Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

13 Minutes

by Sarah Pinborough

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook, audiobook
Pages: 320
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Suggested tags: young adult, mystery, thriller

From Goodreads:
"Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her?

Natasha is the most popular girl in school. So why was she pulled out of a freezing river after being dead for thirteen minutes? She doesn’t remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this—it wasn’t an accident, and she wasn’t suicidal.

Now Natasha’s two closest friends, who are usually her loyal sidekicks, are acting strangely. Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before, to help her figure out the mystery.

At first Becca isn’t sure that she even wants to help Natasha. But as she is drawn back into Natasha’s orbit, Becca starts putting the pieces together. As an outsider, Becca believes she may be the only one who can uncover the truth…which is far more twisted than she ever imagined.

Wow. That was a ride. Also my first Sarah Pinborough book - where have I been?? WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING???

Summary: I'm not sure I can summarize it any better than what's above without giving something away... and this is one of those where you don't want to know too much ahead of time.

What I liked: From start to finish, I kind of had an idea about where things were going or who was involved... but then everything changed and all my ideas were proven wrong and I had to start all over. I love books that do that to me - make me feel like I know what's happening and then rip the rug out. This one was kind of like a slow build-up, rather than an abrupt rug-ripping, which I enjoyed.

I mean, come on, you have to love the Mean Girls vibe that runs through most of this. The Natasha-Becca-Hayley-Jenny thing was just so strained and uncomfortable. The barbs they throw at each other, both subtle and not, were so fierce. I mean, I don't miss that part of high school and I certainly don't want to have any drama like that in my life ever again, but I'd be lying if I said I don't love reading about it.

And I really, really loved what I felt was the tipping point... the part in the theater (SPOILER - highlight to read: where Becca's new friend (crap I already can't remember her name) is killed by the light falling on her and Natasha is like "I REMEMBER" and you're like WAIT THIS SEEMS SUSPICIOUS and it all unravels from there)... *shudder* yeah that was good.

What I didn't: It was maaaybe just a little too long? I got halfway through the book and there's like a faux-reveal where it seems like everything's resolved but you know obviously it's not because you've still got a chunk of book left in your hand... and part of me was kind of wishing I didn't have that much left. Granted, it turned out to be exciting and fast-paced, but at the time I was feeling a little "ugh" about having that much to go.

And while I don't usually mind too much about smoking or partying or tasteful sex scenes in my YA, in this one the smoking scenes are written so it's almost glorified, to the point where I as a very-much-non-smoker found myself thinking, "Is it really that great? What am I missing?" It's written in just such an incredibly alluring way... So if you or the teen you plan to recommend this to are sensitive to being influenced, that's just something to keep in mind.

TL;DR: This is my first Sarah Pinborough book, but it definitely won't be my last. I'm really getting into YA thrillers lately and this was a great one.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

{ Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a review copy. My reviews are honest and my opinions are my own; your reading experience may vary, so give it a read and see what you think. :) }

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