By: Lee Nichols
Published by: Bloomsbury USA
US Release date: June 1, 2010
Buy it at Amazon
Suitable for age 12 and up
Source: I own it
I won this book in a book blog event: Best I’ve Read 2010. Thank you, ladies, for a great event!
This is the first of the three-part Haunting Emma series.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I’ll start with my two complaints about this book- but stick with me, because it gets good after that.
Complaint #1: Between the cheesy title and the trite cover art, I would have never plopped down my own dollars for this book without a strong recommendation. Which is a shame, because I’m afraid there will be a lot of readers who would love this book who will miss out on a great read because of the poor marketing. It really is so much better than the cover/title lead one to believe.
Complaint #2: The main character, within a couple of weeks of her parents’ disappearance, trusts a man she barely knows enough to allow him to move her across the country without so much as leaving a note behind. Really? She is 17 years old- is she seriously threatened by Child Protective Services? At that age, would the agency even bother? She has shelter and means to take care of herself. . . but enough about that.
After the novel’s questionable plot devices in the first 100 pages, things got so, sooooo good- like, paranormal romance deliciousness kind of good. Forbidden love. Family secrets. Chased by the most beautiful and eligible boy in school. The ability to communicate with those who have passed on. Friendships with the popular and gorgeous. Discovering massive powers. Learning just enough about a string of murders to make the main character resolve to help stop the killer. I am telling you, this one’s got it all. Once I got started, I read straight through- and I’ve been wishing I could revisit the characters ever since. I’m highly anticipating the release of book 2 in March!
Deception is a pretty clean YA novel. I honestly don’t remember any objectionable language, and the “steamy” scenes are all about anticipation and kissing. No worries letting your young teen read it- unless she gets creeped out by ghost stories.
This is me strongly recommending, people- this book is a really fun read. I’d love to tell you more, but this is one you don’t want spoiled. . . but if you’ve read and loved any Libba Bray, Melissa de la Cruz, and/or Maria V. Snyder, you’ll want to put this book in your to-read pile.