Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jealousy and desire - the destruction of a teenage girl, 23 May 2007
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This review is from: Envy (Hardcover)
ENVY tells the story of Diane, the narrator of the book, who lives in a rented house which is part of the estate of Critchley Hall. Diane's life is quite a sad one - her mother does not seem that loving, her family is broken and they are poor. When she meets Isabel, the girl from the big house, Critchley Hall, she sees in her everything that she wants. Isabel has a charmed life - her parents are still together, they have money, and Isabel seems to attract love to her as though it is as certain as the air she breathes. The two girls become friends, yet Diane has hidden motives for getting close. For Diane is a young girl who has an agenda; she has a plan to become loved and to, ultimately, take Isabel's place in her family.

Corbett has done a good job of demonstrating how high emotions can surface in teenagers, for seemingly no reason whatsoever. However, I persoanlly think that Diane's attention to destroying the life of her new friend was begun in quite a rushed way. Jealousy and desire are feelings that generally build slowly; although it is plain to understand that Diane must have been a very twisted young lady, in some ways her character is not so well developed as it could have been.

One other point I feel is relevant is that, for someone destroying a family - an essentially one individual's life in particular, there is actually not that much that happens. Diane manages to get Isabel's father out of the house, but after that the action tends to slow down to an almost stand-still.

Poor Isabel doesn't really realise what is going on until the end of the novel, and even then the action she takes could be motivated by a variety of reasons, or feelings that she had.

What I did like about this book though was the ending - there is quite a good twist. It shows that Isabel was not all that she seemed to be. And, rather than be contented with what she had contributed to, Diane is left still desiring more. Can't say any more, else I'll give it all away.

Generally, this is a good book. It's an easy read. I thought it would have been more intense and harrowing, but in fact it's sad rather than terribly shocking. A good choice for a quick, easy summer read.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Apr 2011 20:36:27 BDT
Patricia says:
Agree entirely with your review. And, I have to say that the last page was a surprise. Like you say, an easy read, and a quick read, but probably not a memorable book.
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Reviewer

Brida "izumi"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 363