Envy [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Envy

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Found electrocuted in the bathtub, Katelyn Berkley, 15, who had a history of cutting, appears to have committed suicide. But from chapter one of this thriller there are suggestions that someone else was involved in her death. Hayley and Taylor Ryan, who, along with Katelyn, were the only children to survive a tragic bus crash years earlier, may be the only ones who can uncover the truth. The twins possess a kind of supernatural insight, allowing them to receive messages from the dead via dreams, visions, and Scrabble letters. What emerges is a picture of a lonely girl, a vengeful neighbor, and a fake online boyfriend. An author's note explains that the events in the book were inspired by one of the earliest cases connecting cyberbullying to teen suicide. This book's timeliness will give it relevance and appeal to teens who themselves regularly experience social ups and downs online. The author is master of the short, dramatic sentence, at times overusing it in service of the book's taut, suspenseful mood. With its punchy prose, pop-culture references, and steady stream of unraveling clues, this book has potential for reluctant readers. Give it to teens with a macabre bent, who won't be turned off by a few genre clichés.—Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402790096
  • Publisher: Splinter
  • Publication date: 8/23/2011
  • Series: Empty Coffin Series, #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 99,143
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Gregg Olsen
Gregg Olsen is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author whose books have sold over one million copies. Olsen's books have been translated into multiple languages, and he has been interviewed on various TV programs. For more info, see: greggolsen.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Can't wait

    Olsen has a fantastic writing style: faced paced with all the right twists. I can't wait to read his next book.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Can't wait for the next book!

    I thought this would be a good read for my family vacation to Hawaii -- I planned on reading it at the beach or pool side, but I finished it before I even arrived. The twists and turns keep me interested (even enough to skip the in-flight movie). I just had to figure out what happened to Katelynn and more about the twins special power. This book is so much more believeable (yet still enjoyable) than today's teen vampire fantasy books. I'll totally be telling my friends to ready ENVY!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Excellent new YA mystery series!!!!!

    Port Gamble, Washington is not your average scenic small town. Bad things happen there. Behind the historic homes and beautiful beaches there is evil, and the first thing one learns is that evil never takes a holiday. Things were not going well for Katelynn Berkley. She was depressed and lonely, shutting herself off from everyone who once cared about her. Former friends Taylor and Hayley Ryan knew that Katelynn needed help, yet they had a difficult time accepting that Katelynn's unexpected Christmas evening demise was actually a suicide. First there was the manner in which Katelynn supposedly used to kill herself, an espresso machine in the bathtub. Next, were the cryptic messages they were sure Katelynn was sending them from beyond the grave. Messages they felt would unlock the mystery behind Katelynn's untimely death. As twins, Taylor and Hayley share a psychic connection beyond the boundaries of normal sibling relationships. They have kept the extent of their connection a secret from everyone except each other. How would anyone else be able to understand that they can catch glimpses of the past and future and possibly receive messages from the dead? Their gift has been something that they never gave much thought to until the death of their former friend. Taylor and Hayley want to know the truth behind Katelynn's death and agree to use their abilities in solving what they come to believe is her murder.
    The idea of psychic twins might seem a little far-fetched, but Gregg Olsen does a masterful job of creating a subtly to their messages that makes the storyline completely believable. The messages Taylor and Hayley receive are little more than feelings and glimpses they get when they come into contact with something that belonged to Katelynn. These bits of information are what help to propel them in their quest to discover the truth about Katelynn's death. The cast of characters who reside in Port Gamble are brilliant. Every family has a secret they wish to keep hidden. This not only adds to the creepy factor of the story, but also sets up numerous plotlines for future installments. One of my favorite characters was Starla Larsen. Her name alone is genius. What better name than Starla for a girl who feels that she is better than everyone around her and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Starla is the proverbial "mean girl" in the story and she plays the part well. A villain the reader will relish to learn more about.
    One of the things that make Envy an engrossing story is the way in which Gregg Olsen weaves fact with fiction throughout the book. While Port Gamble and its residents are his own creation the plot is loosely based on the true story of Megan Meier. Megan was thirteen years old when she committed suicide after being horrifically cyber bullied. Her case brought attention to the cruelty that can be perpetuated by both teens and adults through the various social media outlets many of us innocently enjoy. By using what he knows best, true crime, Olsen creates a story that keeps the reader captivated until the very end. Some of the plot choices he makes are extremely bold and refreshing in that he chose not to soften the events of his story just because it is being written for a young adult audience. There are more than a few OMG moments throughout Envy!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Great YA mystery!

