Cover Image: Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

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Member Reviews

This story centers around the interesting premise that Charlie is the only person who remembers a terrible event known as "Scarlet Christmas" but now, years later, she's wondering if maybe things didn't play out how she remembers them. The situation, which left many people dead, happened almost 10 years ago and now it's being looked at again for an anniversary movie. As people are digging into it, there's suggestions that Charlie may have played a bigger role. So of course she starts questioning herself.

The timelines jumped around really quickly, so it was easy to get lost if you weren't paying close enough attention. But in other ways, the story seemed to drag. Charlie spent a long time not knowing what was going on and while I know trauma can make you block things out, it just started to become very unbelievable. It was alright, but I would have liked more out of this.

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This debut mystery kept me intrigued!

There were a few twists and reveals that I needed a minute to wrap my head around, and I felt lost at a few points. But it all wrapped up neatly by the end.

I really liked how the past timeline was woven in with the current timeline. The inclusion of news articles related to Scarlet Christmas, as well as press releases about the pending film, added a sense of dread to the race to unlock Charlie’s memories of the event.

If you liked Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive, I think you’ll really enjoy this read.

Thank you @minotaur_books for providing me with a physical copy & a @Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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A solid thriller! This one gave Luckiest Girl Alive vibes. I read it pretty quickly and appreciated the twist at the end. I'm surprised this one hasn't gotten more attention. Plus, the cover is AMAZING.

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Charlie is living the elite life. She's a magazine editor in Manhattan and her boyfriend is one of America's most eligible bachelors - gorgeous and rich. She's done everything she can to put that horrible night, "Scarlet Christmas," behind her. She lost a lot that night, including almost everyone she loved.

Now, completely disconnected from her past, she's horrified to find out her old best friend's twin sister, a famous television personality, is doing an expose on that night. To try and find what really happened. Charlie knows she can't let that documentary happen- for the sake of her family, her engagement and her success now. So what is the real story?

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead is a compulsive page-turner with surprises at every turn. Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now.

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"A Scarlet Christmas" is what they called it - the bloody murder of several college students. Now coming up on the 10year anniversary, one past student wants to make a film. But Charlie is frightened of what might come out along the way - mostly the parts of that night that she doesn't remember.

I can't say that I absolutely loved this book. It had so much potential. The title alone gives off thriller vibes, and I was so excited.
Every time the story would start to climax, it would drop off and roll down a muddy hill into a ditch and would have to crawl it's way back up and out again. There was not much character development and I honestly got confused on who was who by the end because I just didn't have anything invested in them.

Jenny Hollander has so much potential in her writing, and I will be on the lookout for her next book to read.

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for this advanced copy in return for my honest review.

Pub Date: 06 Feb 2024

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Mystery/Thrillers are hard books to review. I feel like I need to be in shock for me to really really love a book. This one didn’t do it for me. I was instantly pulled into this book with the academic vibes and the mystery surrounding these classmates. The characters were great and well fleshed out and they were very ominous. I just couldn’t get passed the MCs insecurities. Logically had she leaned into her friend group it would have solved the issues. I finished the book because I was hoping there was a huge plot twist but this one hits you upside the head. I was sad when it ended because I just wanted more. The narration was good but I think the story was lacking so I wasn’t as impressed with the narration. Thank you Minatour books for this e-arc!

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I thought this book started off kind of slow so I was lost at some of the things that were brought up later in the book, but the twist was good, it certainly wasn’t what I was thinking was going to happen, the author had me convinced I knew what was going to happen but she proved me wrong!

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This was an extremely suspenseful read and I am glad that I was able to read it! This definitely does a great job exploring grief and trauma. Occasionally, the storyline was a bit hard to follow with the way it was told by the main character but that could be due to the fact that it was coming from her memories which were sometimes blocked by the trauma so it would make sense. I really liked the story overall!

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Editor-in-chief of a major magazine and engaged to a member of an affluent and influential family, Charlie Colbert has a seemingly perfect life. But when one of her former graduate school classmates decides to make a movie about the tragic events that transpired on Christmas Eve nine years ago – an event dubbed ”Scarlet Christmas “ by the Press - that resulted in the deaths of three of her classmates, leaving Charlie and other survivors traumatized, she is fearful that the movie, based on a book written about the tragedy, will upend the life she has so meticulously rebuilt. Charlie had distanced herself from her former friends after the tragedy but now not only will she have to reach out to them to prevent the movie from being made but also have to revisit her past to fill in the gaps in memories from that night.

To be honest, I liked the premise of Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander more than the execution. Up until the halfway mark, I was enjoying the writing and found the plot intriguing. However, as the narrative progressed, the inconsistent pacing, repetitiveness and poor character development resulted in a less-than-satisfying reading experience. Despite this novel being less than three hundred pages long, it felt much longer, which is never a good thing. None of the characters were particularly interesting (Annoying and Shallow? Yes! Interesting? No). I did feel sorry for Charlie and her struggles, but that’s about it – I think I’m a bit tired of protagonists with foggy memories and dependence on alcohol. The therapy angle should have been better executed. The romantic relationship between Charlie and Tripp felt forced and superficial. Most of the twists felt contrived and I found certain revelations along the way too ridiculous to shock or even surprise me. I’m all for suspension of disbelief, but I found the resolution of the mystery behind “Scarlet Christmas” underwhelming, to say the least. I could go on about how this novel didn’t work for me, but I think I’ll stop here.

In short, I can’t say this was a thrilling read.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the digital review copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Please allow me to introduce you to my favorite book of 2024 so far!

First off, how in the world is this a debut book?

From the minute I started reading this book and met Charlie, I knew I wanted to know everything that was hiding behind her facade. Hollander lets you in on the fact that something traumatic happened to Charlie when she was in graduate school known as Scarlet Christmas, but the truth of how things played out is a mystery to both the reader and Charlie. Does someone else know?

