Deception (Haunting Emma, #1) by Lee Nichols
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 was a fantastic debut filled with exciting twists and spooky paranormal elements that had me glued to the pages. Emma was a spunky and outgoing main character that I would have liked to meet in real life. The plot of Deception was fast paced, exciting, and original. At times I couldn't put it down- I had to know what happened next.
To elaborate, Deception was a ghost story, but not just any ghost story. Wraiths, ghasts, friendly-Casper-like-ghosts... the pages of Deception were filled with a variety of types. The main character, Emma, was a ghostkeeper. Which means she could see and communicate with ghosts. This was such an original idea, the scenes were she had to fight the evil ghosts were exciting and nerve wracking and I loved the parts where she met friendly ghosts that helped her out. There were a variety of sub plots as well. Emma's missing family, a gruesome train of murders, and more. Everything tied together perfectly and there was never a slow moment.
Emma was a smart girl, who was at first reluctant to believe what was really happening to her. I really liked this about her, she thought things over before taking action and this really helped her in quite a few instances. She also had an impulsive side, which ended up saving her life. She was faithful to her family, but didn't really understand them and was just looking for a good group of friends to support her. The friends she met at Thatcher were all awesome,too. Sara, Harry, Coby.... The other secondary characters were also well developed and original.
The romance in Deception had a fresh twist that left you unsure who Emma was going to choose in the end. I really liked who Emma ended up with, I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and mature.
There were many twists and cliffhangers throughout the novel that were resolved the more you read, but still a lot was left unsolved. The ending was probably the biggest, and best, cliffhanger ever! I can't believe I have to wait until March to find out what happens in the sequel!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
June 8, 2010/Bloomsbury USA/310 Pages/Young Adult/Book One
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books in the series: Betrayal (Haunting Emma, #2)