is not damn good, it keeps you guessing, that's for sure.
It's easily one of the best thrillers i've read this year, surpassing many of those with the 'crime fiction' label.

Many thanks to Sarah Pinborough, Netgalley, and Orion Publishing Group for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for i..
331 reviews33 followers
October 1, 2016

It's definitely one of the best books I've read this year. The main characters and their complex personalities are both terrifying and terrific because we all know people like that.

The plot is gripping, you won't be able to stop reading and when you think you know it all ,it's when you know nothing at all.

A must read for fans of YA lit and for those interested in an intensive course on deception.It won't disappoint you.
Profile Image for Angie Dokos.
Author 4 books224 followers
October 15, 2017
Dang! Teenage girls can be so freaking mean. I received the ARC of 13 Minutes from Flatiron Books. I enjoyed it. It was intense. I didn't really like any of the characters. I felt sorry for all of them, but didn't really "connect" with them. It was a good book; worth reading, but not one of my favorites.
Profile Image for Bill Kupersmith.
Author 1 book196 followers
April 4, 2019
The best school story frenemies tragedy I’ve read since Dare Me. Tasha and Becca are beautifully depicted and contrasted and dialogue sparkles. Does for a English comp school what Abbott accomplished with an American high school.

Multiple POVs and narrators make this book confusing at first, but worth the effort.
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