#allthebookreviews – 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

Yesterday was a crazy day for releases!

A big thank you to Flatiron Books for the advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough (out October 3rd)

Here’s what Chandra and I thought 🙂

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Natasha is found dead in icy waters with no recollection of what happened. After coming back from the dead, she befriends her old best friend, Becca, who she meanly disengaged from in high school, finding new friends of her own. The Barbies, they call them. Natasha, Hayley and Jenny. The queens of the school. Becca isn’t blonde, pretty and popular. She’s her own person, an outcast, friends with Hannah, the lowliest of the social spectrum according to the Barbies. Why is Natasha wanting to be friends with Becca again? She seems to be the only one she can trust while she figures out how she ended up in these icy waters.

Sarah Pinborough is one of my favorite authors. I love the way she writes and her twisty, macabre brain. Here she is in a YA twisty thriller where you never know who your real friends are. And in high school, anything goes right? A cross between Mean Girls and Heathers, we see the Barbies as the Plastics from Mean Girls or the Heathers from Heathers. All too realistic is the dynamic between the popular girls and the girls who want to be them or the ones who are swept aside as popularity grows. Pull in a sociopathic/psychopathic entity and anything can happen.

While this is basically a book told through high school aged characters, the plot line and story reads well for those who may prefer the more “mature” read. I pretty much saw what was coming early on in the book but still couldn’t stop turning the pages. We see the story through Natasha and Becca’s eyes, text messages and news articles. The build up of Becca’s character was engaging and while you felt sorry for Natasha and what she went through (I mean, she died for 13 minutes for goodness sake), you also hated her for her entitled, popular role. As the story progressed, my star rating went up and that ending was satisfying and creepy enough for me to be happy.

The way Pinborough brings everything together is truly magical. I have yet to read anything by her that I didn’t love. If you like psychological thrillers, do not let the YA genre discourage you. Pick this book up. Read it, love it.. but don’t live it. 😉

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

“Means Girls for the Instagram age” This is the perfect way to describe 13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough. I’ve loved her other twisty and thrilling novels (especially the retellings she’s written), so I was really intrigued when I saw the full title, I WAS DEAD FOR 13 MINUTES NOW I WANT TO KNOW WHY. I would also like to know why she was dead for 13 minutes, please tell me!

Natasha is found dead in ice cold water of a nearby river. She has absolutely no recollection as to what happened to her and how she got there. Now that she is back among the living, she and her old best friend, Becca, rekindle their friendship after a nasty falling out. Becca originally left Tasha for girls that she thought were better, Hayley and Jenny, who are better known as The Barbies. Que the Mean Girls similarities! Why does Tasha trust Becca? Why does she feel the need to be friends with someone she no longer has anything in common with?

I think that my reading and reviewing partner, Chandra, said it perfectly. This is like Mean Girls meets the Heathers. This had the twisty and creepy vibe I was so hoping for in a Sarah Pinborough novel. Even though this is told entirely through the eyes of a couple of 16 year old girls, it didn’t feel too overly YA (for me), but I can see it being something that won’t be for everyone.

We read this through the eyes of both Natasha and Becca, as well as text messages and new articles. I’ll always love that in thrillers, when the author throws in other means of communication or information for the readers. Pinborough does a fantastic job weaving everything together to make for an entirely creepy and psychologically thrilling read!

Overall, don’t let the YA deter you from picking this one up. Despite no giant twists at the end, this book will be one you won’t want to put down. WHY did she die for 13 minutes?? I wanted to know!

 

We’re off to a great start so far for October!

–Jess

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