Thursday, December 1, 2011

Audiobook review: Envy by Gregg Olsen

Envy by Gregg Olsen
Genre: YA paranormal mystery
Length: 9h 29m
Read by: Julia Whelan
Audio publisher: Brillance Audio, 2011
From: local library

Story: Kaitlin feels like her life is over. When she unexpectedly dies in the bath, the secrets come out about her, her family, and her neighbors. Kaitlin's classmates, the Ryan twins, Hayley and Taylor, are determined to find out the truth about Kaitlin's death, and they don't mind using their special powers to do it. In their search, they discover more about the mysterious accident they all survived years ago.

Thoughts: I love the cover image for this book but didn't know what to expect from the story. It did start out a little rough. Some of the wording was awkward, and it felt like it was trying hard to be young, using words like Smashbox and fugly. Luckily, the realistic, non-whiny characters and improved writing style as the story progressed made up for the rocky start. It didn't hurt that the story gets darker and more complicated as it goes on. Following the points of view of both teenagers and adults, the book is primarily a mystery, with just the slightest bit of unexplained around the edges. The paranormal is unique, though a little confusing. I kept forgetting which twin had what power. I did cheer when they used Scrabble tiles instead of a Ouija board. Perfect! Ouija boards always seemed so useless. I also liked how the story stands well on its own but has enough questions left to expand upon in the sequel.

Reading:  Julia Whelan has a clear, young voice that fits perfectly with the teenagers in Envy. Her reading is nicely expressive without going over the top.

Final thoughts: Have a green Christmas with Envy, a dark and clever teenage mystery.

Grade: 4 out of 5
Purchase audio version from Audible    Purchase paper version from Amazon

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