Hello, Weirdos. Alas, It has happened. I hoped I would never be forced to do this, but I don't always get what I want. Yes, I have encountered a book that I hate. Well, maybe "hate" is a strong word, but I certainly have a great deal of distaste for it.
Suspicion by Alexandra Monir is one of those books I picked up at the bookstore without knowing anything about the book or the author, so I should have been prepared for something like this, but I wasn't.
My English teacher told me to start journeling my thoughts when I read, and I decided to try it, starting with this book...and to be honest I have five pages filled with everything I disliked about this book...so there's no possible way for me to forget any of it.
Now, I had a lot of issues with this book, but lets take them one at a time. First of all, I know people like to get creative with their character's names. They want them to be unique, memorable, classy; but there's also a such thing as going overboard with it. In this case, the main character's name is Imogen. Now, I could let that fly if all of the character had unique names, but they didn't. They all had names such as Sebastian, Lucia, Zoey, and Mark, so no. I will not let that one fly. I genuinely hated her name.
Next, in my opinion, a reader should not know who the bad guy is until later in the story. In this case, I was able to tell who the antagonist was going to be on PAGE 13!!! And you know what else? I WAS RIGHT. It was a huge letdown because there was no suspense, especially since the author herself says this book is a mystery. Mystery isn't the word I'd have used...
Another thing is that this book has two things I really hate in books: Time jumps and flashbacks, and this book has flashbacks to spare. Granted, with how the plot progresses, time jumps and flashbacks are required, but that doesn't make me hate them any less. So...consider that a warning.
Speaking of the plot...the refusal of the call was missing! In the hero's journey, a tried and true method for some genres, has a step called the "refusal of the call", and it was missing. I noticed this right away, and in fact this note is highlighted in my notebook. Not only that, but the "call" in chapter IV was handled terribly.
Oh, and on the subject of handling things terribly...how the heck did this book get published? Delacorte Press must be desperate, because I'm surprised anyone would put this on the shelves!
But anyways, I had a real problem with the dialogue throughout the book. For the first chapter, it was formal dialogue, which I didn't adore, but I also didn't hate it; but for the rest of the book it was incredibly bad. Here's an example from page 83: "...we don't need to worry about this wacky letter." For some reason the author thought that words like "wacky" occur in everyday conversation...but I can't remember the last time I said "wacky", and things like that were in nearly every instance of dialogue. I was embarrassed for the author, honestly. Every conversation was strange in some way. Unnatural. Awkward. I did not like it. At all.
There's a rule when writing books: Make your main character likeable, but give them flaws.You have to make them likeable, but relatable; someone that readers will root for. In this case, that rule was crumpled and thrown in the garbage. Imogen was written in a way that I almost started rooting against her. The rule for this book seemed to be: "Give Imogen enough flaws that maybe the readers will feel sorry for her and hope for the best".
Lastly, don't even get me started with the romance. I couldn't stand the awkward love quadrangle between the three guys and the one girl. Yes, three guys were introduced as love interests. One was completely disregarded as anything except a way for Imogen to make an idiot of herself, the second was mentioned and skimmed over lightly, and the last was overplayed. It was entirely too obvious who the author was rooting for, and in doing so it made me anti-ship the romance (if there is a such thing).
Oh and I almost forgot to mention the information dump at the end of the book. But I don't have much to say about that.
Sooo, was there anything about this book that I enjoyed? Honestly...no. There wasn't. The entire time I read this, I wanted to take that very book, walk up to the main character, and repeatedly beat her over the head with it screaming "WHAT. ARE. YOU. THINKING."
So, when writing, don't do any of these things. And please, keep a close eye on your plot twists. At a certain point, we just start rolling our eyes at them.
Conclusion: This book receives 2.5 stars out of five. I'd be more lenient about this if she was a first time writer, but she isn't. This is her 4th book. Sorry!
Thanks for reading! If you feel so inclined to buy this book despite all of this, well...don't say I didn't warn you.
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As always: Stay weird!