Deception (Haunting Emma Series #1)

( 47 )

Overview

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.

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Deception (Haunting Emma Series #1)

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
When 17-year-old Emma drops her antiques-dealer parents at San Francisco's airport for a business trip, she's set for three weeks of rebellion. However, her freedom is cut short when her parents vanish and the authorities are tipped off that she's home alone. Seemingly randomly, her older brother's preppy, hot college friend, Bennett, rescues Emma by bringing her back to his eerie New England hometown, where she'll live with his family and attend an exclusive private school. As Emma settles into her new home, which doubles as a museum, violent imagery from her childhood creeps into her consciousness, but fortunately a cast of friendly spirits appear to help her navigate what she learns is her role as a powerful ghostkeeper. Balancing this text's heavy supernatural vibe and sometimes gruesome details are elements of modern teenage life, including Emma's crush on Bennett and conventional high-school friendship dramas, making this first installment in the Haunting Emma series light fun with a mildly chilling edge and sense of mystery. (Fiction. YA)
Publishers Weekly
In adult author Nichols's (Tales of a Drama Queen) first book for teenagers, which launches the Haunting Emma series, 17-year-old Emma's parents leave on a trip and weeks pass without a word of their whereabouts. Social workers are about to intervene when Bennett, a handsome friend of Emma's older brother, whisks her away to live at his family's sprawling, gothic, and haunted museum in Massachusetts. There, Emma enters the upscale Thatcher Academy, where she makes new friends and frets about the mysterious visions--including ghosts-- that plague her. Soon Bennett reveals Emma's true nature: she is a "ghostkeeper" and the descendant of one of the earliest and most powerful ghostkeepers. As Emma struggles to navigate the requirements that come with her new identity, Nichols populates her life with the requisite competing love interests. While Nichols's take on the girl-who-sees-ghosts story will satisfy fans of the genre, the characters and plot feel familiar, though Emma has a sense of humor that, if on the silly side, balances the book's sinister moments with snark. Undemanding paranormal fun. Ages 14-up. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—With her antiquities-dealer parents supposedly away on vacation, big brother Max somewhere abroad, and former best friend ignoring her, Emma Vaile, 17, is alone in San Francisco. Expecting freedom, she finds loneliness and trouble instead. Being abandoned and ratted out to Child Protective Services are bad enough, but there's also the return of disturbing visions she hasn't had for a decade. Then Max's ex-friend and Emma's long-standing crush, Bennett Stern, appears with guardianship papers. Taking Emma to his family's Massachusetts mansion/museum, he enrolls her in Thatcher Academy, where she experiences acute déjà vu. Concerned for her sanity, Emma eventually admits that she sees ghosts. Aloof Bennett reveals that they both have the ability to communicate with them. Someone or something is murdering ghostkeepers and leaving behind a symbol: the design on Emma's mother's unique pendant. The whereabouts of Emma's family, whether Emma and Bennett will (should) be together, and whether he can be trusted are questions to be answered. In this first book in a series, Nichols has left threads untied for future installments. Occasionally, the dialogue is trite and the action cartoonish, but the ghostkeeper premise, lingering mystery, and Emma/Bennett relationship compel the curious to return. Magical ancestors and passed-down powers aside, the novel is not of the caliber of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's emotionally investing Beautiful Creatures (Little, Brown, 2009), but it will appeal to teens craving a quick read.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599903088
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Series: Haunting Emma Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

LEE NICHOLS is the author of five novels for adults, including Tales of a Drama Queen and Hand-Me-Down. She lives in Maine and is married to novelist Joel N. Ross. Deception is her first novel for young adults.

www.leenichols.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I simply loved this book. Loved it. Not like, love. L. O. V. E.

    I simply loved this book. Loved it. Not like, love. L. O. V. E. Thank you Lee Nichols for writing such an amazing book!

    Deception reminds me of The Mummy in so many ways. If you've ever watched The Mummy, you know it has a lot to do with old antiquities, Brendan Fraser, cool reincarnations, Brendan Fraser, mummies, and well, just really awesome things (did I mention Brendan Fraser?). In Deception we get antiquities, mystery, spooky urn/ash scenes, and overall freakin awesomeness! It really combines all the things I love most into a book that's hard to put down.

    Meet Emma, daughter of antiquity sellers and lovers of possessions of the dead, she's 17 and home alone after her parents disappeared and they haven't been in contact since. Sounds like the start of some horror movie, right? Who in their right mind leaves a 17 year old in a house that's a mausoleum, and you only have one employee? Apparently, these parents do. While Emma is home alone she starts having these weird things happen to her. Shadows moving. Reliving other peoples memories. Just thinking about it sends chills up my arms.

    Emma is an decent character. She can be annoying at times, like when she's whining (later on in the book) or obsessing over Bennett. It was a little unbelievable that she up and moved across the country with Bennett when her parents couldn't be found. She didn't even question his judgement, hell, she didn't even know him that well. BUT, when Emma interacts with things-I-shall-not-name, it's gold. I can't get enough of her interactions with them. Learning about Emma, learning about her past, learning about, well, everything is just engaging. I am a little disappointed that she fell into the category of heroines that are just too special, specialer that the rest types. I am glad, that she wasn't the only one that could do what she did though, that saved a bit teeth grinding for me.

    Speaking of Bennett, he just doesn't do anything for me. Don't get me wrong, he can be sexy at times, but compare him to the Rake (you'll know who if you read the book) and there is no competition. Bennett is just sort of there. I didn't really get his 'voice' and he didn't have much page time to compared to other minor characters. He is definitely a mysterious characters and one those types that says, "We can't be together." and avoids confrontation- to give him the benefit of the doubt though, he has a really, really, good reason for being that way.

    I honestly loved the storyline. It's constant and continually moves so you don't get bored. However, I am disappointed that some scenes weren't more...well, more. I felt that some of the most important scenes could have been fleshed out and expanded. With the way a few of them go by so quick it almost makes you do a double take. Not that they aren't good, it just could have been better, more drawn out, with added dialogue. The flash backs scenes were amazing though and very, very creepy (as are tons of other scenes and it's a very, very good thing).

    My warning to to those reading Deception- have book two on hand! That ending was absolutely CRAZY! It sent chills up my arms and made me question a certain persons actions. Yes, it's a cliff hanger. Yes, you will want to pull out your hair. And yes, you will want to immediately find out what happens. Pick this one up, you won't regret it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Awesome book

    This book is so amazing. It took me about two hours cause i couldn't stop flipping the page!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2010

    A nice change from vampire fiction

    I bought this for an easy, quick read and I was not disappointed. The book is well written and presented a nice change from vampire fantasy. The characters are engaging, the setting helps to draw the reader in and I can't wait to read further books in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Lee Nichols delivers a page turning start to her YA series!

    I was very pleased with this book. Lee Nichols delivered an excited page turner. Emma was a heroine that I could relate to and root for. Some of the best aspects of this story are center around the relationships that Emma has cultivated and even lost. Her best friend who no longer speaks to her, her brother who is also not returning her calls, the ghosts she befriends, and her complicated relationship with Bennett all add to Emma as a character and the plot of the story.

    Emma Vaile's parents have left on a business trip which gives her the perfect excuse to cut loose. She gives into pressure from her new friends and throws a huge party at her museum of a home. And everything is great..until the cops show up. Her parents have been out of communication for weeks and Emma is not the only one who has noticed. So now Emma is handed over to Bennett Stone, a former friend of her brothers who her parents recently named as her legal guardian. Emma finds herself uprooted and moving to New England to live in Bennett's home. Why is Bennett Stone, who is only a few years older (a long time crush of Emma's), the one taking her in?

    As soon as she arrives, Emma is enrolled at Thatcher Academy. She quickly settles into a new group of friends and then the visions start. Emma suddenly finds herself taken back in time to experience things she can't explain. How can this town feel so familiar when she has never been here before? Why does Bennett seem to steer clear of her as much as possible? Murders similar to one from her past keep happening and she may hold the key to the mystery surrounding them. There is so much that Emma has yet to learn about herself, her past, and her future. With everything going on in her life, being a ghostkeeper is the least of her problems.

    I think that the Haunting Emma series is going to be fantastic. I definitely recommend Deception! The next books in the series are Betrayal which is set to release March 2011 and Possession, which will be published late 2011.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    I will always be in love with this book, seriously. It's funny h

    I will always be in love with this book, seriously. It's funny how I randomly bought this book, the cover caught my eye. I can honestly say I've read it atleast 10 times in the past two years. I will never get tired of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    About "deception"

    Deception is about a girl named Emma Vaile, she struggled through alot of things. But, she managed to fix them. She is a ghostkeeper. She sees things, which are ghosts. Her name I from someone else's life and she's renewing it.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    Deception is about a seventeen year old girl named Emma Vaile wh

    Deception is about a seventeen year old girl named Emma Vaile who lives in San Francisco with her parents. She has a brother, named Max who’s in college. While her parents are on a business trip, they suddenly disappear and nobody knows where they are. Emma soon learns that she needs to have a guardian and when she discovers who it is, she is shocked! It’s her brother’s 20 year old friend, Bennett Stern. Oh… and did I mention he’s cute!! Emma refers to him as her knight in shinning armor. He drags her from her hometown in San Francisco, all the way to Boston where he lives. She is forced to go to a new school, in Boston called Thatcher Academy. In the first couple of days she finds herself fitting in well, especially with the popular kids. But strange things begin to happen. She begins to have memories of Thatcher and her new town that she can’t remember. Bennett is about to reveal a big secret that will explain all her weird memories and will make her scared for her life. I really recommend this book to girls ages 13-18 because if you’re that type of person who loves a page turner, you’ll love this book! I give this book 5 stars because it was very well detailed and I absolutely couldn’t stop reading this book! I love those romantic, mystery books and that’s exactly what this book was.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Just a piece of my mind

    I liked the whole series a lot but I almost didn't make it passed the begining of the first book. Having Emma leave with Bennett to go to the east coast because she has a crush on him just seemed unbelievable and wrong to but in a YA book. Especially with everthing she knew that stacked up that this guy most likley is not safe. I know about the bond in the past life you learn about at the end of the first book but still I think the writer could have found a different reason for her to go with him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Idk if should read this

    I like books like this but idk if i want spend my money please write review to help me

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    I LOVE THIS BOOK

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted August 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Paranormal Teen Read!

    I received a copy of this from Bloomsbury and as I hadn't heard if it before, it was pretty intrigued! After seeing other bloggers positive comments I decided to read it as soon as possible, and I'm really glad I did. I couldn't stop reading! I read 100 odd pages before I went to bed and then read the rest of it the next afternoon.

    You do have some stereotypical elements - main character has stronger powers than everyone else, forbidden love, etc - but I enjoyed them just as much as the rest of the book as they were well written and fit in really well with the story.

    I enjoyed the potential romance between Bennett and Emma a lot and found myself enjoyably frustrated every time there was a potential kiss and then something else happened! Bennett is a great love interest, all moody but with a sweet side too.
    The addition of ghosts with actual personalities was really appreciated as there doesn't seem to be many YA ghost books with a real presence of ghosts these days. I loved the little boy with the Tetris obsession the best, he was really sweet. Second favourite had to be the Rake, Although I found it a shame he couldn't be a potential love interest too as I found him rather appealing!

    Emma herself is one of my favourite main characters, she's really goofy and hilarious when drunk. A particular conversation about catapults had me showing my OH the paragraph!

    This book does remind me a lot of Hourglass by Myra McEntire, which I think is great as I loved that one too. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book so I can find out what will happen with Emma and Bennett next, and see if her parents turn up, as there were some interesting events that happened at the end of the book...

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    GREAT BOOK!!!!!

    I just love this book. I brought this book to take on vacation to read in the car and by the pool and let me say it didnt make it to the pool. I read it in about 10hrs that it took us to drive to our vacation spot. It was all I could talk about to my family members I think they wanted me to be ghostly so they wouldnt have to listen to me go on about this book. When I got home I was telling my 60 year old mom about this book and she said she wanted to read it. I think she read it in a day. She even ask where book two was and I informed her we had to wait till march the next year she almost make me ghostly. Easy to read, fun to read, exciting to read. worth the 7.00 I paid. You can't go wrong with this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    Amazing!!!!

    This book is amazing! I am no the fastest reader, so most books take me about a week; this one only took me one day. But the whole time, I was left guessing on what was going to happen next. I had to keep reading! I love this book and highly recomend it to teens who like horror/forbiden love stories!

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    great book!!!

    i loved this book soooo much easy breezy reading and great backround

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    Incredible!!!!

    This book is a definate page turner and thriller. It leaves you hanging at the end. I was really mad when i found out thhe sequel doesn't comme out untill March. That's too long to wait! Youshould definately read this book. It's one of my favorites. 5 stars!!!

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kira M for Teens Read Too

    Gold Star Award Winner! When her parents leave her to go on a mysterious vacation, Emma finds herself alone in San Francisco. Unable to reach her big brother, Max, she starts to worry about her family. Instead of finding freedom from being on her own, she finds loneliness and betrayal. After being ratted out to Child Protective Services, Max's ex-friend and Emma's crush, Bennett Stern, shows up claiming to be her guardian. Whisked away to Boston, she finds herself enrolled in Thatcher Academy. After experiencing some major déjà vu and other weird occurrences, Emma realizes that she can see ghosts. Bennett reveals to her that they are ghostkeepers, and that they both have the ability to see and communicate with the spirits. Someone or something, however, is murdering ghostkeepers and leaving behind a symbol that's on Emma's mother's unique pendant. Are Emma's parents really on vacation? What happened to her brother? DECEPTION is a great horror/paranormal/adventure story. The author does a wonderful job of setting up and maintaining a spooky, thriller-like atmosphere throughout the book. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is fast-paced, intense, and does an amazing job of holding the reader's interest. Those who like horror, adventure, ghost stories, and paranormal fiction will really enjoy reading this first book of the HAUNTING EMMA series.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Haunting and beautiful

    This is an amazing read! Emma Vaile is the main character who has been through a lot in her short life. Her parents left her to go on another mysterious trip, her first party ended with the police barging in, and social services about to put her in foster care. But the mysterious Bennett rescues her and takes her to Boston and Thatcher Academy to be safe. Well safe isn't exactly what Emma encounters at Thatcher. Here Emma learns she is a ghost keeper and the most powerful one in history. The book is well written and very intense. I love how Emma is such an amazing character and her dialog is perfect. If you like mystery and spectral happenings, this is the book for you. I happen to love the way the real and ghost characters interact, and I really love the ghost staff at the mansion. They bring a small bit of humor into this story and give it depth. I can't wait till March of next year for the second novel.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time http://onebooktime.blogspot.com

    I have to admit this book didn't make much of a blip on my radar. I liked the cover, but the description didn't do much to make me want to add it to my to-read list. But, I was intrigued enough to enter a contest for an ARC. I was shocked that I won, but more than happy to read the book.

    I was extremely surprised by this one. After the rocky start where I had no idea what was going, Emma moves to New England. While, I still don't understand anything, and neither does Emma, I thoroughly enjoyed how the book developed. I thought Emma's visions were down right creepy, especially in light of what she learns they're really about. It gives the book a slight feel of a horror novel and manages to pull it off nicely. The setting just adds to the mystery.

    I thought what's truly happening to Emma was interesting. I liked how Bennett was able to gradually explain things to her, even though she demanded answers every time she saw him. It seemed like something would be revealed, but something else major would happen. I'm not sure I liked the ending, but I'm not sure any other outcome would have worked. I did feel sorry for Emma at the end because it looked like she was finally going to be able to have it all.

    So, I really enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to the next in the series!

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    Interesting read.

    if you like mystery, and romance you will enjoy this Novel. you should deffinetly read this!

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    Bottom line is-if you like secrecy, spine-tingling occurrences, and loves-that-just-can't-be, Deception is for you.
    The first in the Haunting Emma series, this book sets the bar high, and I mean high, for the next books in the series. What I liked most about Emma was that she is a very rational thinker. She thinks things through. She isn't the stupid heroine who thinks 'Omigod, a murderer is in the house! I should scream so he can find me easier!' She knows what to do, and how to do it. The storyline may remind readers of Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy, but I assure you, neither one of the novels are much alike. Deception is its own book, a book that stands alone, and shouldn't be compared to anything else.
    Emma sees ghosts. Her parents seem to have vanished into thin air, and she is thrown into a boarding school under the watch of her MIA brother's college roommate, Bennet Stern. Weird things start happening, and the things seem to be connected to her parents-mainly, her mother. But Emma knows that her parents are nothing like what Bennet seems to believe they are.and she has to figure out what's going on, and fast!
    With chapters that fly by, and no idea who to trust, Deception is a perfect novel for anyone who loves a good mystery that will have you leaving the lights on and cowering under your blankets.

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