Author: Lee Nichols
Pub. Date: 6.8.10
Genre: Paranormal/Mystery YA
Keywords: Ghosts, Love, Murder, Mystery, Powers
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.
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.
Check out my interview with Lee Nichols and enter to win your own copy of the novel.