Monday, March 23, 2015

Teen Review: Fairy tale meets nightmare

by Alexandra Monir
368 pages

Reviewed by Melody, grade 11

Suspicion is definitely a mixture of fairy tale meets nightmare. Imogen’s family is part royalty, but a number of secrets hide inside the walls of her family’s English country manor. The biggest mystery of all is the maze. It was set on fire, and led to the tragic death of her parents. Imogen’s parents' death caused a ripple effect of her moving to New York, grieving, and having to live with a secret that occurred right before they died. Over the years, as she becomes moderately accustomed to her new life, an unexpected letter arrives informing her of yet another disastrous catastrophe that has occurred at the manor. Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate and she accepts the responsibility of becoming a duchess. However, along with the overwhelming obligations that brings, she is also learning of the villainous secrets inside the manor. As they begin to be exposed, Imogen is slowly convinced her parents' death might not have been an accident after all. Determined to figure out every dark secret with the help of her long lost first love Sebastian, Imogen finds herself in a whirlwind of mystery, murder, and magic.

Over all this was a pleasant read, but I do have mixed feelings towards this book, which is why I rated it 3 out of 5 stars. It was suspenseful and extremely surprising towards the end. However, I did feel the beginning was rushed and was only geared towards cutting straight to the chase and action. Although, I’m sure the action in a book is usually the most anticipated part of reading, I find, when the story and details are hurried, it causes the action to be slightly less exciting when it finally occurs. Nevertheless, this was a small flaw in the book that hardly effected the overall quality of the thrilling story. My favorite part without a doubt would be the ending. It was a complete shocker! I also really enjoyed the language used to describe the pain Imogen felt after losing her parents. Hopefully others will enjoy this book too!

Editor's note: Burbank Public Library doesn't own this book (yet--let us know if you want us to buy it, by filling out a card for our suggestion box at the Reference Desk), but I read another book of Monir's last year, called Timeless. I had about the same reaction to it that Melody had to this one:

Not bad, not great. No theory of time travel at all--the accent here was all on the romance and the history and not on the science, apart from a little gushing from a classmate of the protagonist's, who "reveals" that Einstein believed in time travel and therefore it must be possible! It was mostly all about the desperate yearning for the person in the other time, trying to reach them, wanting to be together. But the historical details were well done, and there's a set-up for a sequel that seemed promising.

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