Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Pages: 368
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: December 9, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Timeless
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Seventeen-year-old Imogen Rockford has never forgotten the last words her father said to her, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor. For seven years, images of her parents’ death have haunted Imogen’s dreams. In an effort to escape the past, she leaves Rockford Manor and moves to New York City with her new guardians. But some attachments prove impossible to shake—including her love for her handsome neighbor Sebastian Stanhope. Then a life-altering letter arrives that forces Imogen to return to the manor in England, where she quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind Rockford’s aristocratic exterior. At their center is Imogen herself—and Sebastian, the boy she never stopped loving. Combining spine-tingling mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Suspicion is an action-packed thrill ride."

Imogen hasn't had an easy life despite the fact that her family has royal blood in their veins. Her parents both died in a tragic accident while visiting family in England and consequently, was adopted by her friends of the family from New York. Now Imogen is seventeen years old and finds her past knocking on her door, literally. She is inheriting an English dukedom despite the fact that she hasn't been over to Rockford Manor in England since the tragic accident; in fact, she hasn't kept in touch with her grandfather or her cousin, Lucia. Lucia has also tragically died, which makes her the heir and she finds herself leaving New York City and heading back to England.  Things aren't what they seem at Rockford Manor though. There is a mystery surrounding the house as well as her cousin's untimely death. Plus, Imogen has to figure out what are these supernatural powers that seem to run in the family.  While at Rockford Manor, she is reunited with her childhood crush, Lord Sebastian Stanhope, who was dating Lucia before her death.  Alexandra Monir's Suspicion is a mystery inspired by the classic Rebecca. It is an entertaining story combining a variety of genres, but ultimately, it left me wanting more.

The characters in Suspicion were just ok for me. I really liked Imogen and learning more about her family's jaded past, but her relationship with Sebastian didn't work for me. I get she had a childhood crush, but it just didn't seem believable to me that her feelings would pick up where they left off after so many years, especially when considering the fact that he was dating her cousin not too long ago. I had a hard time with their budding romance.

There's a lot going on in Suspicion. You have the mystery surrounding her parents' tragic death as well as her cousin's.  Imogen is discovering more and more about her family and in turn, there are some secrets revealed and plot twists.  There's also the fact that Suspicion includes many elements of a paranormal novel as there are supernatural powers and spooky ghosts in the story.  Plus, it's a retelling of Rebecca, but I have never read the classic (I know. I need to remedy this!), so I can't say too much about that aspect of the story. But what I am trying to say is that Suspicion combines many genres in one book, which can make the story feel a little all over the place at times.

What I really enjoyed about Suspicion was the setting and some of the paranormal elements.  First off, I loved the whole old English mansion with a dark history. Rockford Manor seemed very Downton Abbey at times, as there is a mean housekeeper and her mysterious daughter as well as a series of "downstairs" workers.  I should also mention there's a garden maze with secrets as well as some ghosts, which were my favorite parts of the story. All in all, Suspicion had many Gothic undertones, which I really enjoyed.

Thanks to Delacorte Press, I am hosting a giveaway for Suspicion to one lucky US reader. The deadline is December 18th and please refer to my giveaway rules.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


8 comments:

  1. Hmmm....I was definitely hoping for better things from this one. I really like the description but the story/characters feel a little 'meh'. Still, I will probably check this out at some point - if only because I have a review copy.

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    1. It was definitely kind of a middle of the road read for me. The one thing that stood out is the setting. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it, Leanna! Thanks for dropping by.

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  2. I read the original Rebecca, but for some reason, I can see any similarities between that book and this one. I'm intrigued, though.

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    1. Hmm. I have never read Rebecca, so I can't say, but if you like Rebecca, you should definitely check out this book and let me know your thoughts. The setting is to-die-for! Thanks for visiting, Joy.

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  3. Too bad the romance didn't work for you. The garden maze sounds very cool though!

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    1. The setting and the garden maze mystery were the best part of Suspicion for me. I loved the whole Downton vibe too. Thanks for dropping by, Megan!

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  4. The description of the book doesn't sound like Rebecca at all except for the mysterious house. I am sorry that this didn't live up to expectations for you.

    I don't remember if I read the novel but I liked the film version of Rebecca.

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    1. Ha! I have been hearing that lately. I have never read Rebecca, so I am unsure, but now I am really intrigued. I either need to read the book or check out the film….I hear both are pretty great! Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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