Friday, April 6, 2012


Gregg Olsen
285 pages
Publisher: Splinter
Source: gift from a friend

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I first found out about this novel late in the summer last year and immediately wanted to read it because of its haunting cover and equally haunting description.  On Christmas Day in a small town in the Pacific northwest, a teenage girl named Katelyn is found dead in her bathtub.  The immediate assumption is that it was a suicide; the coroner marks it accidental death; but twins Hayley and Taylor think something more sinister was at play and they're going to use their "telepathic twin-sense" to figure out what really happened.

This book started off a bit shaky for me, I'm not going to lie.  At first the conversations the teenagers were having seemed unrealistic - teenagers don't talk like that in real life, I thought.  Contradictorily, the text messages the high-school students were sending to each other were hard for me to decipher.  I'm getting more and more removed from being a teenager each year, do they really text like that?  (For example, "maks my iz puff ^ n l&k evn smalr thn thyre"*)  It seems like it would take more time to type that out and figure out what it means, than just typing out the normal words!  But I digress...

After the first few chapters of Envy, however, it really picked up for me.  I, too, at first assumed it was a suicide, but as Hayley and Taylor delved deeper into the mystery I realized they were onto something.  Their twin-abilites really enhanced the plot, I loved that they had special abilities that bordered on the paranormal, but weren't so extreme as to make Envy a strictly paranormal book.  I have to admit, I was also a little intrigued because I'm a twin, too, though I don't have any super cool abilities, or even a secret language with my twin.

I am dismayed to see some of the low ratings on Goodreads.  By the time I got past the shaky start of the novel, I was really drawn in, turning those pages, waiting for some vindication or revenge, or something to happen that would make it okay.  Gregg Olsen really know how to weave a mystery with well-thought detail.  I wouldn't hesitate to read anything else by him, particularly the next book in the series.

Part contemporary with a slight hint at the paranormal, Envy drew me in by twisting a sinister plot.  That's a great thing, but the worst part?  This book is partially based on a true story.  *shudder*  Envy is an important reminder of the evils of cyber-bullying.  I hate that these things happen in real life.

By the end of the novel I couldn't decide whether to give it four or five stars, but ultimately I have to get it four because of the shaky beginning for me.  But I still loved this book and I highly recommend it to all the mystery-lovers out there.  It's definitely worth a read and I, for one, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the second book in the series, Betrayal, due out this fall.

*It took me until just now, typing this review to actually figure that one out!  I think it means, "Makes my eyes puff up and look even smaller than they are."

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