Cover Image: Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

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Member Reviews

When I first pulled this one up (writing a review in May for a book I read in February, WHY), I legitimately could not have told you a single thing about this book - but then I read the synopsis and it all came back to me, so I would say that's a good thing. The end felt a little anti-climactic, but that could also be because I was reading to finish from about 75% on - the pacing and the dialogue is really where this one lost me. The characters did not feel like people that knew one another in any real ways, and the twists felt more like GOTCHAS than they did twists that had been alluded to and were just waiting for you to flip the page. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, it just didn't hit the way I wanted it to. (But THAT TITLE AND THAT COVER, SO PRETTY)

Overall Rating: ★★★ / 2.75

Rating each element of the book out of 5★
Characters ★★★
Atmosphere ★★★
Writing ★★★
Plot ★★
Intrigue ★★★
Logic ★★★
Enjoyment ★★
Pacing ★★
Dialogue ★★

★ did not like / ★★ it was okay / ★★★ liked it / ★★★★ really liked it / ★★★★★ loved it

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Wow, what a great book! It was so engaging and kept me turning pages until the very end! I highly recommend it to fellow readers!

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2.5 ⭐ rounded up

Charlotte "Charlie" Colbert distanced herself and "became a new person" after surviving a tragedy in grad school known to the media as "Scarlet Christmas". Her memory of the events were foggy, but as a threat of a movie and new information based on the event come to light, Charlie works with her therapist to unearth the trauma and memories locked away. The story splits between the recollections of past events and relationships vs the current time.

I have no clue why this was such a slog, but I felt like it dragged on. Thrillers have not been my preferred genre for a few years. I should've known I wasn't going to care for this when I was barely invested into the story 30/40% in. I sped through the audiobook for the sake of finishing, but I'm mostly indifferent to it. Though the plot or the characters were not doing it for me, I did enjoy the writing. I may try another book by Jenny Hollander in the future on that basis alone.

🌷 Witty writing
🌷 Interesting idea for a story
🌷 Past/Present Timelines
🌷 Twist @ 50%

Thank you to NetGalley, Minotaur Books & St. Martin's Press for the eARC of Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander.

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My experience with this book is mixed.

What I liked:
· Intriguing exploration of guilt and the malleability of memory.
· Unreliable narrator.
· Surprises I didn’t anticipate.
· Dual timelines worked well for the story.

What I Disliked:
· The plot occasionally veered into convoluted territory.
· Characters weren’t likable or relatable.
· The college murder plot has been overdone and is a bit cliché.
· Parts of the story dragged for me – particularly at the beginning. I needed more momentum.
· It took me forever to finish the book because I was never truly engaged.

While this story didn’t fully captivate me, it has been well-received by others. For those drawn to the premise or fans of stories with unreliable narrators, it might be worth delving into to form your own opinion.

Thank you @netgalley and @stmartinspress for copy of this book, which I have read and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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I was so excited to get this arc but I found this to be soooooooo slow and boring I was so close to DNF'ing it but rather skimmed the pages.

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I get that this is a mystery, and that all will be revealed at the end. But I’ve never felt so frustrated being left in the dark for so many pages. There’s got to be a more comfortable way of stringing us along.
It also took over a third of the book for the story to even get warmed up, which is entirely too long.

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I really enjoyed this! Would be a great book club pick in December as it is set around Christmas. Razor sharp and hard to put down.

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Nine years ago, Charlie was witness to horrific crimes at her graduate school; crimes that became known as "Scarlet Christmas." in the press. She has moved on and has made a successful life for herself, and much of what happened that night is a blank in her memory. But now a classmate is making a film to expose what really happened that fateful night, and Charlie wants and needs to remember. If she doesn't then she might lose everything.

This story sucked me in right from the beginning but slowly but surely lost me. It was just too much of a slow-burn for me and lost my interest. The characters were also really unlikeable and Charlie was unsympathetic. By mid-point I really didn't care what Charlie did or didn't do or what happened on Scarlet Christmas. It did have some twists but since interest was gone, they weren't that thrilling to me. I will say, I may just not be the right demographic for this one as it felt super YA. So readers in their 20s may enjoy this one more than I did.

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for providing me a digital reviewer copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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3.5 ⭐️In the beginning we meet Charlie, who has been through terrible trauma. I love that the narration goes between the current and the past, giving us a glimpse into how she has gotren where she is. Although, the down side is that Charlie is a bit of an unreliable narrator, because she doesn’t remember things and has blackouts. I wish there was more character details in the beginning and overall development, (we don’t get much of a backstory until you are a ways in). I was also a bit turned off by Charlie’s therapist, and how she goes about getting Charlie’s memory back. I would have rated it higher had there been some initial back story to get me going, and if the flow of the writing was a bit smoother.

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I thought this was pretty suspenseful and I was ready for it to get to the point so when it did……. I was disappointed. I was kinda just like “oh, ok” and kept reading lol Charlie annoyed me.

Thank you Minotaur for my eARC.

