Thursday, October 13, 2011

Envy by Gregg Olsen

Murder is such a dirty word… 
New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with EMPTY COFFIN, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories…with a paranormal touch.
Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.

Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.

Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.
I was quite interested in reading this book. Taking a few very important problems in today's society like cyber-bullying and suicide and adding a paranormal edge to the whole thing. While you did get some aspects of those problems, taken right from the headlines, it didn't quite work for me.

I enjoyed the characters of Katelyn and the twins, Hayley and Taylor. In fact, I'd have to say I enjoyed all the characters even if they were the "good" guys or the "bad". The author was able to portray characters with more than one side to a personality. One where often the "bad" guys had problems within their lives and a rounded out view as to why they acted the way they did. I also enjoyed the unfolding of Katelyn's life and Hayley and Taylor. The twins who were born to solve problems with a psychic gift between them were the most interesting and who I believe the next stories in this series will revolve around.

So, have I now left you scratching your head as to why I said it didn't work for me? Well... it was the story. It was several stories all jumbled together. Yes, they all have a connection as they all live in the same town, but it was as if we are pulled in several different directions trying to find out what the real mystery is that we are supposed to care about. The main story was elusive and yet seemed to be everything at once. It felt as though this book either needed to be several short stories, or at least let one of the mysteries take the lead. It just didn't work. Even what we thought would be the main story was reduced in the end to something of lesser importance. This was a chance to make a huge statement and I don't think it was achieved here.

I give this book 2 stars. It wasn't bad at all, but lacked direction. I might pick up another book in this series as they are published. I've seen books like this get a direction and then the stories rock. I'm hoping that this will go that way. The ideas were good, so there is potential.

Envy By Gregg Olsen from Sterling Publishing on Vimeo.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers
I received this ARC through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program and the publisher. No compensation for my review was given.


  1. Oh, that's disappointing. Sorry to hear this one didn't hit the mark for you. Like you said, hopefully it will come together as the series continues. I'll have read this soon and see what I think, but you're is not the first less than glowing review I've seen of this book!

  2. A narration getting lost among several threads is indeed something to be omitted. A good editor would have been able to correct it. A good author should have been able to choose one thread and stick to it. Pity but better luck next time I suppose...

  3. Oh, I had such high hopes from the description :( Maybe the next one though :D

  4. Sorry you didn't like it. It was a book I was intrigued about, with this kind of cover. But when the story doesn't follow it's difficult...

  5. Aww! *tears* so basically it's irritating because it's confusing as it lacks any difinitive direction? So I'll be confused the whole time? No good.

  6. Gah! My little brain would not have been able to take all those story lines. I get confused easily. Such a same that this didn't really work because the cover is creepy but gorgeous!

  7. Oh no! We need direction. We need it. Otherwise we are going to get lost and I really don't want that. :)

  8. Sorry this one didn't work out for you. It's a shame, it sounded like it had promise.

  9. Don't you hate it when there's so much great potential and all the right elements are there but the execution fails? I do hope the series gets better since you're willing to try the next installment.

  10. Sorry you couldn't get into it. I loved that pov and how it worked together. But I see what you are saying too. Nice review!

  11. I can't say I like the lack direction comment, I do want that. So perhaps not for me then :/

  12. Yay! A book I don't have to add to my ever growing must-buy/read list! My bank manager and my book shelves will be pleased that they take a little breathe at least for now... :)

  13. Thanks for the review, certainly not a book for me.

  14. @Little Miss.. i've seen books do that, so I'm hopeful.

    @Anachronist... not so much a good editor but more like a solid direction.

    @animewookie... Me too.. :(

    @Melliane...It's more like it didn't flow...

    @Ashley... Not confused. I wasn't lost, but it just pulled me in too many directions.

    @Missie... LOL Na, you could have handled it. :)

    @Nina... So true. :D

    @Carolsnotebook.... I think it can perhaps after this one...

    @Stephanie.. I have hope too!

    @Savannah... I loved your review. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it!!

    @Blodeuedd... Me too! :)

    @Mel... LOL I know what you mean! :D

    @Aurian... I still love the cover! LOL

  15. I had a similar reaction to this book; I couldn't even finish it :( Hope you have something good up next!

  16. Sorry it didn't work for you, but it doesn't sound like one for me either. :) Thanks for the honest review.

  17. Well, that's too bad. Sounds like it had lots of potential.

  18. Potential is always good but to many storylines would have lost me. It has a fantastic cover though!

  19. I remember seeing this one in the batch, thought the cover was great but IDK I'm a chicken and didn't think I would enjoy it. That trailer is really well done by the way! Thanks for the reveiw :)

  20. Not going to lie, I don't really like the idea of combining Based shocking true crimes about cyber-bullying with paranormal elements- I think I will pass on this one. Thanks for the great review Melissa!


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