A big thank you to NetGalley and Random House for approving me as a reader for this digital ARC.
Most of the YA Paranormal-Romance genre does not catch my eye, but there was a particular pitch-note from the publisher that made me want to read this book: a twist on Daphne Du Maurier’s modern gothic romance, REBECCA.
I’ll preface with a note that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with REBECCA. Do I enjoy reading it? Yes, but with some reservations and frustrations. There are things in the original that I both enamor and despise with equal measure.
So I went into SUSPICION with the expectation of a similar reaction as with REBECCA: things I do and don’t like with equal measure. And, at the end of the day, that’s what I got.
But don’t think that that means I wasn’t satisfied. I absolutely tore through this book and experienced more than one moment where I was verbally shouting out answers like I was playing a round of the board game CLUE — which, if you haven’t ever played, there’s a hole in your life experience 😉
Any person whom has read REBECCA will recognise the parallels: large, potentially haunted manor estates; suspicious housekeepers; mysterious deaths; a doe-eyed female protagonist; dark, brooding male love interest, et al. And as much as I enjoyed these parallels, they did pose SOME problems for me. The biggest being that I almost feel this book might have worked a little better as a period piece. There was just something about the modernity of the novel’s setting that I found a tad jarring with the gothic overtones and atmosphere.
Where SUSPICION truly diverges from REBECCA is in the paranormal elements — REBECCA teased the idea of the extraordinary and sinister within what was ultimately something very human. Conversely, SUSPICION runs full throttle with those elements and makes them plainly real. Did the story ultimately need the paranormal? No, not really. Though, by that same token, I do wish they had been integrated/incorporated more into the story. I was willing to roll with these mysterious powers! 🙂
Whether or not you like Du Maurier’s novel, REBECCA is a fun mystery with more than a few moments of just good old-fashioned Gothic creepiness, which helps to carry the novel’s more underwhelming aspects.