    While I'm not reviewing the cover, I must say it's STUNNING. It has a lovely creepy vibe that fits the book well. The colors are gorgeous. This is one of my favorite covers this year.

    The writing and story line kept me held in place wanting to know more, this book worked it's magic on me - it's simply addictive. The writing itself is a bit different than the average YA book. Gregg Olsen is a originally a crime author and this was his first foray into the young adult world. So it has the feel and writing style of a crime novel, yet in this case, it works wonderfully. The story line hits on a true crime that I had followed, because it horrified me when I first heard about it. I won't tell you which crime specifically, because that would be a spoiler but it involves cyber-bullying. While it does focus a lot on the crime aspect, there is a bit of a paranormal twist that makes Envy fresh and unique.Envy opens with Katelyn, she is such a moving character for me. Mind you, she's dies right away, so she's not exactly an active character, but she is a very important one. As the story unfolds to tell the reader what happened to her, I felt more and more drawn to her.

    Hayley and Taylor are twins and used to be friends with Katelyn. The paranormal twist I mentioned? They have a special power, this enables them to be able to investigate what they feel was a murder much easier than if they didn't have one. They were interesting as main characters, and I was happy that despite their differences with Katelyn that they did investigate the crime.

    It's pretty obvious I loved this book! While it's going to appeal more to crime or mystery lovers, it definitely has potential to entice readers of horror (or at least creepy ones) and paranormal books as well.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Awsome

    This book is amazing! I definitely can't wait to read the next one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Ok

    Pretty good read.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    I'm on Team Hay-Tay!

    I can already tell I've found my new favorite series! I read it cover to cover last weekend and can't wait to see what happens next to these special supernatural twins. The story begins with their neighbor and former best friend's mysterious death -- she's found in her bath tub cozied up to a plugged in espresso machine (a rather unusual death). It is unclear whether she killed herself or if somebody was involved in her untimely death. The twins next door (Hayley and Taylor Ryan) work to uncover the truth using their detective skills -- passed down from their true crime author father -- and their intuition or some might say "paranormal abilities". What did they find out? You'll have to read the book to know the truth.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Splish, splash will never be the same

    I believe envy may not be the first in YA suspense - but it reminds me more strongly of its adult version (similar to how The Season takes the historical romance genre and makes it more youthful). It reminds me of cryer's cross with a similar creepy factor to it. Yet I feel that the difference between them is that cryer's cross had a more supernatural ending and envy simply relies on more realistic events that can actually happen to anyone.

    THE GOOD BITS
    {YA version of adult suspense.} I don't read much suspense, especially after a few all-nighters with Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta vs serial killers. Nothing defines the suspense genre better than the reader's growing sense of dread as the pages turn, and envy definitely channels this necessary reaction! With creepy interludes of an unknown villain, I braced myself for a horror that defies imagination that reveals whose sick mind was behind Katelyn's death.

    {Unexpected twist with unpredictable ending.} The ending of envy took me completely by surprise - and it definitely will leave readers wondering just where Gregg Olson wants to take this series. Katelyn's death seemed so straightforward at first in the beginning, but the Ryan twins suspect foul play with their uncanny sixth sense. As more players enter the field to look into Katelyn's death whether to uncover the truth or reap the benefits of bad news, I was not even close to piecing the whodunit together.

    THE BAD BITS
    {Too many characters in the kitchen.} Throwing different people into the mix helps to keep the suspense building. I wonder who will finally discover the truth, who will hinder the investigation, who was behind the crime., who suffers, who simply doesn't care - and it keeps me on my toes. However, I thought some of the characters were a little distracting as they served not the immediate story of Katelyn's death, but existed for the overall series storyline. It works for TV series like LOST or VERONICA MARS where each episode was a mini-mystery with hints of the finale, but in envy I found it a little distracting.

