Blog Tour: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough (Review+Giveaway)

Hello and welcome to my stop for the blog tour of 13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough. I wanna thank Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the blog tour. 

Today's business is for me to introduce the book and share my thoughts about it. The tour is also hosting a giveaway for an advanced review copy (ARC) of the book for U.S. residents. At the end of this post is a rundown of all the participating book blogs, so be sure to visit them too on their designated tour stops.
About 13 Minutes

"Mean Girls for the Instagram age." --The Times (London)

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.

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Expected Publication date:   October 3rd 2017
Source/Format: eARC via Netgalley
Pre-order links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Book Depository | iBooks | IndieBound

About Sarah

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed adult and YA author based in London. 

Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.

Her next novel, Behind Her Eyes, coming for HarperFiction in the UK and Flatiron in the US (January 2017) has sold in nearly 20 territories worldwide and is a dark thriller about relationships with a kicker of a twist.

You can follow her on Twitter @sarahpinborough


My Thoughts:
Natasha, Hayley and Becca were childhood BFFs. That’s up until when Becca’s baby fats did not shed in sync with Natasha’s and Hayley’s. They deemed her not worthy of their squad and had her replaced by Jenny. The new trio became the Barbies, your resident mean girls. But one morning, Barbie leader Natasha’s body is found tangled on twigs, floating by the icy river. She survived, despite being dead for thirteen minutes and in a coma for days, but cannot remember how and why she almost ended up in a watery grave. And when she wakes up, she inexplicably feels gravitated towards seeking comfort from ex-BFF Becca, instead of turning to her two current BFFs.

A person such as Natasha is as expected, hard to relate to. She is the spoiled reigning queen bee of the wild hive that is high school. She basks in the glory of her popularity. She does things just for kicks, she manipulates people, she loves drama. Nothing really bad went off in her charmed life until her thirteen-minute death. Then enters average-student Becca, who keeps the narrative grounded. She is the person we can most probably relate to. Becca is our conduit to finding out what really happened, when Natasha slowly sheds her veneer and asks for help in piecing together her missing memories.

Most of the narrative follows Becca in 3rd person point of view but the author did not skimp on giving the reader a lot of vantage points. There are chapters with 1st person narration by Natasha through a journal she was asked to keep in helping her recover her memories and there are excerpts of her consultations with a psychologist. These elements really fleshed out her character. There are news clips of the incident and related incidents which give more background info or sometimes help move the plot forward. There are interspersed text messages between Hayley and Jenny which shows their desperation with the investigation and also provides a build up to the plot. And the notes scrawled by the investigating police detective gives an observer’s perspective of how these teens are reacting with everything going on.

The most notable thing about “13 Minutes” and what made me glued to the pages is its affecting prose. In the first few pages, there is a sense of urgency there while Natasha is drowning to death, with a succeeding sense of relief when she was saved. When characters are questioned or invited to the police precint, the book makes it believable that they are really possible suspects. So as not to reveal a lot of the plot, let me just say that all through my notes, I have scribbled a lot of “OMIGOSH!” moments for varying reasons and emotions. It is just astounding how this book can make you feel eerie things while just sitting and reading. 

The teen characters are complex and affecting, too. One instance they show glimpses of vulnerability and kindness then the next, they say and do things that makes my skin crawl. There is an element of power play here between these teen characters. Adults (parents, teachers, police, counselors) are visibly around but they are subtly relegated to the back, like mere spectators in a game of chess. And the book is smart in letting these angsty teens toy with control and power while making the adults one step behind or completely oblivious with what’s really happening. The whole flipped set-up where teens seem tough and adults seem frail adds a layer to the eerieness of the book.

“13 Minutes” is ultimately a story of childhood friendships gone awry. It gave me this new askewed grasp of what having a bestfriend means. Yeah sure, having a bestfriend is one of the nicest things: a support system, a confidante, someone who gets you and can totally read you like a book. But having someone know you through and through can also sometimes backfire. The phrase “Be my bestfriend” is probably ruined for me because of this book. Damn, this book is deliciously dark! Go ahead, indulge.

Diversity Watch:
Natasha, Hayley and Jenny are white.

Becca is racially indeterminate.

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

  • 1 ARC of 13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough
  • US Only
  • No giveaway accounts PLEASE!
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Tour Schedule

Don't forget to follow the blog tour along and hop on these blogs as well on their designated stops:

September 27th

September 28th

September 29th

September 30th

October 1st
Reading Wonderland - Review + Favourite Quotes

October 2nd
The Bibliophile Confessions - Review + Favourite Quotes

October 3rd
The Candid Cover - Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
Supercalireader - Review
Staircase Wit - Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
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