Cover Image: Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

“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!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

(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!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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

Was this review helpful?

First I’d like to thank NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read this arc with the promise of a review.

Ultimately this one was not for me. The story had such promise but I sadly had to DNF this one as it was just not grabbing my attention.

Was this review helpful?

I love that this was a debut novel!
It gave me the it girl vibes as I read it.
I really enjoyed the then vs now dual timeline, and a main character questioning their past and what happened is always a good read for me.
this was a slow burn mystery as Charlie attempted to remember things from her past on a night that haunted her and her friends.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC to read and review.

This was a slow read for me. The premise sounded so promising, but the execution left a bit to be desired for me. Charlie was not endearing to me and her relationship with Tripp felt strange...the alternating timelines felt like I was going back and forth between two books. The "before" felt very YA. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind YA, this just read strange to me. Overall I give this 2.5 stars, rounded up because it sounded so promising.

Was this review helpful?

Thriller of the year! This one got me all the way to the end! I cant wait to recommend this to everyone that I know.

Was this review helpful?

Charlie has PTSD from a night in graduate school that is known as "Scarlet Christmas" which left multiple of her friends injured and dead. With all the stress she can't remember everything that happened that night. Now imagine the 10 year memorial of Scarlet Christmas is coming up and someone is making a movie about the whole thing. And you can't let that happen. What would you do?

This book was an interesting read but it was pretty slow at parts, There were parts where I wanted more but it picked up in the second half and I wasn't able to put it down. It was engaging but not enough to want to drop everything and read the first half or so. Solid 3 stars for me, because the second half really made up for the beginning.

Was this review helpful?

I was excited about the premise of this book but it unfortunately fell a bit flat for me and I felt the timeline and storytelling was a bit of a mess

Was this review helpful?

I dnf'd this book at 20%. At 20 percent, all we know in the book is that a few people died and the story everyone knows isn't the truth or something. I'm frustrated because at this point, I would like to at least know some of the story about what happened that day or what people thought happened. Instead, all we see is a girl having a breakdown and trying to stop a movie. I don't even like any of the characters.

Was this review helpful?

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander

Published: February 6, 2024
Minotaur Books
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Pages: 294
KKECReads Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

The method this story was told was engaging and entertaining. This is a book you sit down and finish. There is no stopping once you start.

The characters were well done. I enjoyed the alternating timelines. I do wish the big reveal was given more time and space.

The plot was well-developed until the end. I wish the ending were fleshed out a bit more. It did take a long time to get the build-up and reach the big moment.

I found this an easy read, and I like Jenny’s writing style. She tells a story in such a compelling way. The way things unfolded kept my attention.

I may reread this in a few months to see if things settle differently. I wanted to love this story, but the ending fell a bit flat for me. The build-up was fantastic, and the storytelling was top-notch.

Was this review helpful?

In "Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead," Jenny Hollander crafts a tale of suspense that begins with a bang but fizzles out partway through. The story centers on Charlie Colbert, a woman who is still troubled by the events of "Scarlet Christmas," a fatal incident from her past. Hollander compiles a narrative that keeps readers guessing but ultimately falls short of its potential.

Right from the start, the book grabs readers with its interesting premise. As Charlie navigates the aftermath of "Scarlet Christmas," readers are drawn into her world of secrets. However, despite its promising start, the plot loses steam midway through. While the ending offers a sense of redemption, it fails to recapture the book's initial intrigue.

Each character is interesting in their own right, but none are particularly likable. While this adds depth to the story, it leaves readers searching for someone to root for. Overall, "Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead" is a good read, but falls short in the end. Hollander's storytelling keeps readers engaged, but the uneven pacing prevents the book from being great.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to like this book, but I really had a hard time getting into it. The beginning dragged, and kept trying to increase expense, but instead just took too long to get to anything important. I did not finish as a result.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars, rounded up.

This book was very messy throughout the beginning and middle. It was also deceiving throughout most of it as well which made me annoyed. I really can't stand untrustworthy narrators and that's exactly what you have here. I don't even understand why the fmc acted the way that she did and the story she told the reader. It did nothing for the tale and made the book very confusing for me. I get that was supposed to be a twist, but I hated it.

