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(Empty Coffin #1)

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  2,912 ratings  ·  582 reviews
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
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Splinter
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Average rating 3.41  · 
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 ·  2,912 ratings  ·  582 reviews

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May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Envy review

I liked this YA mystery. The twins' supernatural talent was unique; if a little discursive. I didn't care for the emails texts, people don't really write that way. Also, he didn't or couldn't get inside the head of real teens. The author was trying too hard to be "cool". He was also flippant about the death of the teenage girl in the book towards the end. Having said that, it did keep my interest, I think there was a better book in here with a little more time.
Apr 20, 2012 marked it as abandoned
‘Some of this story is completely true. And some of it isn’t. Like truth, evil comes in all sorts of flavors. Some bitter. Some deceptively sweet. Sometimes it comes with a heavy price. Most people don’t invite evil into their lives. The dirty little secret is that an invitation isn’t necessary. Locked doors don’t matter. Neither do fancy security systems. Evil is kind of amazing when you think about it. She knows how to get inside.’

Author’s Note

My main issue with Envy is that I really didn’t ge
This was a ripped-from-the-head- lines YA mystery with a supernatural twist. I thought it started out well with the town trying to find out what happened to Katelyn and if it had only been about what happened to Katelyn I probably would have liked it better.

Somewhere during the book I felt like it had split into two different stories. There was still the mystery of Katelyn but there was also the story of the twins with the supernatural powers who sensed Katelyn's death was not just an accident.
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beneath Her Skin is the first instalment in the young adult Port Gamble Chronicles series, set in the small town of Port Gamble, Washington and is based on a shocking true crime relating to cyber bullying. It opens with 15 year old Katelyn Berkley about to take a bath. Having spent a lot of time crying she doesn't know what to do with herself and the depression she finds herself in. Downstairs in the kitchen her mum, Sandra, is searching for the espresso machine wanting to use the foamer on her ...more
Jazz Webb
Beneath her skin is about the death of a local teenager Katelyn. Katelyn was a troubled girl and her death appears to be a suicide this rocks the locals as Katelyn along with twins Hayley and Taylor were the only 3 survivors of a bus crash ten years earlier whilst out on a school trip. The twins suspect that not all is right with the death of Katelyn. Unbeknown to others the twins have psychic gifts, they use this to help them solve the mystery but also find themselves on another path altogether ...more
Aug 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oh-god-why
I am astounded at all the four and five star ratings for this book. I hated this book so much. I found this to be unbearably juvenile. I'm a fan of YA fiction, but this felt like writing geared toward 4th-6th graders with mature content thrown in. Such a mess.

Things I hated:
1. The characters were hollow. They didn't feel real. Their dialogue felt empty and forced for the sake of the "story". They were all very unlikeable.
2. Somebody please tell me teenagers don't text/e-mail like that. The text
Mike Musings Book Reviews
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: psychological thriller
Starting with an angst-ridden teenager, this psychological thriller debuts the twins Haley and Taylor Ryan of Port Gamble. Into their world of schooling, family, boyfriends and the usual teenage microcosm of forging an identity comes the murder of a former friend. Not satisfied with the suicide ruling, the twins discover the darker secrets lying beneath their small-town life as they investigate further. Many skeletons long hidden in the closet will be revealed including some regarding the twins. ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
I was initially drawn to this book by the eerie cover so I really wasn’t too sure what to expect when I started it. Was it going to be scary, the mystery to easy to figure out or just another YA paranormal book? Well I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised with what I got. Envy is a dark, cleverly written mystery with a very real threat.

Envy takes place in Port Gamble, a small town in Washington State, and centers around twin girls Hayley & Taylor. The central plot of the book revolves around
Asghar Abbas
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was ok

Alright, this book. OK so yeah, I was all ready to like it, was in the mood for a scary read even if it proves to be generic, which can be lots of brainless fun sometimes, in fact I wanted just that. It certainly looked like it could deliver. It started out creepy and I was liking it, kinda reminded me of The Ring, movie American not the book Japanese, maybe because it was set around Seattle with all the verdant rainyness. It began with a very atmospheric tinge and it was very reminiscent of tha
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
F. O.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I found out via Daisy Chain Book Reviews that one of my favorite true crime authors was now delving into the world of young adult fiction I was way excited! Who better to weave together true crime, mystery, and paranormal fantasy into a fast paced young adult novel than Gregg Olsen? For years young adult mysteries have languished being replaced with the ever -popular paranormal romance. While these books have had elements of mystery in them they are mainly focused on the romantic entangleme ...more
Annie Brewer
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WOW, absolutely fantastic!!!!! Review coming soon!

