Imogen lives in New York but spends her summers in England at Rockford, where she crushes on Sebastian, dreamy marquis heartthrob who seems to have eyes only for her beautiful cousin. But one night, everything ends in flames, leaving Imogen an orphan, where she lives with her will-appointed guardians, the Normal Normalsons (I forget their names) and their daughter, Zoey. But it turns out the Normalsons have been busy hiding Very Important Information from Imogen all these years: news that her grandfather and cousin died, news that she's now the heir apparent, news that this makes her an emancipated minor.
Obviously Imogen is not pleased.
So Imogen goes to England, after all of her New York friends and enemies make a big deal of her being royalty (as Americans do), and it's like Downton Abbey meets the Hallmark channel. I actually checked to make sure the author wasn't from the UK (and no, she doesn't seem to be) because so much of it seemed kind of ridiculous. This is supposed to be a retelling of REBECCA but it plays fast and loose with the original and also incorporates magic that is never really explained all that well and ends up feeling more of a deus ex machina than something whimsical that is integral to the plot.
When I put this book down, I rolled my eyes a little. I don't think this book deserves the hate that it got from a lot of my friends but it's definitely bottom-of-the-barrel YA, the kind that makes a bit of a stir when it's released and then is promptly forgotten by everyone except me, who turns it up at a sale table a couple years later and reviews it when nobody cares. It's fun but forgettable and the heroine isn't much of a compelling narrator at all, so much as a passive vehicle to keep the plot moving.
I do love that cover, though. I'd hang a full-size version of that on my wall.
2.5 out of 5 stars