Book Review – Suspicion

Author: Alexandra Monir
Series: None
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Gothic, Supernatural
Release Date: 9th December 2014
Publishers: Delacorte Presss
No. Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
Buy at: BookDepository

“There’s something hidden in the maze.” 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.

Suspicion is a very difficult book to review.  It was promised to be a gothic thriller with a supernatural twist, it was described to be Rebbeca-esque (although I have yet to read Rebecca so I really cannot compare the two). Unfortunately, it was none of these things.

This book came very close to being marked as ‘did not finish’ on several occasions and it was the sole fact that I do not enjoy leaving books half read that motivated me to push through.

The story starts when 10-year-old Imogen arrives at her grandfather’s manor in England, a place that has always enchanted her. The same night her father warns her “There is something hidden in the maze”, Imogen’s life takes a nightmarish turn, when both her and her cousin’s parents are killed in a fire. Imogen moves back to NYC with her newly appointed guardians and vows never ever ever to return to Rockford Manor again. Of course, it takes only the discovery that, due to the passing of both her grandfather and cousin, she is now the duchess and owner of the manor to convince her to return. It wasn’t like she didn’t find every opportunity to remind us that she would never return, right?

The reader is then forced to endure over 40 percent of the book, which mostly consists of her obsessing over Sebastian, that could have easily been edited out. This is where we come to my first problem with the book. It contains so much nonsense that neither aids the plot or character development that it is hard to focus on the actual plot.

Imogen is one of the most dull, self-absorbed protagonists I have had the displeasure of reading about.  Everything, and I do mean everything, led to her constant self-pity over her one-sided love for Sebastian. It was ridiculous. The thing that annoyed me the most about Imogen had to be how dense she was.  After spending so much time thinking about her parents death, her mysterious powers and how to be a duchess prior to having return to Rockford manor, these thoughts seemed to leave her as soon as she set foot on English soil. It’s not like she finally had the means to find these answers. But of course the boy who only ever had eyes for her cousin was the most important thing in her life. Priorities!

I might as well take this time to talk about one of the most annoying and overdone trends in YA books… Yes, you guessed right… THIS BOOK CONTAINS A LOVE TRIANGLE!  The first thing that made this love triangle even worse than most: It started when Imogen was only 10, and both Sebastian and Lucia were 12. For heaven’s sake! They are children, they don’t even know what love is. Let’s fast forward… Sebastian is now claiming he never loved Lucia but is falling in love with Imogen, when only moments before we were being told about how much Sebastian loved Lucia, repeatedly. Well, I guess that’s convenient. Maybe she’ll finally stop obsessing over how she’s been in love with him forever now? Or maybe not.

Being someone who actually lives in 21st century England, I found myself questioning if Monir had set her novel in the wrong era? Because a lot of the things happening in this book made me laugh out loud at how positively ridiculous they were. Maybe it’s because I’m a city girl, but I’ve never heard of crowds of towns people lining up to welcome the new duchess.

This story was based around a good idea but was both poorly executed and written.

I guess I should have spent my time reading the original instead.

1stars

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