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This was a miss for me. It is so slow for most of it, then speeds up 10x the last 20%. The whole "Scarlet Christmas" premise is good and what made me request this on Netgalley but there was no backstory to what had happened during it until you were almost too far in to care. Would have been a solid 3-3.5 stars if more happened in the first part.

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"Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead" by Jenny Hollander is a poignant and powerful memoir that delves into the author's personal journey of seeking forgiveness and redemption. Hollander bravely confronts her past mistakes and reflects on the relationships that have been affected by her actions. Through raw and honest storytelling, she explores the complexities of guilt, regret, and the healing power of self-forgiveness. This memoir is a compelling and introspective read that will resonate with readers who have grappled with their own demons and the desire for absolution. Hollander's narrative is both touching and thought-provoking, offering a heartfelt exploration of the human experience.

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"Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead" by Jenny Hollander is a gripping debut that intricately weaves together themes of trauma, guilt, and the relentless pursuit of truth. Set against the backdrop of a harrowing event known as "Scarlet Christmas," the story follows Charlie Colbert as she grapples with the haunting memories of that fateful night.

Hollander's storytelling abilities shine brightly in this psychological thriller. She deftly navigates between past and present timelines, keeping readers on the edge of their seats with each revelation. From the outset, Charlie emerges as a complex and compelling protagonist. Her inner turmoil is palpable as she confronts the ghosts of her past while striving to maintain control over her present.

What sets this novel apart is its nuanced exploration of PTSD and the weight of survivor's guilt. Through Charlie's experiences, Hollander paints a poignant portrait of resilience in the face of adversity, capturing the raw emotions and psychological complexities with authenticity and depth.

While the narrative may falter slightly in its middle section, with moments of frantic pacing and underdeveloped characters, these shortcomings are overshadowed by the overall strength of the story. The gradual unraveling of secrets and the unexpected twists keep readers engaged and eager to uncover the truth alongside Charlie.

Ultimately, "Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead" delivers a satisfying blend of mystery, suspense, and emotional depth. It may not be flawless, but its impact lingers long after the final page is turned. Jenny Hollander's debut is a promising entry into the realm of psychological thrillers, leaving readers eagerly anticipating her future works.

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The summary of this book sounded so good. You meet Charlie who went through a terrible trauma. The book goes between the current and the past. She seems to be an unreliable narrator because she doesn’t remember things and has blackouts.
There was so much potential in this book but I didn’t love it. The writing was choppy. I wish there was more character details. I did enjoy Noor, Charlie’s therapist and how she works with Charlie to get her memory back. I don’t know what I was expecting but writing style wasn’t it.

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This was a solid thriller with a few little hiccups. Forgetful main characters are an easy out for plot holes and are personally frustrating, though I understand why they're a viable author solution. Overall it was an intriguing read and a solid debut.

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Everyone Who Can Forgive me is Dead by Jenny Hollander
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Nine years ago Charlie was a witness to what is now known as “Scarlet Christmas”. She wants to move on with her life, but someone else who was there is backing a movie set to portray that night she is worried what may come out.
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What I liked:
-I really wanted to know what happened on Scarlet Christmas. There was a good build up to finally revealing what EXACTLY happened.
-There were a couple tidbits that surprised me.
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3.5⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 I remember right after I finished thinking, oh that was pretty good. Although, I have to admit that as I sat here a week and a half later writing this review that I had to think hard to remember what this book was about. 🙈 So I would say that it was entertaining but maybe not memorable?

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I really liked this up until about the last third or quarter of the book. Some things just straight up didn't make sense to me. It felt like that last part of the book was an old draft that didn't match up with the rest of the book.

Majority of this was great, but the ending kind of soured things for me. Doesn't feel right to say it was either amazing or terrible, so I think a solid 2.5/5 will do.

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This final girl story is fine. It jumps between present tense and past, to about 10 years before. The main character was present for a bloody event known as Scarlet Christmas. She doesn't remember what happened but knows enough to feel guilty about it. Much of the text is her conversations with her therapist, which I guess are supposed to advance the plot but aren't very compelling. She has a prominent, wealthy fiance and is successful in her own right, but another woman who was also involved in Scarlet Christmas is making a movie, threatening to dredge up the past.

I didn't find this very suspenseful. The reveal was fine. There are many better amnesia/big looming secret/final girl stories out there.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. i purchased a copy for my library.

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I really enjoyed this thriller. I love the dual timeline and the secrets people were hiding. There were a few twists that I didn't see coming. I enjoyed the mystery of what really happened that night. The ending was a little lackluster and left me with a few questions. Overall, I had a fun time reading this book. I look forward to read more from Jenny Hollander.

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This was a solid thriller. This books started off strong and was really easy to enjoy and get into but got very out there as the story went along and the reader got closer to the end. I loved the suspense in this book and the twists during the first half of the book kept me intrigued and wanting more. Though, in the second half of the book the reveals and twists didn't have the same impact as some the early ones had which cause me to lose interest in the story. Definitely recommend giving this one a read if you enjoy short thrillers with some fun twists at the beginning of the story.

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