Review: Deception

When Emma Vaile’s parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age “knight in J.Crew armor,” Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.
After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can’t shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can’t explain, as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Emma doesn’t trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he’s about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.–From Amazon

Deception is Lee Nichols’ YA debut, following five adult novels. I knew after reading the summary that this was the kind of book I would have loved to read as a kid. Growing up, you couldn’t tear me away from ghost stories and horror novels. If you threw in boarding school settings, I was all the happier. I can’t even tell you how many times I read and reread Lois Duncan’s Down a Dark Hall. I tend to prefer realistic fiction these days, but reading Deception was fun for nostalgia’s sake.

When Emma gets shipped off to Boston after being deserted by her family, she begins to see ghosts for the first time since she was a child. As a kid, Emma had been put away in a mental ward briefly because of her visions, and she becomes very nervous about her sanity when she starts seeing things again. (More than once, I envisioned her saying, “I see dead people,” in a Sixth Sense-esque fashion.) Emma soon finds out that her visions are more real than she could ever have imagined, and that while some ghosts are friendly, others can be very, very dangerous.

This was a fun, fast read that moved along rapidly. There were a few times that I was tempted to start skipping ahead, but once I hit the major cliffhanger ending I knew I would not be able to skip any other books in the Haunting Emma series. Even if the majority of Deception doesn’t grip you, you won’t be able to resist the mystery you’re left with on the last page.

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2 Responses to "Review: Deception"

  • This definitely sounds like a book I would like – it’s going on the to-be-read list! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1 TaraQuigley said this (July 22, 2010 at 7:08 PM)


  • So glad to hear that! Can’t wait to see what you think 🙂

    2 Melanie said this (July 22, 2010 at 8:26 PM)


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