I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough! I went into this book with absolutely zero expectations since I didn’t want to know anything other than what the synopsis told me about it and ended up absolutely loving it. From the captivating first chapters to the shocking but brilliant ending, I literally couldn’t put it down.
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
The New York Times bestselling author known for her thrilling twists is back: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. Natasha 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. Her two closest friends are acting strangely, and Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before when she got popular, to help her figure out what happened. Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her? 13 Minutes is a psychological thriller with a killer twist from the #1 internationally bestselling author Sarah Pinborough.
What drew me to reading 13 Minutes was its unique premise. When it comes to YA mysteries usually its the friend/neighbor/ ex-bff/ relative etc.. trying to figure out the identity of the murderer, not the victim herself. 13 Minutes follows Becca, Natasha a.k.a.Tasha, DI Bennett, and a few other characters ( but mostly Becca) as we read from their perspectives how they unravel the reason behind the attempted murder of a popular young student. We are immersed in a setting with lots of drama both in highschool and outside of it and the story is told through diary entries, interviews, and texts as well as the narration from the various characters however it’s not the same format as Illuminae (i.e. no illustrations).
Now onto the main character; Becca. Rebecca Crisps was a complex character with an unfortunate…..to put it nicely.
In my opinion she’s completely unlikable; she swings dramatically between moments of cleverness and being wildly insecure. Becca is an angry, hurt, and bitter character which makes it difficult to emphasize with her, to care for her at all. There were so many times where I just wanted to scream “STOP BEING SO PATHETIC AND LET’S GET ON WITH THE STORY!!!” There are a lot of moments where you have to read about Becca worrying about whether or not her boyfriend still likes her, why isn’t he answering his texts, mistreating her friends, parents etc…
Me while reading Becca’s inner monologue
However, my extreme dislike for her characterization didn’t affect my overall enjoyment for the book. I was so invested in the overall story that I didn’t care about anything other than finding out what had happened. My only complaints were that one; the main social media platform that was used was Facebook and two that the writing was underwhelming. Now things may be different in the U.K ( that’s where the book’s set) but as far as I know not too many teens are using Facebook…like at all and so I though that it was weird how a lot of the information and conflict came from Facebook updates. Secondly, the plot and the structure of the book was brilliant but the writing lacked the lyrical and poetic quality that I look for in my reading material.
The plot itself was incredible. As someone whose spends most of her free time either watching or reading mysteries I really appreciate it when mysteries are packed with red herrings and 13 Minutes didn’t disappoint. I was kept guessing the entire time and the only time I was able to guess the next “big revelation” it was only like two or three pages before Becca came to the same conclusion as me. The mystery aspect wasn’t necessarily fast paced; it was however always keeping me on the edge of my seat.
Overall, I would highly recommend 13 Minutes to any mystery & thriller aficionado. The plot was unique and while 99.99% of the characters were truly terrible human beings it in no way diminished my enjoyment of 13 Minutes. However I would say that instead of comparing this book to Mean Girls I would compare it to Pretty Little Liars, Those Girls, and Gone Girl.
Thank you so much Flatiron Books and the FFBC for providing me with a e-arc for review. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I must state that I received this book for free and was in no way compensated for my review.
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