13 Minutes – Sarah Pinborough



Release date: February 18th, 2016
Publisher: Gollancz
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: e-galley
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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. 



Sarah Pinborough has quickly become one of my favourite authors. I love the way she writes and the way she seems to be able to captivate me with every single book. I have thoroughly enjoyed her mystery/thriller/with a tinge of the supernatural books Mayhem and Murder. When I saw Orbit was going to publish another Mystery/Thriller by her hand, Young Adult this time, I couldn’t wait to read it. I finished the book in mere hours, reading through the night because I just couldn’t put it down.

I don’t usually read a lot of thrillers, though my mum swears by them. The few I have read (and enjoyed) all had a similar backbone: the mystery of the crime and the slow build-up to the revelation in the end. For some reason, I always see through all the smoke and mirrors and guess quite early what happened and who was involved. This mostly doesn’t bother me, but it does take away some of the surprise. 13 Minutes had me completely fooled. I didn’t realise what exactly had happened until it started to dawn on the main character.


Becca is a teenage girl and just like all girls her age, friendship-wise things can be very tough. Her childhood best friend, Tasha, dumped her for a more beautiful and malleable posse. Even now, when Becca has a boyfriend she loves more than anything and a new good friend, it still stings. So when Tasha is fished out of the river one morning and revived, Becca feels a pull towards her. They had been best friends, right? Tasha doesn’t remember how she ended up in the river or what happened the night before. As their friendship starts to rekindle, Becca tries to find out what happened to her friend.


People who have read Pinborough’s books before know that she has a to-the-point kind of style, not shying away from explicit scenes. I think the raw nature of the book is one of the things that made it so compelling. Whether it’s sexuality, emotions or shocking twists, Pinborough isn’t afraid to go all in. It’s what makes this book feel so real
The intricate web of friendship and love was intriguing and painfully recognisable sometimes. I have made some of the best friendships in my teenage years, people that I consider family now that I’m in my mid-twenties, but in high school drama is never far away. Pinborough explores all these different friendships, putting them to the test and twisting our perception of everyone involved so that you’re left with no clue what the hell is actually going on or who is trustworthy or not.


13 Minutes is a mix between Mean Girls, coming-of-age and the better psychological thriller. It brings all the good aspects of these together in a riveting story that will feel familiar to anyone who has been through or is going through their teenage years and it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Highly recommended. I can’t wait for Pinborough’s next book!


Posted on March 7, 2016, in Sarah Pinborough and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I need this book to come out in the US! Big fan of Sarah Pinborough ever since I read her book Mayhem, guess I need to hit Book Depository for this one soon 🙂

  1. Pingback: My 2016 in Books | Draumr Kópa

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