Review of Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

SuspicionSuspicion
By: Alexandra Monir
Release Date: December 9th 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover
Source: Goldberg McDuffie Communications

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
“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.

My Thoughts:
I have always loved Hitchcock’s 1940’s version of Rebecca. It had me at the edge of my seat and had such a great atmosphere and wonderful suspense. I’ve yet to read the book the movie was based on but it’s on that TBR wish-list I hope t0 get to. Anytime I see a YA that teases a ‘Rebecca feel’ I get really excited but thus far, none have been successful.

I had fairly high hopes for Suspicion though I saw some pretty meh early reviews. When I started reading I was surprised with how easily I was absorbed into the writing and story. I felt that I might just be the black sheep and come out loving this book. Or at least liking it more than others had.

This positive push lasted until midway through the novel. Once Imogen arrives at Rockford Manor I started to become bored. The entire pacing of the book slowed down though there was possibly more action and I believe it was trying to be creepy. Things were thrown in that I’m sure were supposed to have the reader feeling disturbed/creeped out or generally ill at ease but none of this happened for me. I didn’t really feel much of anything. The characters lost any semblance of personality and I had zero interest in the relationship between Imogen and Sebastian. Honestly, I didn’t care about any of the characters or feel that I cared about their outcome. This was such a disappointment since I felt the book started out pretty well.

As I kept reading things went more and more downhill. I will admit, I was tempted to DNF but there was something that kept me reading to the end. And ugh, that end. Let me just say–it was weak. Really, really weak. I felt the twist wasn’t all that twisty and I wasn’t blown away, riveted or feeling anything positive.

Suspicion had a supernatural twist that I felt was unexplored to the point that it could have been left out and not changed the course of the book that much. I wish Monir could have taken it deeper and darker. Sure, the author did give a tiny bit of back story and show a few instances of the power but it felt far too simplified for my taste. For me, when a characters source of information is derived from mysterious papers found or research in a book it needs to be handled with care and done extremely well. If not, it feels too convenient and like an easy (and not overly creative) way of moving the plot along.

Final Thoughts:
I felt that Suspicion had a strong start with immersive writing and plot but as the story progressed it lost its grip on me. The second half of the book felt disjointed, slow and any connection to the characters slipped away. Sadly, I can’t recommend this one.

Live Chat with Rachel Hartman, Elizabeth Laban and Alexandra Monir February 28, 2013

Random House debut authors chat

Join Random House authors RACHEL HARTMAN (Seraphina, New York Times bestseller and Morris Award winner), ELIZABETH LABAN (The Tragedy Paper), and ALEXANDRA MONIR (Timeless), along with Knopf Books for Young Readers editor ERIN CLARKE, for a live chat on Figment.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Join the chat here

The event will include a half-hour moderated question-and-answer period.

Praise for Seraphina: “Full of grace and gravitas. Readers loath to turn the last page of this lush, intricately plotted fantasy will rejoice in the knowledge of next summer’s as-yet-untitled sequel.” — Washington Post

Praise for Tragedy Paper: “relatable and unusually gripping, even for an older reader…Romantic love, hard work, loyalty, friendship, suffering: Like the great tragedies that inspired the novel, it’s all here. LaBan’s take on adolescent life is rendered in the sweet, intelligent tradition of John Irving, but without any of the prep-school genre’s self-satisfaction.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

Praise for Timeless: “a captivating romance and mystery spanning three decades of high-society life and intrigue in New York City.” — Amazon Best Books of the Month

Enter to win a prize pack of debut novels from Random House: Seraphina, The Tragedy Paper, Timeless (and its sequel Timekeeper) and Dualed, by Elsie Chapman

Check out my review of Seraphina here