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Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

SuspicionSeventeen-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.

Don't be fooled by others telling you this book is not worth reading, because it is! I was instantly curious when I saw it was a modernized retelling of one of the best books ever: Rebecca. But it's not just a straight up retelling, the author still manages to make Suspicion an unique story of its own.

First of all, there are definite similarities between the two books that will make fans of Daphne Du Maurier's book happy. Creepy English estate that seems to be hiding a secret, insecure main character, plotting hired help, and ghost sightings are all present and accounted for. But this version of Rebecca also has fun references to pop culture and a supernatural twist.

Many reviews don't seem to appreciate the characters, but I have to tell you, they really fit with the classic. In the original, the narrator is never confident. She's always questioning the love and intentions of her new husband, while feeling like a second rate citizen compared to the memory of his late first wife. What kind of retelling would change that? It only makes sense that Imogen is constantly feeling Lucia's presence surrounding her. And if your maid and head housekeeper keep telling you how awesome your cousin was, wouldn't you feel like a cheap replacement? Maybe she was a bit naive with her love of Sebastian (especially since she claims to have loved him all her life and she's only a teenager), but it still fits with the feel of the story.

My only complaint is that the supernatural element was not developed more. Imogen is pretty special, but we never get a real look into why and what she can do. That part of the plot really fell short. There were glimpses here and there of what made her unique, but they never went anywhere. Well, except to make the ending pretty dramatic, but that felt a bit odd and rushed.

All in all, though, I thought it was a great page turner. Suspicion kept all the key elements of the classic, Rebecca, while making the story fresh. I loved the modern twists and references, which kept it from feeling stiff and dated.


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.

My Review: I love this book! It is such a fun, easy, and enjoyable r…