Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Envy by Gregg Olsen

Envy by Gregg Olsen
Published: August 2011
Publisher: Splinter
Available: Amazon


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.


This was definitely not my type of book. I really struggled to get into this book and I actually gave up on it about half way through which is really disappointing, because the first chapter was great. I loved the description and the intense feeling that Olsen create there. But that description becomes the books downfall.

After the first chapter every little thing was bogged down with adjectives and yet nothing felt real. While a well placed adjective or adverb can help build depth, Olsen's frequent over description completely slow down the story and pulled me right out of it. It got to the point that I was skipping page after page of boring useless details.

There was also an endless list of characters that we were introduced to, and get to see a chapter here and there from their point of view. I don't mind third person, in fact I actually prefer it, but Olsen puts us right in these new character's heads and I began to wonder if I was supposed to be getting clues from each of their seemingly pointless thoughts. From the synopsis, I thought this story would focus on the twins, but they're just two more characters that I really didn't care about. They had absolutely no personality and their powers were so badly described (strange, I know, considering Olsen was so detailed about everything else) that I had no idea what they were suppose to be doing with them.

Envy is loosely based on a real life tragedy of cyber-bullying, but what could have made an interesting realistic story was really just a mess. Technically there was nothing wrong with the book, but I felt no connection to any of the characters, and midway through I had no investment in figuring out what really happened and was completely bored.  I gave up at the halfway point after about a month of having it sit open on my nightstand, and I don't have the slightest inclination to give it another try.

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