Okay so I was asked to read and review an ARC for the sequel to this book, I blindly said yes. I'd never heard of the author or the books. So I was hoping that I would enjoy this book first so I could enjoy the sequel as well. And low and behold, I was HOOKED!! First off, the author is a male and normally I don't read books written by males. Not that I'm bias against them or anything, but I just haven't come across any I really liked besides "I a
Sep 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
I haven't read Olsen's other writing, and I don't read a lot of true crime books, either. However, I do read a lot of YA fiction, and this book just didn't work for me.

I visited Port Gamble earlier this year, and Olsen dropped the ball when it came to setting the scene properly. There's a few asides about the historical property management and how old the houses are, but he never takes the opportunity to give a flat-out description of the town's small scale and quaintness. That's a real shame,
Gregg Olsen’s first Young Adult novel has been re-released under the name Beneath Her Skin.

On Christmas night 15-year-old Katelyn Berkley’s mother finds her dead in the bath, electrocuted with an espresso maker. Her death is ruled as accidental, but Katelyn’s childhood friends, twins Taylor and Hayley, believe it might have been murder. The twins both possess psychic abilities and they try to decipher messages from Katelyn hoping to learn the truth. Katelyn’s death reopens wounds from a tragic a
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A 15-year-old girl, Katelyn Berkley, is found dead in the bathtub. Was this suicide, an accident, or murder? The identical twins who live next door, Hayley and Taylor Ryan, have some sort of ability to sense paranormal communications and receive messages indicating that there is more to this death than is believed. Soon they believe that Katelyn is communicating with them to help figure out what really happened. NO SPOILERS.

First, let me say that I had no idea that this was YA fiction and, if I
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a YA book and a repackaged version of the book "Envy (Empty Coffin #1)., originally published 10 years ago. It starts out with the tragic death of 15 year old Katelyn, which is deemed a suicide, though no one in her life can determine why she would have done that. Identical twins Hayley and Taylor were friends with Katelyn when they were younger and (along with some of their friends and fellow students), try to seek answers as to what really happened.

On the good side, the mystery is
I abandoned this book around 170 pages in. To be fair, it wasn't entirely the book's fault. I currently have way too many books out from the library, so I need to get through books as fast as I can. So if something's not holding my attention, I'm probably not going to finish it.

And this book really didn't hold my attention. This is probably due to the pacing. The mystery was engaging at first, but then the pace slowed to a crawl, and I got bored of it. A lot of the book doesn't consist of the ch
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Won through Goodreads Giveaway. 2.5 I'm going to split my review into two halves. First the bad: The book starts out horribly; I mean the writing is just atrocious. Each chapter ends with a sentence that is an awful, cliché, badly contrived cliffhanger. It was just gut wrenching to read. I am glad, however, that I made myself continue reading, as the quality improved in the end. My other major complaint: A true crime story does not a mystery make. It was obvious before I looked it up that the au ...more
Alyssa Wallace
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There was a lot of great things about Envy, first and for most this book really made me think. I thought about the story this book itself tells but also thought about how true this could be. Things like what happen in Envy really do actually happen. Everyday. Aside from his fabulous characters I also enjoyed his writing style. It was the first book of his I have read and am considering his adult novels. I'm still really curious and anxious for the next book, but I have no doubts it will be just ...more
Henry Hobbs
May 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is literally the worst book I've ever read. ...more
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
It’s Christmas Day when 15-year old Katelyn Berkley’s mother finds her dead in the bathtub, electrocuted by the family’s espresso machine. The coroner rules her death as accidental, but Katelyn’s childhood friends, twins Taylor and Hayley, believe it could be murder. Possessing psychic abilities, they begin to decipher messages from the deceased girl that will lead to the truth. But someone out there is watching them. Stalking them. Katelyn’s death has reopened wounds from a tragic accident year ...more
Brenda Feinen
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-netgalley
Twins have the ability to sense memories using water, objects, dreams and other mediums. They know Katelyn didn't kill herself. Using their skill, they delve deeper, trying to solve their sad friend's death.
Katelyn dies in the bathtub- electrocuted when the family espresso machine falls in. Her death is ruled accidental. Though no one can ignore the scares from cutting, the lingering depression, isolation.
Taylor and Hayley are determined to find out what really happened.
Haley ~ YA-Aholic
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Murder is such a dirty word...

