Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Book Blurb: “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. My Review: 3 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural-- Imogen had a happy life with her parents in New York, but she was happiest when they spent their summers in England. There, Imogen got to see her best friend and cousin Lucia and see her Grandfather, the Duke of Rockford. The summer of her tenth birthday was the last happy time she had there, when her parents as well as her aunt and uncle perished in a freak fire. Surprisingly, Imogen’s parents gave guardianship of her to their American friends instead of her remaining family. Imogen returned to the states and lived a very happy life away from her past as just another girl, instead of British aristocracy. When Imogen learns the truth about what has been happening to her family the last 7 years she was gone, she realizes she has to go back and face her past. This book stirred up mixed feelings in me. Some parts I absolutely loved, and others I wish did not happen at all. The story was a mix of mystery, intrigue, supernatural, romance and growing up. I loved the mystery and the supernatural parts of the story, thought they were compelling and well written. Imogen basically walks into the whole Duchess lifestyle and living arrangements blind, with no idea as to the dynamic that already exists. She stumbles into a mystery where she is not sure what is up or down, there may have been a murder, her parent’s deaths may be supernaturally linked, she may be seeing ghosts, someone is clearly out to get her but are they real, and is she the descendent that Lucia had been searching for? There were so many questions that popped up, wrapping the mystery into a complicated mess where I was not sure what was supernatural and what was the obvious attacker messing with Imogen. I had already made the connection of the maid’s past, but not necessarily all the twisty turny bits surrounding her. I enjoyed solving the mystery but was a little peeved at Imogen for not getting to my conclusion sooner. What I did not like in the slightest was the romance. So here is the deal: Imogen has loved Sebastian (who lives next to her Grandfather) since she was six and first saw him. He was always nice to her and made her feel important, but her older cousin Lucia and Sebastian were much closer and began to date the last summer Imogen visited. Back in New York, Imogen never dates or has any attraction to boys because her subconscious knows it is not right. Seven years later, she goes back to England and is instantly in love with Sebastian again (even though he was dating her cousin and is pretty much a stranger at this point). We never actually know anything about him, except that Imogen loves him and trusts him completely no matter what. He was more an idea than an actual person; I could never get a feel for whom he was (except randomly moody, but that dosen’t count as character development). I felt like she was taking her school girl crush a little too far and became obsessed with someone she doesn’t know. She even mentions once that she doesn’t know anything about him (shocker!), but that doesn’t stop her from rushing into a relationship with him. I really wanted her to meet a nice uncomplicated boy at Oxford, not get sucked into the mess of her past. I will admit to absolutely hating her relationship with Sebastian, which put a dark cloud over my opinion of the book since it was such a large part of the story. I was even rooting for her and Theo to have some spark or something, because he was an actual person described by the author with feelings and personality, not a girlish dream made flesh. Overall the book was not bad with a complex mystery with a supernatural flair that I love. This was my first book by this author, and it was good enough to make me intrigued to read more by her. I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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