I found this gem of a book while I was celebrating my mothers 51st b-day over in the Kingston area. We were going to many breweries over there and while waiting for them to open we drove into Port Gamble, WA and walked around. If you don’t know Port Gamble is a historical town, where all the houses are number and look exactly the same as they did when the town was founded. Upon wandering around we found an amazing bookstore, The Dauntless Bookstore, and the proprietor recommended the book, Envy by Gregg Olsen. Of course, I had to buy it and read it as soon as I could.
Envy is the first book of a six book series, the Empty Coffin series that resides in the town of Port Gamble. Hayley and Taylor Ryan are 15 year-old twins who have grown up in this town. One day the town, shocked by the death of 15 year-old Kaitlyn, began to speculate. Everyone assumes that it is suicide or an accident because no one wants to believe that murderer could be living among them. Hayley and Taylor using, their somewhat magical “twin-sense,” know that this is not a suicide. There has to be something more and the twins go looking for it. With the magical help to their already outstanding intelligence, the twins, along with Hayley’s boyfriend Colton, try to solve what they believe to be the murder of their old friend Kaitlyn. As they uncover more about the suspicious death, they began to uncover a secret about themselves. The secret is big, one that their parents willingly lie to them about and as the book ends it only scratches the surface of the secret. All this leads up to the question, What is so special about Hayley and Taylor Ryan?
I enjoyed this book. From beginning to end, it kept me entertained and was a very interesting read. As it is a YA novel, I enjoyed a fresh take on the supernatural in this book. It wasn’t vampires or werewolves, there was just the supernatural when it came to the twin’s ability. The supernatural, to me, is a played out theme, especially in the last couple years. So this really surprised me by how well written it was and a that it was different from all other YA books that I have encountered. The overlay of real vs. supernatural was really striking in this novel. On the one hand you have the very real murder that needs to be solved and on the other you have the supernatural ability that the twins posses. The binary that this creates is very well-developed and interesting. Obviously, since this book is the beginning of the series, there are a lot of open-ended questions that will hopefully be answered when the series is finished. I, of course, know that there will be these questions at the end, but it still does not make it any easier when I want all the answer now! Alas, I have to wait for the next book to come out…sigh. The intricacy of the relationship the twins have with each other was interesting to read and it was enjoyable to have the main characters of the novel be twins. They are both witty, loving, and very much teenagers (which only enhances the novel in my opinion). The one issues I had with the book, this issue made it almost hard to read, was that whenever Gregg would depict a text message (it would actually look like text message on the page) he made the character use the crazy text message speak of all short-handed words and weird spellings of things. It almost made Taylor and Hayley sound stupid, which we know that they are not. I really could not get past this when reading the book, it was very distracting to me. That being said, overall I did enjoy the book and will be definitely be picking up the rest of the series when they come out.
Rating: 325 pages out of 500 pages.
This novel is worth the time to read, but it is not my favorite YA novel that I have read.
Hej då for now