This book was an absolute thrill ride! I loved the cat-and-mouse-esque vibes that the present day timeline provided, as Charlie races against a former classmate to stop her from releasing a tell-all film about her tragic past. Mix that with the dark academia vibes from Charlie’s flashbacks to her graduate school time and the days leading up to Scarlet Christmas.

This book was exactly what I was looking for to escape into. The tension and suspense were on point and kept me coming back for more!

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This was an okay book. I felt it really dragged in the middle. I did like the main character, Charlie, but I thought it took to long to find out what really happened the night of Scarlet Christmas.

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This book had me anxious the entire time. I didn't love the reasoning behind some of the the side characters motivations and plans. I did really enjoy the journey

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It took me a little bit to get used to the writing style and become invested in the story. But once that happened, I flew through this story and couldn't put it down!

There is a lot of suspense surrounding what happened on Scarlet Christmas. The author did a great job of slowly revealing information over time, which kept me turning the pages. I kept trying to predict where the ending was headed, but was unsuccessful!

I enjoyed all the moving parts in this story; the mystery itself, along with Charlie's job at C, and her engagement to the golden child of the publishing industry.

EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD was very reminiscent of THE LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE by Jessica Knoll. I was impressed by this debut and look forward to reading more by Jenny Hollander!

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Would recommend for fans of…
🥀 In My Dreams I Hold A Knife
🥀 Luckiest Girl Alive
🥀 Final Girls

On paper, Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead was the perfect book for me. A journalist protagonist, aspects of a campus thriller, and crime that’s coming back to haunt the survivors. There were definitely some things I enjoyed – namely all of the journalism details – but this book was overwhelmingly mediocre.

The first half was an amazing five-star read – it was tense and sinister with strong characterization. But about halfway through things took a turn. There were twists that didn’t have the intended shock value and when the big reveal happened, I found myself feeling like “Oh, that’s it?” There wasn’t anything wrong with the ending, but it was a major let down compared to the rest of the book.

I think most of the problems can be attributed to trying to do too much in just 300 pages. Many characters are introduced, but between all of the flashbacks and present action, the only one you get a deep back story on is the protagonist, Charlie. This made it really difficult to believe in the relationships between characters, which were a big element of the mystery.

I think fans of slightly more character-driven mysteries may enjoy this, as the prose itself is fantastic and Hollander does a great job with Charlie’s character. But, I can’t say this is one I’ll spend too much time thinking about.

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead is out now. Thanks to Macmillan and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I’m 90% sure I didn’t read a synopsis for Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead and instead went solely off the title. Which for the most part served me well.

It has a few of the things we all love: dual timelines, college setting, an MC you can’t trust that wasn’t done in your typical fashion. There were a lot of twists to this I never saw coming. While they were surprising they didn’t feel as if they came out of left field.

One aspect that at first I didn’t get while reading it was how Charlie went from 0 to 60 pretty quickly. But after finishing and thinking about the book, I get it. As much as someone whose never been in that situation can.

As a former journalism student, I really loved the college aspect we got. Even if most was centered around the friend group. Seeing how their lives ended up and the analysis of how Scarlett Christmas was portrayed in the media was as fascinating as it was disappointing when you realize it still happens to this day.

This was a great read on audio and I’d definitely check out more books by this author!

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“𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐲, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬, 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐲.”

I love a book where n an event in the past reverberates into the present, and this debut from Jenny Hollander has that in spades.

I was enthralled with the set-up to this story: Charlie, haunted by the “Scarlet Christmas” of her days at college, tries to prevent a former classmate from making movie based on that fateful night. I found Charlie to be quite an interesting narrator: ambitious and conniving, juxtaposed with her debilitating anxiety and dissociation. Her sessions at therapy were a smart narrative technique to revisit the past timeline and give relevance to those sessions to the storyline. There’s a tense atmosphere of claustrophobia, as the media and the public’s interest push into Charlie’s life and dig into the past. Hollander also had some great reveals, that I actually realized were clever misdirection. I did struggle with Charlie’s relationship with Tripp (she barely tolerates him - why were they even together?) and I felt while the ending wrapped mostly everything up well, it also kind-of petered out? I think I wanted a bit more of a bang.

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead is a story of survival, guilt, trust, unsaid truths, and trauma processing. Less of a suspense novel, but rather more of a tense and poignant exploration of trauma, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Hollander’s next book. Thank you to Minotaur and NetGalley for the ARC!

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So many influencers were touting this one over the last few months that I was really looking forward to reading it. Although I liked the premise, it didn't quite live up to the hype in my opinion. I found myself skipping around a bit and wanting more. I also didn't connect with Charlie, which made it hard for me to love this book. I also personally think it would connect better with readers if the school was real, like NYU, with local color that people recognize. I went to school in NY and didn't get the feeling that these people were in the city at all. Overall, 3.5 stars.

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(2.5 stars rounded up to 3)

I think this book was very confusing! There are dual timelines, then and now, but quite disorganized in way that doesn't add to the plot; in addition, the characters are underdeveloped, often times their actions just seems forced.

I do love dark academia and a thriller set on a college campus; unfortunately, this one fell short for me. I still don't understand some events of Scarlet Christmas, especially what happened to Dee.

I feel that while mental illness does play a huge role in this book, it is portrayed in a very negative manner without much mention of how it should be handled or treated.

Overall, a strange read for me!

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I had high hopes going into Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead. I think the premise was good but I felt like it fell flat. It really was a slow burn and not a lot of excitement that all wrapped up nice in the end. Even the twist to me wasn't much of a twist.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for an ARC of Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander for an honest review.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I got fully immersed in the world the author created, almost immediately.

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