13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Illustrated by: N/A
Published: February 18th 2016, Gollancz
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?
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*