Outside of that, I did enjoy this story because you're constantly wondering what actually happened. There's a campus murder and our fmc lied to the cops saying she saw everything and told people who the perps were, but deep down she wonders if maybe she was the perp. It was a tad unrealistic, but still interesting to see how it unfolded.

Was this review helpful?

Nine years ago Charlie witnessed a brutal event dubbed "Scarlett Christmas"
Being the only "witness" to the events, Charlies version of the night is the only story anyone has ever heard.
But now a film vowing to "set the records straight" is getting a lot of press, and Charlie is worried the story she told, will start to unravel.

One time I was at my husbands office, sitting on the couch in the lobby reading.
All of a sudden I heard screeching tires and a car slammed into a fire hydrant right outside the lobby window. In the movies, water would shoot into the air, this is what I was expecting.
Instead the fire hydrant just toppled over... that is how I feel about this book.
I was promised shooting water, and instead I got a sad little fire hydrant laying down.

Was this review helpful?

Ok, hear me out—I love the concept behind this book, but I could not be less excited about the execution. The main character was...fine....but her insistence on just, not sharing critical details with the people that matter (and also the reader) was kind of infuriating. I spent MANY chapters trying to figure out what the 'event' was that everyone was dancing around (which I think was the intended pacing) but by the time it actually all comes together, the actual event really fell flat. Also....


Scarlet Christmas?? Like, we've all heard about the Red Wedding from GoT—be more creative. And the fact that the MC spent the entire book agonizing over something she *gasp* didn't actually do?? While a highly visible public figure—and coincidentally, the unknown killer—wants to make a movie about this event to "set the record straight"?? Comeonnnnnn has no one heard of letting sleeping dogs lie? And finally, HOW DOES EVERYONE KNOW EACH OTHER??

Maybe the actual intention of this book was just to rile me up.

Was this review helpful?

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead is a mind blowing, psychological thriller in which the reader has absolutely no idea where the plot is going and gleefully anticipates the next twist and turn as the pieces of this insane story are put together. Hollander puts the reader on a rollercoaster and doesn’t let them off until they are exhausted and completely spent and satisfied.

Charlie Colbert is a survivor. In college on Christmas Eve, she was a part of a horrific event at the school. Some of her friends died. It made the national news. It is notoriously known as The Scarlet Christmas. So, you can only imagine what happened…

But now, ten years later, Charlie is still trying to survive. Even though she has worked all those years to become the editor-in-chief of a prestigious magazine, she is still haunted by that young girl who saw what she thinks she saw that night, but can’t remember everything.

Back when it happened, Charlie was the only survivor who refused to talk to the press. When one of her best friends wrote a book about that night, she refused to even participate. Since then, she has distanced herself from those best friends whom she loved and adored.

And now, nearing the 10th anniversary of the incident, one of her classmates, a powerful woman in the media industry has decided to make a film of all things about what happened that night. And she announced there is more to what happened than has been said.

Now, you see, Charlie can’t let this movie happen. Yes, she has moved on. She is engaged to a very wealthy man and has a great life. But she is hiding horrible secrets about that night that even her therapist she’s been seeing for years doesn’t know about.

Now, for her own safety as well as that of her family and her fiancé’s very connected family she must do something she has never wanted to do. She must remember what really happened that night. Remember all those blocked out moments, even if it kills her, or someone else.

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead is a nail-biting page turner with believe it or not some humor infused into the story. But you will not be disappointed with the complex surprise ending which will shock you!

Thank you #NetGalley #MinotaurPress #JennyHollander #EveryoneWhoCanForgiveMeIsDead for the advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

Special thanks to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.

I felt like this book has been done before, just worse. The main character was so unlikable. Her constant panic attacks and self-pity did not line up with her fast paced lifestyle as an editor.

This book was so slow going I put it down several times, and then the ending made no sense to me. When the building up of suspense doesn't match with the reveal, something is not right. 2 stars.

Was this review helpful?