13 Minutes – Sarah Pinborough

13 minutes is a gripping YA thriller/mystery, set in a sixth form college in Lancashire.

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A popular girl from the school has been found drowning in a river in the early hours of the morning. Although she survives, she ends up being dead (unconscious and with no heartbeat) for 13 minutes before being resuscitated. When she wakes up, she has no memory of the events leading up to her accident, or how she ended up in the river. She and her friend Becca are determined to unravel the mystery.

I thought this book was utterly gripping, with a compelling plot and plenty of twists and turns as more bits of evidence are discovered. It reminded me of the books I’ve read by Gillian Flynn (which are fantastic), although slightly toned down in graphicness for a YA audience.

The teenage school setting was wonderfully toxic, with all the Mean Girls-esque cattiness and plotting, false friends and queen bees aplenty. The suspicion and jealousy of those kind of teenage friendships and relationships was portrayed really well.

I’d highly recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers. It’s really made me want to read more of the crime genre!

Thank you to Netgalley and Gollancz for providing me with a copy of this book!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars

xxxooOx

Harry Potter Fanfiction – #PotterheadJuly

1.jpgHello! I’m very excited to be taking part in Aentee’s Harry Potter Blog Festival. Basically lots of bloggers are coordinating to write loads and loads of Harry Potter -related posts throughout the month of July and I’m lucky enough to be one of them!

I’ve decided to write my post about Harry Potter Fanfiction, including mini reviews of some of my favourite stories.

I haven’t read a huge amount of Harry Potter fanfiction, but the stuff I’ve read has been amazing. A good fanfiction lets you re-enter the world you thought you’d exhausted and spend more time with the characters, letting you witness new stories and conversations, experience novel situations, and sometimes alternative scenarios. With a world and characters as amazing as Harry Potter, this is obviously an UNMISSABLE opportunity.

Finding new fanfictions to read can be difficult. Anyone can publish their fanfiction online, and there are literally THOUSANDS of stories on various websites. There’s no filter for quality and so it can be a really mixed bag. Personally, I tend to rely on individual recommendations for specific fanfictions, so that I don’t waste my time reading something awful. (Kudos to those who valiantly trawl through the reams to provide lazy people like me with epic recommendations).

As a result, I’m going to recommend my two absolute favourite Harry Potter fanfictions, as I’m so grateful to the people who recommended them to me! Also they’re brilliant and more people should read them.

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Delicate is a “second generation” fanfiction, meaning that it follows the children of Harry/Ron etc, in the time described at the very end of the last book. In the final chapter, as I’m sure you all remember, J. K. Rowling briefly flashes to the future, where the next generation are being delivered to the Hogwart’s Express. This small chapter was basically a gift to fanfiction, and many stories have been written about these characters.

One small issue with this type of fanfiction, is that because only a brief glimpse of these characters is given in canon (the real books), every author tends to write different personalities for the characters. This is fine, and of course makes for diverse and interesting stories – the only problem is that it can get a little confusing remembering which version of Rose Weasley did what!

Anyway, to get down to it, Delicate is a story about how Rose Weasley (Ron and Hermione’s daughter), gets pregnant with Scorpio Malfoy (Draco’s son). Obviously their parents are pretty much enemies, so the whole think is hugely awkward. It’s an absolutely wonderful story, with amazing characters, which manages to be both deep/serious at times, and absolutely hilarious at others.

While there are many new characters introduced in the story, we also get to see the older generation as adults and parents. It’s also lovely to see aspects of the parents’ personalities in the children. Good old Hogwarts is the same, and some of the familiar teachers are still there. It’s very interesting to view the events of the original series as “historical” –something students are learning about in classes, and something some even joke about (for example, an emo-like child threatening to get a dark mark tattoo).

I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it, even if you’ve never read any fanfiction before! 5/5 stars!

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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a different kind of fanfiction. Rather than continuing on from the events of the books, Yudkowsky has changed the original premise of the story, and rewritten it from the beginning.

In HPMOR, Aunt Petunia has married an Oxford professor of biochemistry, instead of Uncle Vernon. As a result, Harry has had an incredibly scientific upbringing at the hands of his uncle. When faced with the prospect of magic, rather than blindly accepting his fate, Harry uses his scientific skills to critically asses his new surroundings, trying to work out how magical objects and spells work.

This story was absolutely hilarious, as well as being amazingly clever and interesting. The author is actually an artificial intelligence researcher! There were so many bits where he points out how silly something from the real series is (like branding all your secret members with a highly distinctive, visible, and accessible dark mark tattoo), but he manages to do this without insulting or belittling the original writing.

I’d highly recommend this one, especially to scientists or people interested in science and logic. Despite the scientific approach though, the story remains entertaining and hilarious. Gah, writing this has made me want to reread it!

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Have any of you read either of these fanfictions? What did you think? Also PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE recommend me more fanfictions if you have any you particularly enjoyed!!

OXOoOXoxoxx