Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: Suspicion

SUSPICION
Alexandra Monir
Paranormal Young Adult
368 pages
Delacorte Press
Available December 9th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.


MY THOUGHTS
Suspicion is a page-turner from beginning to end, the mysterious circumstances of the prologue blending seamlessly with a flashback in the first chapter to a devastating night seven years prior to pique our curiosity instantly. The flashback not only introduces us to the eerily gorgeous grounds of Rockford Manor, a character unto itself in this tale, but also to young Imogen’s heartbreaking crush on Sebastian, the son of the equally wealthy family in the neighboring estate. It’s this seemingly unrequited love–enormously painful despite the fact that Imogen is only ten at the time–that connects us with Imogen immediately, hoping that the subsequent pages will take us on a journey that ends with her every romantic wish granted.

Once we return to the present, we find ourselves with a remarkably well-adjusted seventeen year-old Imogen, a young woman who’s happy and settled in a new life even though her mind never stops returning to Rockford Manor. Once things take a dramatic turn once again and she finds herself back in England, she stays the girl we first met and liked instantaneously, feeling understandably awkward at her new near-royal status and failing to loft her title over those who now work for her. She approaches the mystery surrounding her cousin’s death and the secrets of her life logically, looking into them smartly and never overreacting when those secrets come to shocking light.

Her romance with Sebastian is fraught with tension given his romantic history with her late cousin, and Ms. Monir does a beautiful job of making us feel Imogen’s longing for things to be different between them. She doesn’t moon over him or obsess about his every move, we can just feel how much the distance time and circumstance have put between them affects her, and our desire to see things work out in fairy-tale ending style grows with each chapter.

The only small complaint to be had with this story is related to the paranormal element. We’re given glimpses of Imogen’s ability and its tie to the Manor’s grounds, but we don’t get to explore it with much depth before the last page is reached. The ending also feels just a touch rushed, everything surrounding Lucia’s death, Imogen’s ability and the secrets Rockford Manor has been hiding for years wrapped up quickly and easily, though that’s a minor drawback in an otherwise hugely entertaining story.

Rating: 4/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

41 comments:

  1. I confess that I was really intrigued by this one. Ok the cover really did help to that fact. It sounds live a really interesting story and now I'm even more curious. thanks!

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    1. I knew I had to have this one as soon as I saw that gorgeous cover. Love it:)

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  2. Cool cover, I have not seen this one around before

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    1. Glad I could put it on your radar!

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  3. I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this! This wasn't really on my radar at all, but after your review and Ali's, and hearing this is a twist on Rebecca, I'm definitely going to read it. Lovely review!

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    1. This is my second Rebecca retelling:) I've never read the original and the last retelling didn't work for me at all, but I adored this one! It was just an entertaining, no-fuss kind of book:)

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  4. I love the sound of this one but I have read quite a lot of mixed reviews for it. Overall I think it might be a little young for my tastes - I gravitate towards upper YA, but I think I'll still check this one out. I'm intrigued. Also, that cover is to die for!

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    1. I do too Leanna, and I didn't think this was too young. She's young when it starts in the flashback, but then she's 17 and she acts that age:)

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  5. I've been in love with the cover since I first saw it but I had seen some less than stellar reviews, so reading yours makes me want to read the book, even if I'm not keen on rushed endings and under developed parts of it, being hinted at the paranormal and then having it not explored more might be disappointing.
    Great review Jenny!

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    1. I just had fun with it Pili! If you go in expecting to be absolutely blown away you'll likely be disappointed, but if you just want something well written and entertaining, then you'll walk away satisfied. I can't ask for much more than that:)

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  6. Fantastic review, Jenny! I think you liked this one a little bit more than me. I had issues with the romance, but I LOVED the setting and the whole Gothic vibe. I like the eerie manor w/ it's ghosts and the garden maze. Like you, I wish the paranormal elements would have been explored a bit more. Have you read Rebecca? Now I am intrigued and want to check out the classic it is based on. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. I want a garden maze in my backyard. It would be a pathetically easy maze to find my way through given how the size of my yard, but I want one nonetheless. Preferably a purple one:)

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  7. This book totally escaped my radar until I put together tomorrow's new releases post, and now I can't stop thinking about it. I was happy to see this review in my feed this morning because you just made up my mind for me!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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    1. YAY! This was a fast read Carmel, I really enjoyed it:)

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  8. I'm glad you enjoyed the romance and its an amazing review you've put up! Sounds like a pretty good book, I'll definitely check this one out.

