I think I’ve found a way to read more books… by cutting down on the amount of TV I watch. Whilst this may bring some of you Netflix junkies out in a cold sweat, I found a book better than any current TV show; 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough.
13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Publication Date: 14 July 2016
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
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?
I am a sucker for hype, especially book hype, and boy did 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough have a lot of it. Heralded as “Mean Girls for the Instagram age”, how could I resist? I was very lucky to get my hands on an advance review copy, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
Funny story – I wanted to pace myself, and read a few chapters at a time. Savour the book, so to speak. However, I became completely engrossed into the story and I ended up reading the whole thing in 4-5 hours. I’m not mad, self, I’m just disappointed.
We are quickly thrown into the drama in 13 Minutes; the story begins with a dog walker finding our main protagonist Tasha, in a lake. She was dead for 13 minutes, and she is lucky to be alive. However, the story doesn’t end there. There is no evidence that Tasha was suicidal, and texts from the night in question show she may have been lured to the lake under false pretences. Who would want to hurt the most popular girl in school? Her friends? Her enemies? Both?
I’ll be honest – I have spent over a week trying to write a coherent review of 13 Minutes, when all I want to do is screech from the rooftops about how much I absolutely loved it! 13 Minutes had everything I love in a book – unreliable narrators, well written characters, a feeling that not everything was not what it seemed…. *clutches Kindle to chest*
13 Minutes has a small cast of characters, which I feel worked best for the plot and setting. A small selection of characters means that everyone is a suspect! *shifty eyes* We have Queen Bee Tasha, head of “the barbies”. Her best friends and fellow barbies, Hayley and Jenny, quickly become suspects in the crime and we too question their innocence throughout the novel. To help Tasha piece together what happened, we have Becca, Tasha’s oldest friend, as well as Hannah, Becca’s current best friend. I’d say Becca and Tasha were the “best” characters so to speak; they were the strongest characters in terms of depth and character development during the course of the novel. I do have to give a special mention to the characters of Jenny and Hannah, as they reminded me of some girls from my own school days. Take from that what you will!
I would describe the writing style of 13 Minutes as sharp, intense and deliciously written. I found myself crying out “just one more page!” more times than I’d like to admit to. I couldn’t help it, it was so addictive! If I had to be slightly critical, I did find that 13 Minutes had more of a “US feel” to it, even though it is set in the UK. Considering other reviews do not mention this, it might just be me?
I awarded 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough 5/5 stars on GoodReads. It completely exceeded my expectations, and instantly became one of my favourite reads this year. 13 Minutes is a scathing look on how toxic female friendships can be, yet it also shows how intense and loving they can be too. I know, what a complete contradiction… just like most teenage female friendships… *sips tea quietly*
It’s funny that I should say that 13 Minutes was better than any TV show I’ve watched lately, as it is actually going to be made into a Netflix film. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see the characters of Becca and Tasha come to life. Until then, I am making it my mission to read more from Sarah Pinborough. *overflowing TBR piles falls on me in protest*