Books · British Book Challenge · Contemporary · Horror · Mystery · Reviews · Thriller · Young Adult Fiction

13 Minutes ~ Book Review

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough 13mins

Illustrated by: N/A

Series: N/A

Published: February 18th 2016, Gollancz

Edition: Paperback

Length: 405 pages

Narrated By: N/A

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary, Horror, Thriller, Mystery

Where Did I Get It? I was kindly sent a copy to review after getting all excited about the YALC sampler!


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?

Opening Line(s):


She was young. No more than eighteen. Probably less.

My Review: 13 Minutes turned out to be so much more than I expected it to be – A great way to start out my 2017 reading and the British Books Challenge.

On starting the book I thought it was just going to be your regular teen mystery novel as Natasha fought to regain her memory after finding herself resuscitated on the bank of a river after being dead for 13 minutes. For the first section of the book, that is indeed what it was – told from multiple narrators, the cast was built and the stage set, fingers were pointed and red herrings placed. But then things got a little crazy.

I loved how the plot twisted around itself, never getting ridiculous but never going the way I thought it would, either. The characters were varied and beautifully written, each of them with their own flaws and issues – all of them believable. We’ve all been teenagers, we all know what it is like at college; trying to find our place in the crowd, feeling both like a child and a grown up all at the same time, over-confident yet ever-terrified. All of that is in there and you find yourself recognising each of the characters in some way as familiar.

The story was much deeper and darker than I expected, though having now read a second Sarah Pinborough novel (I’ve had a good reading month so far!) I see that this is something she excels in. (She also excels in making me cry, just as a small warning 😉 )

The writing was expertly crafted and I was very reluctant to put the book down and engage in real life – enthralling story-telling full of manipulation, intrigue and mystery, 13 Minutes is one of the best YA thrillers I have read in a while with an ending that haunts you for a good while after closing the cover.

My Rating: 5/5*

Buy 13 Minutes on Amazon here.

Follow Sarah Pinborough on Twitter here.

Read With Me

6 thoughts on “13 Minutes ~ Book Review

  1. I’ve just received a copy of this book and I simply can’t wait to start it! I also have it on audio book so I may have a listen to it too! Why have I not read this yet?! Thanks for linking up x


  2. Great to hear about your project! Will be following it closely and hopefully get a few book maps of the locations on – send emails to info@thebooktrail incase I miss any!


Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear what you think :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.