    {Misleading cover?} Is it just me, or does the cover remind anyone else of the girl from THE RING? Very creepy - too creepy in fact for a book with no ghostlies or other bumps in the night. I don't think I would have picked envy up if I had realized it was suspense.

    {Twin "specialness" not fully developed. } I suspect that the Ryan twins will be the stars of the EMPTY COFFIN SERIES, and envy is merely the tip of the iceberg as to what exactly these twins can or cannot do. I am not entirely convinced that this "specialness" works for the series yet. I wish also that the twins stood out from each other more because they are still "Hay-Tay" to me and not as individual as say Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield.

    THE OVERALL
    While the EMPTY COFFIN SERIES may promise to be different from current YA books, I cannot say that envy left me with a definite sense of "AHA! This is what YA is missing from its shelves!" It was a decent suspense, but nothing that blew my socks off. It will be interesting to see if Book 2 will deliver a more potent reaction.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    you must check this book out is has amazing details

    A perfect girl, well at least her parents thought that. Katelyn was a 15 year old girl who lived in Port Gamble. She gets pushed around and thrown into lockers. One day her dad went to go check on the shop and her mother went upstairs to find her coffee maker and when she passed the bathroom there was a cool breeze. She walked in and realized that Katie was in there. She was in the bath tub she was limped over. Her mom had fallen and had hurt herself. She pulled herself up to the bathtub and saw her. She started screaming at Kate repeatedly. The 15 year old Katelyn was dead. It was all over in seconds. I really recommend this book because it is a true life story about a 15 year old girl. And if you like true life stories like I do you will enjoy it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Entertaining and Easy Read

    The book is good, not great. I thought that it was well written and kept me interested enough that I will read the second book. Although it is short (270 pages), it dragged a bit at times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    Envy-licious!

    Envy has such a unique and creative story line - twins with supernatural powers! You can't help but love the girls and their family and friends... you almost want to move into the neighborhood in charming Port Gamble, Washington but watch out! Gregg Olsen's talent is so impressive in this diverse new series of books geared for YAs. I can't wait for the next book .... 'might have to read this one again soon!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    Writers have been writing some amazing stories. I love it when an author takes a real life story and changes it into something completely new! I love IT! So many new stories with a whole new twist. And this story has a twist like no other...

    I loved the mystery in this book. I like a good mystery that not only keeps me on my toes but also searching for clues. As the reader, you are taken on this great reading adventure in search for what really happened to Katelyn. As the story unfolded, I am amazing at the great writing that has pulled in and drown me.

    The characters of this book are not what I expected. We have twins Haley and Taylor that uncover not one but two mysteries in the making. I want to be these twins BFF's. They searched, ask questions, even their wittiness had me snickering and in awe of what they are capable of doing. I also like how close knit the families were. Haley/Taylor had wonderful parents and very supportive. I like the small town talk of the other families. it made the story much more juicier.

    One thing I adore about this book are the point of view switches. I like how they didn't confused the reader, but enhance the book. The reader got to see from all point of views and was able to peace together the great mystery of the story.

    Envy is a great mystery story like I have never read before! Totally amazing and thought provoking, Envy is what you want to read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

    Very well written, keeps you on the edge of your chair for the next twist and turn of the story. I can't put it down....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent...Highly Recommended

