Monday, October 31, 2011

Envy by Gregg Olsen: A Review

Envy by  Gregg Olsen   

When Was It Released?:  6th September 2011
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review

Who Published It?: Splinter Publishing
Number Of Pages: 285 pages

As soon as I saw the cover of Envy by Gregg Olsen I knew that would be a perfect book to read during Halloween. There is only one word to describe the cover and that word is CREEPY. That being said the cover underneath the sleeve is beautiful while still being eerie and I think I loved it even more than the main cover. As soon as I saw the cover of this book I was instantly reminded of my mum. My mum loves crime books, murder books and thriller books, with those genres being pretty much all she will read. Growing up, therefore, I had access to a vast library of crime novels that left me with nightmares long after I had finished reading them. I think that may be why I don’t read many crimes books now, but once I saw Envy I felt ready to end up hiding behind my sofa .

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.

I have to begin by saying that I loved the writing in Envy. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was about the writing style that I loved so much all I can say is that every time I thought about putting this book down I literally couldn’t. While the plot is intriguing it was really the writing that had me so engrossed. Speaking of plot I really enjoyed the premise of Envy, with it being a ‘true’ crime YA novel, a genre that has not really been tapped into within YA books. I also enjoyed how the focus was on online bullying, which is becoming ever more present within today’s society and yet is such a sensitive subject to deal with. I really enjoyed the paranormal elements of Envy; while I don’t want to give too much away by telling you what those are I will say that it added a refreshing twist which I really enjoyed.
In terms of characters, Hayley and Taylor, the twins, were my favourites. Even though they are teenagers and so therefore young I did feel that they were very smart for their age. There are a lot of characters within Envy, yet I found that I was not confused at any one time. I really enjoyed the way in which the point of view the story is told from changes constantly, giving more insight into how each character feels about Katelyn’s death. Along with the cover, another of my favourite things about Envy was the layout. I loved the format used for the chapter headings, and how messages sent within the novel are made to stand out on the page. These are only small elements but they really added to my enjoyment of the novel.

My only issue with Envy was the sometimes the way in which the characters spoke was a little young for my liking. In particular I found the way in which the text messages shown within the book were written in text language, which I didn’t enjoy reading. I also found some of the phrases used by the characters were a little stereotypical teen and therefore a little annoying for my liking.

Envy, overall, was an extremely enjoyable read that had me captivated from beginning to end. I felt as though I was thrown along a terrifying rollercoaster of a journey that left me constantly guessing and then being shocked by what happened next. The true elements woven into the story really set this novel aside and make it unique. Envy is a must read, just make sure your not home alone when you read this one!

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