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  9. Ahh. This one sounds like it could be a fun respite from all my historical romances, but still have some of the elements I like. :)

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    1. I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable Amanda. I liked the tension between the two of them and the way Imogen handled everything. She wasn't prone to drama and I loved her for that:)

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  10. I am so happy you liked this too Jenny because I know so many people didn't but I couldn't help it, I was so drawn to the story and the atmosphere and how the manor took on a life of it's own.

    Wonderful review and high five for loving this as much as me!!

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    1. I was drawn to this one too Ali:) *high five*

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  11. From what I've seen, people either hated this book or really enjoyed it. Since both you and Ali enjoyed this read, I'm going to give it a shot, especially since I already have a copy.
    I'm disappointed with the paranormal element not being explained fully, but I'll keep it in mind so it won't bother me as much when I read it.
    Great review, Jenny! I'm glad you were able to enjoy this! :)

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    1. I definitely would have liked the paranormal element to either play a bigger role or be left out entirely, but it wasn't something that bothered me overmuch. Hope you give it a try Nick!

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  12. This is a book that I do want to read! I think I may enjoy it. Awesome and thanks for sharing.

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  13. I have this up this week to read and I am glad that you enjoyed it, though I am a touch disappointed that her ability isn't explored more in detail. Still it sounds like it was solid. Looking forward to reading it for myself.

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    1. Yes, I wanted a bit more about her ability and the history of it, but sometimes I just feel the need to set aside my inner reviewer and just let myself be entertained. That's what I did with this one:)

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  14. Oh yay, I'm happy you liked this one Jenny! The only Rebecca retelling I have read is NEW GIRL. ...I haven't even read Rebecca! Hahah.

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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    1. That was the other retelling I've read as well! That one didn't work quite as well for me as this one, so I'd be interested to see what you think:)

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  15. Hm... I'm an ending girl so I'm not ecstatic on the ending, but if it didn't harm the book too much I think I can handle it. I love the sound of the characters but I think I would want to know more. Hm.. I do think you still have intrigued me enough to put it on my wishlist. I'm glad you reviewed this one. I was curious b/c of that cover. :)

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    1. THE COVER IS SO PRETTY!!! It's one I want to blow up and hang on the wall:)

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  16. I love the Gothic touches that book seems to have, Jenny. I'm a huge fan of Rebecca and I'm curious to see what the author does with that story. I'll have to check this one out.

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    1. I've read two Rebecca retellings now but have never read the original, I'm thinking maybe I should do that:)

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  17. Ooooh!! sound like a great book seriously when I first checked this book I didn't like it but after reading this AWESOME review ,, I'm on the way to changing my Thinking :D

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  18. This cover is so pretty. It's a standalone? That stinks about the rushed ending then. It still sounds intriguing though.

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  19. For some reason I thought this one would be one of those books that just has a pretty cover but isn't very good. It's good to be wrong though. I'll check this one out though when I get a chance, although the idea of the romantic interest liking Imogen's cousin before her weirds me out.

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  20. YAYAYAYAYAY!!!! I'm grabbing this book to start this weekend, Jenny! I love your review! I've been on the fence about it, but you definitely convinced me to give it a go.

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  21. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one as well Jenny! It seems to be hit or miss, but for the most part I enjoyed the story and loved the Gothic atmosphere. Like you mentioned, I really started to enjoy the paranormal element, but wanted more history on it or explanation.
    Wonderful review!! : )

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  22. This is a standalone, yeah? I love that cover! I have a love-hate relationship with flashbacks in the first chapter/prologue, but most of the time it's done right and I can't wait to see the story unravel. I'm so glad this mystery is a good one! I already ship Sebastian and Imogen a lot (also near-royals? Yes please!) "She doesn’t moon over him or obsess about his every move, we can just feel how much the distance time and circumstance have put between them affects her" can this be any more perfect? I clearly need this book in my life! I'm sorry you wern't a huge fan of the ending, but seeing as you loved most of it anyway, this sounds like a great read to explore ;)

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  23. I'm in love with this cover. LOVE it! And it sounds really good! Once I'm ready to add more to the TBR I think this is one I'd consider picking up.

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  24. I struggled with the paranormal elements in Monir's debut duology so I'm not sure this will necessarily charm me as much as it did you. I looove the cover, though, and I remember this being featured in one of your WoW posts so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. Wonderful review!(:

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  25. I always struggle with retellings of Rebecca and have heard mixed things about this one, but I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it overall. For me, I always have trouble understanding why the great love interest dated such an awful person before, though that element works well in the original. But sounds like this heroine was able to keep a pretty level head about the romance. Sad that the paranormal elements were disappointing, however. For fantasy elements to work, they really need to be explained well to me. Anyway, glad this was good to you overall.

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