    A new release by Gregg Olsen?? Of course I was excited!I have read and reviewed two of his books and I LOVED them! Then I read that it was a YA book...ok you have my attention, but can Gregg Olsen, master of suspense and horror, and that "I'm scared to look behind me in the dark" pull that off? Yes, I believe he can. Simply put I really really REALLY enjoyed this book. I had read a few negative reviews but after seeing the cover that was not going to deter me. How can you look at that cover and NOT be intrigued? Please don't go into this expecting Gregg's "adult" horror/thriller style of writing because that is not what you will get. It is Young Adult...it's is written in Young Adult style. I, being a 33 year old adult enjoy reading a good YA book and here it is.
    Here's what I thought... the writing and story line is exceptional, it took me back to my teen years when you didn't want to be different and wanted to be part of the "in" crowd (see there's my age coming in, it's not called the "in" crowd anymore lol), wanted people to understand you and like you. the characters are well developed...the miss understood teen found dead in her bathtub, the beautiful "she's going to go somewhere in life" and everyone wants to be her neighbor, the jock (with a passion for computers), the twin's with a kind of "sixth sense", the every week is a different fad best friend. Then there are the parents. A drunk of a mother who has to bury her daughter and a father that works too much to avoid the drunk wife, a "I deserve it all" hairdresser mother whose husband went M.I.A. (which I hope to find out more about as the series continues), a mom so scared to leave the house and drive, and a widowed mother who the death of her first born was too much for her husband to take and ended up floating in the water. All involved were part of a horrific accident when the kids were very very young and have been dealing with their grief and anger in their own ways.
    What else I loved about this book is how you were kept holding on by a string as the author released little tidbits here and there of background story and as you read further on, things were explained and start making sense.
    The most important part is the attention to cyber bullying and it's consequences this story brings. This story was based in part on a true story of Megan Meier who was cyber bullied by a friends mother and that the bullying was her reason for suicide. Social networks have opened a whole new doorway to bullying others and is a huge problem. Teens have enough on their plate as it is with every day life.
    Easy read, enjoyable read. I think Gregg is onto something great here with this series, with not only a great story line but with a background message too. Expect book two, Betrayal, in the Fall of 2012. I did read the preview at the end of Envy and I'm not sure how I will be able to wait that long!
    Please visit www (dot) emptycoffinseries (dot) com for more information on the book, the series, a countdown to release clock, trailer, and information on cyber bullying and much much more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2013

    Depth of character is seriously lacking. The twin's special tal

    Depth of character is seriously lacking. The twin's special talents, something that is protected in the book even to murder, is not connected to anything. What really sent me over the edge was that the girl's demise in the bathtub WAS an accident. Sorry. Very dissapointing. Two stars are for the urban humor.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    Ran out for the second book the next day.

    Ran out for the second book the next day.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Kept waiting for something to happen

    I really tried to like this novel. The cover got me all curious. Yet it wasn’t what I thought it was. I thought there was going to be more of a paranormal feel to it, but it’s limited to mostly the twins having their telepathic abilities. I rather liked the history behind the two girls that was actually the more interesting part of the book. The mystery part of the book wasn’t that great. It sure had all the makings of an intriguing mystery, it even got me hooked and I kept trying to guess who was behind it. Yet the ending was just so anti climactic and I felt almost as if I was cheated out of a good ending (and suddenly feeling the urge to demand a refund of my time back). So when you find out who did it and what really happened, it was pretty much bland. The characters were okay. The twins were your typical gifted, overachieving, strikingly beautiful people to ever walk the earth with paranormal powers. Nothing new there and they were like made out of a cookie cutter style. None of the characters really stood out to me, and I think this, with the combination of rather dry writing, and a slow pace of the plot, I didn’t really enjoy the novel. It was disappointing, since I was looking forward to reading this, and I thought it certainly had the potential to be interesting. I am still not sure if I’m going to read the second one of this book. It’ll have to be spectacular and exciting enough for me to read. It is the first book of a series, and sometimes they’re off to a rocky start so who knows what the second one will have. Not going to recommend this to anyone but if you are curious, I say take it or leave it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Great Book!!! Everyone should read (13+)

    Keeps you guessing every page!! You don't ever want to pur down this book!!!! A little discriptive so age range, 12+!!!

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Chapter by Chapter's review of ENVY

    Wow. Just wow. I mean, that’s honestly the only word that can describe Envy by Gregg Olsen. From the moment I looked at the cover, I was already fascinated. When they say not to judge a book by its cover, I know that I did just that with Envy. The cover is creepy and at the same time had me wondering what the story was about, and once I read the description on Goodreads, I knew that I absolutely had to read the novel.

    Just reading the first chapter had me hooked. It takes place the night of Katelyn’s death and leaves readers craving the rest of the chapter. You’re thrown into mystery and tragedy, and if you have a thing for the two of those genres like me—then you know I was eager to read the next chapter. Envy is the story of psychic twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan as their small town deals with the recent death of their used-to-be friend Katelyn. But the two girls know that Katelyn’s death wasn’t a suicide and begin to uncover things best left alone as they also receive messages from Katelyn from beyond the grave.

