Sunday, April 15, 2012

Envy (Empty Coffin #1) by Gregg Olsen

Envy (Empty Coffin, #1)

When 15 year-old Katelyn is electrocuted by a coffee maker and found dead in her bathtub, her death is pronounced accidental. But twins Hayley and Taylor feel that it was more than that. They feel that things are not always what they seem, and that they must find out why Katelyn died. Could it have been murder? Or suicide? Either way they know something's up, and they're going to figure it out.

I was intrigued by the creepy looking cover and the interesting plot. It's based on a real story about cyberbullying. Interesting enough, correct? Correct. This should have been a five-star book hands down. But there were a few things that bothered me.

On the positive side, I like the message that this book sends about cyberbullying and how it shows the evil side of humans. I liked the mystery of it all and how it came together. It was fun and suspenseful. The plot is really interesting too. The characters were pretty realistic, and I liked how you got to see into all of their differnent minds and their ambitions. And unlike some stories, I wasn't able to predict the ending for this one. I had a basic idea, but it was a lot more complicated than I thought. I also liked the title and the cover choices. And where the title comes from, I thought that was pretty cool. But on the cover it says "murder is such a dirty word", when the book isn't... really... yeah. You'll see.

About the bad things, I felt that Gregg Olsen was trying TOO hard to be hip and cool and relate this to teens. That is who it's written for, after all. He includes many text messages and IMs in his book, which is fine by me. But the thing that was annoying was the shortened text lingo. I don't know where you adults get off, but us kids do not talk like that. I love texting, and I have NEVER encountered anyone who talks like they did. Because no one does. Her mutilates their messages so something like: "I'm busy right now, I'll talk to you later" would be "bzy rt nw, ttul :P". And you as a reader are like, wtf... There were times I had to read them very slowly because I had no idea what they were talking about. Nobody talks like that. Does it really take that much more time to type out actual words?

Another thing was the supernatural aspect. I can handle a whole "twin sense" thing, because I believe that there are some things in this world that just cannot be explained. But the whole "I'm going to submerge myself in a bathtub and let letters come to me" and "now they are pulsing from Scrabble letters" just made me roll my eyes. It just seemed TOO hokey and unrealistic. I like stories that blend fact and fiction together, but I don't like when its really obvious what is real and what isn't.

I knew that this was only the first book in a series, but I had hoped that there would be different situations and characters. I was a little disappointed to find out that they would be the same. I mean, how many crimes can one town have? But yeah...

I'm interested to seeing what the other books in this series (and their covers) will be like and I may just have to read them. I recommend this one if the plot entertains you, but I'm warning you not to get your hopes up! 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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