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Deception (Haunting Emma Series #1)

Deception (Haunting Emma Series #1)

4.4 48
by Lee Nichols

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

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
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)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Haunting Emma Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 5.16(h) x 0.94(d)
HL630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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.


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Deception (Haunting Emma Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Vivacie More than 1 year ago
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.
Tali Look More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazing. It took me about two hours cause i couldn't stop flipping the page!
GretaJ More than 1 year ago
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.
acsimps More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give this book and the whole series five starts! As soon as I picked up Deception I couldn't put it down. When I finished this book I had to get my hands on Betrayal and Surrender because I wanted to, no, I needed to continue my journey with these amazing characters. I read this book when I was 16 years old. Now at age 20 I recently reread the series and am still obsessed with it. By far the best series I have read. Ok so why am I so blown away by Deception and the rest of the Haunting Emma series? I have five reasons why: 1. The Character development is to die for! ;) Lee Nichols has made it so you can identify with the characters in this book and made it so you will be continuously cheering on the good guys and personally wanting to jump in the book yourself to help them fend off the bad guys. Love the Characters! 2. It keeps you guessing. Usually I can see what's going to happen next but when it came to these books I was kept in the dark. I like that! This book is not very predictable which is amazing and new for me. 3. It gives you the feels! I cannot count the amount of times I felt my heart drop for the characters, cheered out of excitement excitement, or even feel complete fear. As I said before, you truly feel for, and with the characters. 4. It's not too long. If I can remember right the book has maybe about 300 pages which isn't too small that there isn't enough detail and isn't too big that it's intimidating. This book is the perfect size. The series does not drag on like you may find some books to do. It tells you the story and doesn't put in the unnecessary fluff that some authors have an act of doing. Thank you Lee Nichols! 5. The romance isn't too over bearing. Don't get me wrong, this series has an extremely cute and sometimes even a tad sensual type or relationship going on, but the whole book is not centered around it. The main character in this book Emma Vaile is more than capable of taking care of herself which I really appreciate. She is no damsel in distress and Bennett Stern is not some overbearing love interest. There is a perfect balance of romance in this series. All in all this book is sure to be a fun read for anyone looking for a suspenseful, supernatural, mystery that shows you not everything is at is seems and also shows the strengths of friendship, family, and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ComaCalm More than 1 year ago
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...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zeusie72 More than 1 year ago
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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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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago