Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: Deception (A Haunting Emma novel) by Lee Nichols

Deception (A Haunting Emma novel)
Author: Lee Nichols
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This was a good start to a series. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered. We do learn quite a bit about Emma as she learns about herself. 

The story begins with Emma being left alone at home while her parents take off for parts unknown. She has no way to contact them or her brother who is also away. She is also even more isolated when her best friend refuses to answer messages from her and her best friend's mother quits her job in Emma's parents' antiquities store and moves to be closer to her daughter. She is betrayed by a new friend and finds herself in foster care before Bennett arrives.

Bennett is the young man who was her brother's best friend but she hasn't seen him for two years. He is also the object of her first crush. Bennett takes her across the country, installs her in a house turned museum, and more or less abandons her. She makes friends at the school she is attending and begins seeing ghosts both at school and at home. At first, she is sure that she is going crazy. But she learns, from Bennett and the housekeeper that he installs to look after her, that she is a ghostkeeper. So is he and so is the rest of her family. 

Emma is reassured to know that she isn't crazy but isn't happy about that this talent is getting stronger. Especially because someone or something is killing ghostkeepers and targeting her. This something gets closer and closer and Emma is not at all sure that she can win the fight against it.

I am very eager to read the next book in the series. I recommend this book for YAs who like ghosts and romances. 

Favorite Quote:

I was ridiculously excited about the plane ride - I hadn't left San Francisco since the Incident, when i was seven. Pre-Incident, my passport looked like I had been adopted by the Jolie-Pitts, but one doctor had said, "She needs stability," and my parents had anchored me to the city.
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Debut Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge


  1. I was really surprised by how much I liked this book. I am eagerly anticipating the second book. Nice review.

  2. Great review! It's already on my wishlist!


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