October 20, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough • October 3, 2017 • Flatiron Books
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Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her?

Natasha is the most popular girl in school. So why was she pulled out of a freezing river after being dead for thirteen minutes? She 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.

Now Natasha’s two closest friends, who are usually her loyal sidekicks, are acting strangely. Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before, to help her figure out the mystery.

At first Becca isn’t sure that she even wants to help Natasha. But as she is drawn back into Natasha’s orbit, Becca starts putting the pieces together. As an outsider, Becca believes she may be the only one who can uncover the truth…which is far more twisted than she ever imagined.


I received this book for free from Flatiron Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “It’s so cold, it’s so cold I can’t breathe and I panic hard in the water that is like shards of glass, and for the first time I think I might be in serious trouble.”

13 minutes. Tasha was dead for 13 minutes. When she wakes up, having almost drowned in the freezing river, what does she remember? Absolutely nothing. Was it an accident? Was it foul play? She can’t recollect what happened prior to being found in the river, but she does know that her two best friends are acting very weird around her. She enlists her ex-best friend Becca to help her get to the bottom of everything.

It’ll take more than 13 minutes for Tasha, Becca, and us to figure out what happened. Prepare for this mystery and these girls to mess with your head.


  • It’s a psychological thriller about mean girls.

Tasha and her crew of “Barbies”—as they called themselves—Jenny and Hayley are the definition of mean girls. They are cruel. You don’t want to cross their paths because if you do, you better arm yourself. Tasha was the Queen Bee, the popular girl in school who didn’t give a shit about you or sex. She casted Becca aside because she didn’t fit the profile of a “Barbie.” Jenny and Hayley are just as bad with how they speak to others, especially Becca. These girls will fuck with your head, excuse my French.

There are twists and turns. There are secrets and power struggles. Who do you trust? You think you know who’s guilty, but wrong! You’re taken into a different direction—one that you hadn’t even entertained. It’s a satisfying mystery.

  • The story is told through the points of view of two girls.

The story alternates between two points of view—Becca, the ex-best friend, in third person POV, and Tasha, the girl who almost died, in first person POV. You learn about these girls’ relationship with each other—particularly how shitty of a friend Tasha was to Becca, and despite the terrible treatment, Becca still wants to be Tasha’s friend. They have to rely on each other to figure out what’s going on. It’s a weird, bordering-on-toxic friendship.

  • Everything is like a game of chess.

Every move these girls make is a calculated decision. Everybody’s a pawn to be manipulated. They don’t know what moves their opponent will make, so they gotta think ahead. This is an apt analogy for the characters in 13 Minutes as well as how the story unfolds. It’s impressive how each move they make is completely calculated. Nothing is without reason.

Should you read 13 Minutes? Yes! You’re in for such a mindfuck. 13 Minutes is an intriguing psychological thriller about a girl who almost died and what is uncovered about what really happen. It’s a look at toxic friendships, mean girls, desperation, and manipulation. This is truly a Young Adult book that will have you not trusting anybody, and rightfully so.

Have you read 13 Minutes? You ready to read a psychological thriller about mean girls? Do you want to read this? 


3 Responses to “(ARC) REVIEW • Checkmate, Barbie (13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough)”

  1. Great review.
    Yes, now I want to read it. Thanks!

  2. Amanda says:

    I can see in your review that the friendship is revived between Tasha and Becca, then why did you say the book “will have you not trusting anybody, and rightfully so.”? Your review makes me so curious!

  3. This sounds so good! Is it weird if I say that I want to be mind-fucked? XD

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