Review: Deception by Lee Nichols

Title: Deception
Author: Lee Nichols
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: 6.8.10
Genre: Paranormal/Mystery YA
Keywords: Ghosts, Love, Murder, Mystery, Powers
Pages: 310
Description (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.

DECEPTION has reminded me that it has been entirely too long since I’ve read a good ghostly mystery. When I picked up the novel I thought it looked good, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would end up enjoying it! I found myself furiously flipping pages and, when I found myself on the last page, lamenting my wait until the next installment.



At first, I wasn’t sure how well I was going to like the author’s treatment of the dialogue. It seemed almost inconsistent: casual one moment and formal the next. Eventually, I either stopped noticing or started to like it, I’m not sure which. As I read, it started to flow very realistically and it was easy to imagine that Emma was sitting next to me narrating the story.


I really enjoyed Nichols’ portrayal of ghosts and Emma’s powers. I’m impressed that each YA ghost novel that I’ve read brings something new to the table. It seems almost easy to differentiate paranormal creatures like vampires and weres, but ghosts require a bit more creativity. Now that the scene has been set, I’m excited to discover what Emma will face in the next book and to see a greater exploration of her powers.


I have mixed feelings about DECEPTION’s romantic plot line. At the beginning of the novel, Emma was extremely immature, which had me worried. I thought that her relationship with Bennett would turn out to be only a school girl crush on her older brother’s friend. Thankfully, Emma morphed throughout the novel. By the end, I could definitely see how a relationship between the two could develop. Nichols throws readers for a bit of a loop at the end of the novel, so I’m desperate to see how Emma and Bennett will find a way around the complication presented.


And holy cliffhanger! I raced to that last page, only to find a cliffhanger of epic proportions! I adore cliffhangers.


Grade: A-


Cover Notes:
I’d pick it up based on the cover. The house in the background is a bit awkward – it’s almost too bright – but I like that the focus on the girl’s face and the wispy smoke.

Buy It!

Check out my interview with Lee Nichols and enter to win your own copy of the novel.

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46 thoughts on “Review: Deception by Lee Nichols

  1. A "ghostly mystery"? Sounds incredibly good! I haven't heard more of the "Ghost" in paranormal lately, I'm glad that Deception exists! And ooo, romance! 😀 😀 😀 This sounds like an amazing read! I want to read it ~monster craze~ Thanks for the nicely organized review!

  2. This one is on my wish-list. I'm not a big fan of ghosts, but it sounds like a good one. I can see what you mean about the house on the cover, it looks very modern, but I like it.

  3. I LOVE a good ghost story!! There is not enough of them around in my oponion! I loved your review, it really made me want to read this one. It will definitely go on the to buy list..

  4. Wow, this sounds realllyyy interesting. But a relationship with guardian o.oanyway, I love and hate cliffhangers, they leave me wanting so much more. 😦

  5. Great review! The way you describe the book (the narrator feeling real and the whole ghost aspect) I think you might like Shade (by Jeri Smith Ready). It was fantastic and sounds a lot like Deception (which I can't wait to read)!-Lisa B.

  6. As much as I hate a cliffhanger, the book itself sounds really good. I've been reading some YA ghost novels lately and i have to agree with you when you say each author brings something new.I have to admit I didn't used to be a fan of ghost stories but now, i'm liking them more and more.i can't wait to read this!

  7. Great review. I was completely hooked at ghostly mystery. Glad to hear it was a good one. Looking forward to it!! There arent enough of them out there, for me anyway.

  8. Oh, good, I like it when the main character does grow emotionally during a book – makes it so much better somehow.Like Cherry I haven't read a mystery with ghosts in it before (the ghosts kind of seem like they should be the punchline… whodunnit? who did this? who did that? Oh, wait, we have poltergeists. The end) but I presume it's not quite like that! :DAlso, I *totally* wouldn't trust Bennett if I were in Emma's situation, but then I guess I'm a very distrustful person.Is Bennett a ghost? I hope he's a ghost. That would be awesome. And very Twilight-like. "We can only be truly together if we're both vampires/ghosts? Well, I guess I'll have to become the undead/walking the earth restlessly for eternity to be with you." Ahh, true love.;)Jokes aside, sounds like an interesting book! Good review. 🙂

  9. I am finding all the vampires/werewolves/shapeshifters/fairies are just starting to get a bit much for me.Ithink I will really appreciate a good old fashioned ghost story !Carol Tbuddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  10. Thanks for the review. I always like to know fellow reader's thoughts about books I'm interested in reading. Glad you enjoyed it despite some flaws. I'm always a bit hesitant when it comes to YA books that incorporate a romance subplot just for the sake of having that element to draw in readers; consequently coming off as rushed and immature…but I'm glad to learn that you felt that it did develop more solidly over the course of the story.

  11. I was already wanting to read this book, so after I read what you said about it I want it even more. The last book I read (The Little Stranger) was sort of a ghost story and I've been looking for another good one.

  12. Thank you for this great review! I agree, the cover really grabbed my attention and intrigued me, but it was good to read that you found the story original and worth reading and that the writing style was flowing.Can't wait to read Deception, sounds like an exciting read, and I always love a good ghostly mystery! 🙂

  13. Sounds like Emma has a lot on her plate! I also read the interview and I was also quite surprised to learn that she was not very concerned about her parents' disappearance. I can't wait to read this book.

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