13 Minutes

Sarah Pinborough. Flatiron, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-12385-5
After drowning, Natasha Howland was dead for 13 minutes before being revived. As the police try to piece together what happened, Natasha, harboring suspicions about her closest friends, launches her own investigation with the help of former friend Becca, who she abandoned during an ascent into popularity. Third-person chapters focus on Becca, and readers’ see Natasha’s thoughts, reactions, and nagging suspicions through excerpts from a journal. Text message exchanges, news reports, and interviews between Becca and her therapist further flesh out a multilayered narrative, filling in the gaps in Natasha’s memory. British author Pinborough’s thrilling murder mystery is filled with twists and turns, including a surprising second death—one that sticks—that sends the novel careening into fresh and emotionally raw territory of loss, forgiveness, and guilt in its final act. But at its most basic level, this is a story of petty high school betrayals, popularity contests with toxic frenemies, and vividly depicted peer pressure, all of which combine to create a painfully real novel. Ages 17–up. Agent: Veronique Baxter, David Higham Associates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 10/03/2017
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