    Awesome-sauce right? Right. Everything about Envy has you eager for the next page/chapter/sentence… you get my drift. Olsen has written the story in a way that has you able to envision every little detail from the story in your mind and I know that more than once I felt like I was actually watching most scenes in my head. Either it was the description of mean girl Starla or it was a moment when Taylor and Hayley were both using the Scrabble tiles to understand what Katelyn wants them to know, the descriptions in Envy are to die for.

    The story did manage to stir a lot of emotions up in me. If you have seen the movie Cyberbully (like I recently have) then you know how sad and real online bullying is and how it can lead people to extremes. Envy doesn’t shy away from the topic and focuses mainly on it as it helps expand just how Katelyn’s life managed to end the way it did. I do know that the cyberbullying in the novel was both realistic and would really help today’s youth understand the effects of using social media as a way to abuse people.

    And the fact that some of the things that take place in Envy are based on true events definitely has me sick to my stomach. I’ve always had a thing of murder-mysteries and I’m not going to lie, Envy has given me a high dosage of it and I love it. With every experience that you go through with the two sisters, you feel a bit like a detective. I know that I did.

    I really don’t have any complaints with the novel, the changing of POV’s could make me irate at times but it was nothing major. Though I am a teenager myself (mutant and proud), the way that the characters used “text speak” had me reading through the messages slowly. I use full sentences, which I think is easier to understand. However, they used symbols and a lot of shortened words. I guess I’m just not up to speed on “text speak” like my fellow teens.

    I’d recommend Envy just to about anybody searching for a good read. If you’ve been let down by a few books lately, I’d hand you Envy and tell you to sit down. To not argue and to just sit down and read it. Word for word because if you miss the littlest sentence you will be confused for the rest of the story. Envy is one of those stories where you have to read it slowly because of the high amount of detailing. If you love mysteries and thrillers (and the above can still apply to you) then I would highly recommend Envy. It’s fantastic. Just saying.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    So this book is not what I expected at all. This is the story of

    So this book is not what I expected at all. This is the story of
    cyber-bullying, but not in any way you normally think it will happen.
    Blurb from Goodreads: 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 have to say that
    I do not read many books written by male authors. It is not because I
    don't like male authors, but there just seem to be so many more female
    ones out there. I was happy to pick this one up. And the premise of this
    book is something that is near and dear to every parent who has a child
    in this day and age: cyber bullying. It is something that is real and
    something of which every parent should have an understanding. I really
    love that the story is based on true events There is a large cast of
    characters in this book, so I will not talk about them all but I will
    say they are well developed. I was really able to connect with them. I
    could feel their emotions: their fear, their angst, their connection to
    one another. The main characters are Haley and Taylor, twins who reside
    next door to Katelyn Berkley. When Katelyn mysteriously dies, they know
    that something is just not right, and they are determined to figure out
    exactly what it was that lead to her death. But these girlsare not your
    ordinary teens, though. Their connection to things other-worldly makes
    them special. Throughout the book you can feel the evil undertone. You
    can feel that something is lurking that is outside of the world as we
    know it. Throughout the book, they focus on the "clues"
    Katelyn left behind, in the hopes of finding the truth and allowing her
    soul to rest. Each chapter of this book gives differing view points of
    the "crime" as experienced by the people who surrounded this
    young woman. Their relationships with her are painted from all
    perspectives: anger, fear, sadness. You get the feeling that Katelyn was
    a lonely girl, who had withdrawn from the few friends she did have. When
    she gets the popular girl in trouble, she pays for it dearly, or so it
    seems. I have to say that the differing points of view sometimes felt
    disjointed to me, and I was sometimes lost. But the story line was
    intriguing enough to make me want to keep reading. Olsen certainly has
    control of writing. His descriptions are real and accurate. You can
    feel, smell, and even taste the tensions and other emotions emoting from
    the characters as they process the death of a young lady in their small
    community. And the events that unfold are not at all what you think they
    are going to be, so the mystery keeps you wanting more. I really
    enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to read the ARC copy of
    Betrayl that I have sitting on my self. 3 out of 5 stars for me.

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