Review: Envy

Envy by Gregg Olsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an odd book for me – I usually read in the fantasy/SF grouping of teen books, and this was more along the lines of paranormal/teen angst. Done by an award winning true crime journalist, it’s his first book for teens, and although he comes with the credentials of having two daughters, I’m not sure all the book meshed with what teens are thinking, saying and texting. Based on a story ripped from the headlines of a young girl who commits suicide, a pair of twins, with some paranormal abilities to reach out and “see” what the dead and the living are thinking, decide to investigate why their friend, who had drifted away in HS, was now dead. Their father was a crime writer, and so they had been surrounded with death and investigations since birth, which make the idea more plausible – plus the pull they feel from the visions. The book is done in a heavy modern teen style, with interspersions of faux newspaper articles, notes, and texts – it’s the texts that bother me. While I have no idea of how and what my daughter texts, the texting language he used jarred on me – it’s not what she uses when she texts me. She usually uses fairly complete sentences and words. Some of them were obvious texting changes that even I make, others not so much, and some were just hard to figure out – you have to sound then out in your head, and in context, and that slows me, the reader, down. Teens may have no problem – I’m guessing he ran it through his daughters, but without knowing their ages, I can’t guess at it’s accuracy. One word in particular stumped me for a long while “boud” – I finally figured it was meant to be “about,” but why change the last letter? It probably means something else all together .-)

All in all, a decent “chiller” read, with another book in this series coming. I’d read it, in the hopes that I feel a little more depth from the teen characters (the adults were drawn a little deeper to me), and to see what the rest of the mystery surrounding this interesting locale, a old logging historic place town near Port Orchard and Bremerton has in store. Since this is such a topical book, and makes many references to brands, styles, and other teen things, it might date itself quickly.

View all my reviews


Comments are closed.