Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander [Book Review]

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. Find out what the book is about and learn why I gave it three out of five stars.

Nine years ago, with the world’s eyes on her, Charlie Colbert fled. The press and the police called Charlie a “witness” to the nightmarish events at her elite graduate school on Christmas Eve—events known to the public as “Scarlet Christmas”—though Charlie knows she was much more than that.

Now, Charlie has meticulously rebuilt her life: She’s the editor-in-chief of a major magazine, engaged to the golden child of the publishing industry, and hell-bent on never, ever letting her guard down again. But when a buzzy film made by one of Charlie’s former classmates threatens to shatter everything she’s worked for, Charlie realizes how much she’s changed in nine years. Now, she’s not going to let anything—not even the people she once loved most—get in her way. []

Right from the start, Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead 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 the story some redemption, it couldn’t recapture my interest.

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 ultimately falls short. 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.

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