Monday, October 16, 2017

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough-- Mean Girls + Psychological Mystery = YES!

13 Minutes

Natasha was dead for 13 Minutes-- or at least that's what they tell her when she wakes up after being pulled out of the freezing water.  She doesn't remember how she ended up there, but she knows that her 2 best friends are acting weird.  Needing to remember, she turns to Becca-- a girl Natasha outcasted from her popular clique years ago.

Becca knows helping Natasha isn't the smart choice, but a part of her likes being invited into Natasha's orbit again, and this mystery seems like it needs an outsider to get to the answers.

As they get closer to finding out the truth, Becca finds things aren't what she thought at all-- she falls too far and too fast, and then there is no going back.

You know what kind of YA Mysteries I like best??  The DARK ones.  And 13 Minutes was pretty darn dark.  I was surprised, creeped out, and all twisted up while reading this book.

Natasha is a Mean Girl who somehow winds up in the frigid water.  Luckily, she's rescued and revived after being "dead" for 13 minutes.  She doesn't remember the events that led her to be there, but her besties/minions are acting weird, and her ex-besties/current nobody Becca seems all too happy to jump in to help her figure shit out.  Little by little the truth comes out, but that truth is wholly fucked up and costs more than Becca ever imagined.

I love reading about Mean Girls.  I know it's overdone and cliché and all that, but there's something about a Mean Girl clique that just hooks me.  This particular Mean Girl clique call themselves the Barbies-- and can you get more Plastic™ and awesome than that??  Also, I love reading about teenage friendship dynamics and how the hierarchy of high school puts certain people on pedestals.

Natasha was a character I won't soon be forgetting.  I don't want to say too much about her because SPOILERS, but there was an intricate web that surrounded her, and as it unraveled she became someone that I was not quite expecting her to be.  I also appreciated that it took one of her oldest friends to truly see what was happening and who Natasha really was.  In life, your childhood friends know you before you learn to hide parts of yourself, and I enjoyed seeing that play out.

13 Minutes wasn't perfect though.  It started out super slllooow, to the point where I almost put it down.  If I didn't have a friend telling me that it got exciting, I probably would've DNF'd.  It does pick up around 30% in, and once I got to that point my curiosity was peaked.  Also, this book follows Becca a lot and she really wasn't my fave.  For being the underdog, she wasn't as likable as I expected her to be.  She's in a relationship for much of the book, and she spent a lot of that time obsessing over it.  I really could've cared less about her loser boyfriend, Aiden, but she wouldn't shut up about him.

What I did like: The gritty realness of this book.  There's drug use, and sex, and swearing, and it held nothing back.  I love messed-upness, and there was plenty of it.  Multiple twists and surprising reveals changed the tone of the book and kept me turning pages, making this a YES for me in the end.

OVERALL: After a slow start, this book became thrilling and addicting.  It's a psychological mystery that had multiple twists and turns.  The Mean Girls in this book could definitely rival the kind who wear pink on Wednesdays-- and they made this book all the more intriguing.  I highly recommend this to YA Mystery lovers out there.

Date Published: 10/3/2017 (US date)
How I got this book: Thanks to Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Flatiron Books/Macmillan

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3.5/5

Character: Becca Crisp
Book: How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot

  • Becca and Steph have SO much in common-- from having the popular girl dump them in junior high, to having nerdy friends that want nothing to do with that popularity stuff, to turning their backs on those people in order to get back what they lost.


  1. I haven't been reading many mystery/thrillers lately, and the last one I did read didn't work out at all, but I am a little intrigued by this story. The slowness would be a problem for me though too so I'll have to give it some thought. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Mystery/Thrillers are the books I am always looking for and have the hardest time finding (the good ones anyway). I did like where this one went (eventually), but it took a minute to get going for sure :(

  2. I love books with mean girls as well! You're like my go-to for thriller recs so I'm definitely adding this one to my list!

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