Where do I start with this book ? Should I start with that it kept me up late hours of the night? That it kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end ? That it gave me some of the biggest chills and some of the biggest surprises I have ever read ? Well how about I just start with that Gregg Olsen has put together an intense story of mystery, envy, thrill, and betrayal.

Envy is about a girl Katelyn, Katelyn was just found by her mother, on the
Michael (Mai)
May 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I'm sorry I just can't finish this book. It keeps switching back and forth between people so fast that I can't keep up. That's not even the worst part. The worst part is the texting, all abbreviations and symbols. Can teenagers read that? Am I too old to understand it? If in real life someone texted me like that I'd have to stop being their friend. Why be too lazy to write "you" but have enough time to insert symbols into the middle of words. If my brother texted like that I'd shake him. ...more
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I didn't realize the book was based on a true cyberbullying case until the end. I am not surprised a girl like Starla would use what happened to try to gain her 15 minutes of fame. The worst part is there really are a lot more tees like her as witnessed in the news recently!

The story was great, and this has become one of my new favorite YA series. I loved the characters, and I cannot wait for the next book.
Ken Eveleigh
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Port Gamble, Washington, is a town filled with secrets; some of them will get you killed. Twins Haley and Taylor Ryan are convinced that their friend Katelyn didn't die by accident and using their "special gifts" they are on the search for the truth. There are twists and turns aplenty and I was engrossed from the beginning. ...more
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gripping thriller is voiced from the perspectives of numerous characters including twins Taylor and Hayley,their best friend Beth Lee and a trouble making reporter called Moira Windsor. The story is set in Port Gamble,a small tight-knit community in Washington,a place where gossip spreads faster than the leaves that are falling from the trees and where most of the residents are quick to pass judgement and voice their opinions on others. It was also a community that was still haunted by a ho ...more
Allyson Rida
Sep 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Also on:


Let me just start by saying that I can NOT finish this book. This book sounds promising from reading the blurb and I was excited to get into it but I am VERY disappointed.

The plot is mainly a whodunit storyline, that's good, it's a classic and you can hardly imagine anything to go wrong. But that's not the case for Envy. The story is written in various POVs. Actually, there were so many POVs that I've lost count already. Now, various POVs aren
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, favorites
***Originally posted to Bookish Blog

Envy is a Young Adult debut novel from the fantastic New York Times bestselling true-crime author, Gregg Olsen. It’s one deliciously dark and eerie read. I devoured it, thoroughly enjoying its creepy atmosphere! Most importantly, the content of this book lives up to its gorgeous cover, which means that if you’re one of the judge-the-book-by-its-cover readers (like me!), you can rest assured - you won’t be disappointed! In fact, you’re in for a quite a treat!
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Reading Until Inf...: Envy by Gregg Olsen --> Starting April 23rd 18 14 Apr 25, 2014 07:15PM  
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grab this 50% off TODAY ONLY! 9/28/2011 1 7 Sep 28, 2011 10:50AM  
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Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Olsen has written ten nonfiction books, ten novels, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on

Other books in the series

Empty Coffin (2 books)
  • Betrayal (Empty Coffin, #2)

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“If only these walls could talk…the world would know just how hard it is to tell the truth in a story in which everyone’s a liar.” 73 likes
“Some of this story is completely true. And some of it isn't. Like truth, evil comes in all sorts of flavors. Some bitter. Some deceptively sweet. Sometimes it comes with a heavy price. While most people don't invite evil into their lives, the dirty little secret is that an invitation isn't necessary. Locked doors don't matter. Neither do fancy security systems. Evil is kind of amazing when you think about it. She knows how to get inside.” 19 likes
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